If you’re a student who is keen on picking up a foreign language, you’ll know that it can be challenging to do.
Learning new words and and practicing foreign pronunciations that don’t roll off your tongue so easily takes plenty of time and practice. However, if you’re frequently turning to dictionaries and audio files to facilitate your learning, it’s time to jazz things up.
Here are four tips for picking up a new language.
Read children’s books
One of the most useful ways to learn the basics of a language is to read children’s books.
After all, the content is shorter and the vocabulary is basic while the sentence structure is simpler to understand, making it useful for novice speakers. The illustrations or pictures in the books can also help you guess words, which makes learning more fun.
Diving into tougher materials such as newspapers can be demotivating as you may find yourself constantly looking up words, which can be frustrating.
Pick up the translated version of your favourite book
Once you’ve had a grasp of certain words, you can start reading tougher materials to help you expand your vocabulary.
For starters, you can consider reading the translated version of your favourite book. This can help you guess the words and context more easily compared to reading other novels as you’re already familiar with the plot and characters.
Alternatively, you could turn to audiobooks and listen to the translated version of your favourite book.
If you spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook or Instagram on your phone, you might as well put your device to good use and download a language app to make learning a new language easier.
Apps such as Duolingo, Babbel, and busuu can be fun and useful to use, helping you brush up on your language at any time of the day.
To boot, research suggests using apps to learn a language can be useful for learners who are already subscribed to a language course.
Exposing yourself to native speakers of a new language can help you familiarise yourself with its sounds and structures. But this doesn’t mean you have to plonk yourself in a community of speakers of a particular language.
One informal way of familiarising yourself with a new language is by watching TV series or movies. You can turn on the subtitles to help you catch the words if the characters speak too quickly. This prolonged exposure may help you learn new words and phrases over time.
Watching TV is also a fun way of learning as you can avoid the motivation slump when you’re looking forward to watching your new favourite TV show.
It can definitely complement your formal learning of a new language.
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