Learning a new language is challenging, yet exciting! Once you have decided on your language of choice, consider these steps to help you ease into the learning process. But before we explore these tips, here is the best tip of all: acceptance. From the get-go, you need to mentalise yourself and just accept that you are going to say a lot of stupid things; your sentences won’t make sense and you might look silly on occasion. Once you are at peace with that, the rest is a breeze.
Your #1 tip is conversation
You will receive more value out of a thirty-minute conversation with someone than a language class of the same duration. One of the main reasons why it’s more effective is because you are forced to talk and construct sentences in your head. Yes, it is definitely more awkward and can often be embarrassing, but there is no better (or faster) way to learn a new language. Besides all that, language classes and online courses require dedication and need to be scheduled into your day; this is something that often makes people despondent about learning a new language.
A pocket dictionary is your best friend
Download a pocket dictionary or language guide on your phone so you have it with you wherever you go. If the word escapes you or you are struggling to make the tenses work, you can refer to your phone for a quick and instant response (even during a conversation). Once you find the word you are looking for, you can use it in conversation, which actually makes it easier for you to remember that word in future.
Learn the most common words first
Start by learning the 100 most common words. These are often the words that are like glue to a sentence and are vital in most conversations. If you learn words that are less useful, you won’t be able to form a full sentence which is the goal here. If you can say spoon or plate but can’t say I am hungry, then you might have a slight problem.
Practice makes perfect
It truly is all about practice. Practice is necessary to learn a language and it is necessary to maintain a language too. The more you practice, the more you will learn and the sooner you will attain confidence and become fluent. If you don’t have anyone to talk to in order to practice your new words, talk to yourself; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Alternatively, find a partner that you can learn from and talk to.