Learning a second language is a great opportunity to experience another culture! If you are learning a second language or looking to travel somewhere new overseas and wanting to be able to converse with the locals then here are my top 5 tips:
1. Do a little every day: People who practice learning a second language just a little each day end up further along with their learning. Try not to binge study, but rather aim to do around 10 minutes a day of practicing. Also, when you integrate your learning into your daily routine and make it a regular habit you will be much more likely to commit to learning a language and achieving your goals.
2. Learn at night: Studying a language before bed can help to reduce interference and assist your brain to consolidate the information more effectively. This means you are more likely to remember the words later on. Then again, you might even end up dreaming in Spanish or French!
3. Make it into a game: Learning a language doesn’t have to be boring. Make it a fun and engaging exercise by choosing interactive study methods. There are many useful and fun language learning apps such as Duolingo that you can try, or perhaps arrange some study sessions with friends to make the learning process more engaging.
4. Rely on multiple methods: You’re never going to become fluent with just one form of learning such as an app or software. It takes a combination of consistent studying with the tool or app of your choice, as well as immersing yourself in other forms of media. e.g. watching youtube videos, music videos, movies with subtitles, or reading.
5. Put yourself out there: In addition to learning through media, another key component to becoming fluent is to get out and practice speaking the language and immerse yourself in the culture! If you have the freedom to do so, travel to another country where they speak the language, speak to someone who is fluent already, talk to your friends over the phone or even have a themed dinner party to celebrate the language you and your friends are learning! You have to get over that hurdle of feeling like you might sound stupid when speaking with someone who is fluent in that language as this is the only way to eventually become fluent yourself!
I'd love to hear whether you are learning a second language or perhaps you are a multilinguist already!