The best way to engage someone outside your country is to speak his or her language. According to experts (see links at the end), here are a couple of quick and simple tips to enhance your language learning skills.
1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
The hardest thing about learning a language is to be confident enough to speak it. If you’re too scared to talk because you think you’ll sound stupid, you’ll never get better. Let the mistakes happen, and others who speak the language will usually help you learn.
2. Forget about grammar, momentarily
Textbooks are always drilling us about grammar, but let’s face it: grammar is one of
the hardest concepts to grasp about a new language. According to Skyscanner, “grammar doesn’t help you speak a language—it helps you improve your language skills.” Take the time to learn the most basic grammar and vocab, and then just focus on just getting your point across- you can clean your sentences later.
3. Learn key phrases before the vocabulary
Especially when you’re interning, working, or studying abroad. For example, learning how say hello, goodbye, please, thank you, and other phrases you’ll need to get around (i.e., where is a restroom) will help you become a more confident speaker.
4. Make learning inevitable
Before you travel to a region where a foreign language is spoken, be sure to utilize what you have around you. If you can, find someone who speaks the foreign language, and then talk with them so that you can get feedback and get accustomed to the interaction. Also, expose yourself to the foreign language with TV shows, music, and audio books. Even if you don’t understand all the words, you’ll get used to the sound of the language.
5. Set your phone to the language
Along with Tip #4, setting your phone to the foreign language makes learning inevitable, and since this action is so important, it is worthy of being Tip #5. Smart phones can communicate with us in various real life scenarios, and therefore you’ll be exposed to useful foreign expressions during those many virtual conversations.
6. Repeat, repeat, repeat
Practice makes perfect. Repetition will be the key to memorization and more efficient retrieval of certain linguistic substance when you’re speaking. Even if it’s for a little bit, practice every day.
Fluency in other languages has many benefits. Aside from being able to communicate more effectively in foreign countries, fluency offers a sign of respect and dedication to other cultures. As a plus, people who are bilingual tend to have stronger cultural awareness, reading comprehension, and thinking skills. Bilinguals also tend to have higher salaries on average and greater career opportunities.
For extra tips and tricks to learning a language, visit these articles:
10 Tips to Learning a Language by Babbel
Learn a Language in Hours, Not Years by Fluentin3months
Read more posts by Megan Stewart