By Oksana Moroz, ELP Intern and Instructor
“The more languages you know, the more times you are a person,” said a Ukrainian philosopher. However, before knowing a language, you should learn it. Learning a foreign language can be a tricky, frustrating, annoying, and time-consuming process. But it also gives you enjoyment, satisfaction, and the world of opportunities. In this post, I will elaborate on my strategies to learn a new language, and maybe some of them will be useful for you.
- Ask yourself why you want to learn a foreign language.
Always have a goal in mind. Is it for traveling, shopping, communicating with other people, or understanding the words of your favorite song? The purpose will make your learning meaningful.
- Do not learn a language alone.
Learning a language on your own is boring. Find a friend or a conversation partner that you can talk to and practice the language with. Together, you can help each other to improve.
- Mistakes are OK.
Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Do not let those mistakes discourage you from speaking. The more you speak, the better your language becomes. If your tongue becomes numb and you are unable to open your mouth to produce a sentence because you do not want to make mistakes, think before you speak. Speaking slowly will also help to avoid mistakes.
- Immerse yourself in the language.
Try to surround yourself with the language you learn as much as you can. Watch movies, videos, listen to the music, read short novels, news reports, and so on. All of these activities will contribute to your language learning.
- Practice, practice, practice!
Language needs to be used in order to be remembered. If you stop practicing, you’ll lose it. Practice a language you learn every day and wait for that “aha” moment when you master a foreign language.