Learning a new language is a fun, exciting and challenging task. If you are planning on moving overseas to a country where the people speak a foreign language, you may need some learning tips. Although you will learn more quickly in a place where that language is spoken, picking up a language before you move will reduce culture shock and help you settle in more easily when you arrive at your destination. This article provides you with some helpful language learning tips to prepare you for your new home.
Start with the basics
When learning a new language it is easy to get overwhelmed by the amount you have to learn. Instead, focus on the basics – start with common words and common phrases. Learn shorter phrases at the beginning, then move into longer phrases as you become more confident. Some basic phrases might include: ‘Hello, how are you?’, ‘My name is…’, ‘What is your name?’, ‘I am good, thank you’, ‘Where can I find…?’. To help keep these phrases and words fresh in your mind you could buy a white board and and hang it up on the back of the toilet door, or on your fridge.
Using phrases and words you learn in conversation helps immensely when learning a language. If possible, find someone who speaks the language fluently and try to talk to them in the new language as often as possible. If you are having trouble finding someone to practice with, try an online forum like Polyglot, The Mixxer and Tongr App.
A little a day trumps a block a week
If you don’t have much time to practice a new language, it is better to put aside 30 minutes a day rather than a 2 hour block once a week. This means you will be regularly learning the language rather than trying to learn in bursts. During the time you set aside to learn, try to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible and don’t be distracted. If you are always on the go, get a learning CD for your car or copy it to your smart phone. The more you practice the better.
Listen and read
Another great way to learn is by reading or listening to material in the new language. Set a news website or interest blog in the language you are learning as your browser home page. If you enjoy music, find some music that you like and make a playlist, or watch movies or TV shows with and without subtitles. There are a variety of formats you can use to experience your new language, and thanks to the internet they are easier to access than ever.
Get the right resources
Some resources that will help you learn a new language include:
- Grammar book
- Online learning resources such as Learn a Language and Open Culture
- Language learning apps