If you know how to get started, learning a second or third language need not be intimidating.
There are numerous benefits to being bilingual or at least able to communicate in another dialect.
It looks good on your resume and can help you find a job; natives in foreign countries appreciate it when you make an effort to speak their language; it improves your proficiency in your native tongue; it is believed to enlarge the brain and may protect against Alzheimer's disease.
But what is the most effective way to learn a new language? There are numerous ways to accomplish this, but there are a few simple guidelines that will make the process significantly simpler.
In recent years, there has been a shift away from memorization and tedious grammar rules in favor of a more holistic approach. Beginning with primary education, where children learn subjects such as math and the arts in a foreign language as part of intensive education programs, modern thinking emphasizes a less intimidating and, frankly, more enjoyable approach.
However, as adults, time is limited, and learning a new language can feel like an additional burden in a life already filled with parenting, Netflix binging, and surviving. If you are determined to become a specialist in a second dialect, there are several factors to consider. Here are some pointers.
There is no test score at the end of this, and no one will judge you for this strange bug, so use this as an opportunity to interact with people on the other side of the language barrier. Many online courses and apps base their learning on gamification; if fanfare and badges motivate you to learn, you should search for one of these first.
As its name implies, spaced repetition is the theory that you are more likely to correctly memorize something if you learn it repeatedly within a specified time frame. Quartz explains that it is based on the 19th-century German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus' concept of the "forgetting curve," the notion that we forget something quickly over a brief period of time.
Spaced repetition enables learners to return to previously learned material (such as new vocabulary) in order to stimulate their brains repeatedly. This technique can be practiced using the Duolingo app (more on that later).
A few sessions per week will significantly improve your vocabulary and pronunciation; just be consistent and remind yourself to practice frequently. Numerous iPhone and Android applications are programmed to execute in a fraction of a second.
Meetup maintains a directory of language-practice gatherings around the world; this can be a great place to make new friends and expand your vocabulary.
Knowing grammar is helpful, particularly if you need to read and write in that language, but you don't need to spend your days poring over dusty textbooks. Consider how you acquired the correct English tenses and conjugations: through imitation, repetition, and practice, correct? There is no reason why the second or third language in your arsenal should be distinct from the first.
In this process of language acquisition, you will make mistakes. When you say you're hot, you can let an Italian know you're horny. Or, you can tell a Greek you're pregnant if you're feeling embarrassed. Do not take it extremely seriously. The majority of individuals will attempt to identify the error.
Replace the unusual phrase in a text message, compose a poem or song in your new language, or surprise your next host abroad with an unexpected phrase. Just don't overdo it.