Do you want to learn a language and don't know where to start?
1. You have to be clear about why you're doing it
It may seem obvious, but if you don't have a good reason for learning another language, you're likely to run out of motivation in the long run. Wanting to impress your friends with your level of French is not too good a motive, but wanting to really get to know a French person in their own language is definitely something else. Whatever your motivation, when you decide to learn a new language, the really important thing is to commit yourself to the fullest:
"I want to learn this, and so I'm going to do everything I can in this language, with this language, and for this language!"
2. Immerse yourself
You've made the promise, you've made the commitment, now what? Is there a right way to learn? Matthew recommends the "maximized 360° approach": no matter what tools you use to learn the language, the important thing is that you practice each and every day.
Surrounding yourself and immersing yourself in the culture of the language you are learning is very important.
Remember that the greatest benefit of speaking another language is being able to communicate with others. Being able to carry on a simple conversation is an incredible reward in itself.
"It's always in the back of my mind that it's really about adapting the way you think to the way people think in that language. Obviously there's not just one way a Spanish speaker or Hebrew speaker or Dutch speaker thinks, but the trick is to use the language to build your own idiomatic reality."
3. Find a partner
So, even if you don't have a brother or sister to join you on your language learning adventure, having a partner will push you to keep trying a little harder and stay motivated.
4. Keep it relevant
If your main goal is to have a conversation, you're less likely to get lost in textbooks and manuals. Talking to people will keep the learning process relevant to you.
5. Have fun
Use your new language in any way that is creative. The Super Polyglot Bros practiced Greek by writing and recording songs. Think of a fun way to practice your new language: make a radio show with a friend, draw a comic book, write a poem, or try to speak it with anyone you can.
6. Act like a kid
I know, this language learning tip may sound a little weird... by this I don't mean throw tantrums or get your hair in a mess when you go to a restaurant, but try to learn like children do. The idea that children are inherently better at learning than adults is a myth. New research is unable to find a direct relationship between age and the ability to learn; what better way to prove it than with Gianni's testimony. Perhaps the key to learning as fast as children do lies in taking certain childlike attitudes: lack of self-awareness (in the sense of social status), the desire to play in another language, and the willingness to make mistakes.
7. Get out of your comfort zone
Losing the fear of making mistakes means being prepared to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. Panic, right? No matter how much you study, you will never speak a language if you don't put yourself in that situation: speak to foreigners in their language, ask for directions, order food, try to make jokes. The more often you do it, the faster you will get out of your comfort zone and the easier it will be to face new situations.
8. Listen to
You have to learn to walk before you learn to run. In the same sense, you have to learn to listen before you learn to speak. Any language sounds strange the first time you hear it, but the more you listen the more familiar it becomes and the easier it will be to speak.
9. Watch others speak
Different languages demand different things from your tongue, lips and throat. Pronunciation is both physical and mental. "One way (although it may sound a little strange) is to carefully watch others as they say words that use that sound, and then try to imitate it as much as possible. Believe me, it may be hard at first, but you'll get there. It's actually an easy thing to do, you just need to practice."
10. Talk to yourself
If you don't have anyone to talk to in the language you're learning, there's nothing wrong with talking to yourself. "You may sound crazy, but, actually, talking to yourself in a language is a good way to practice if you don't have anyone else to talk to."
This can help you keep new vocabulary or new phrases fairly fresh in your mind, so you'll feel more confident when you have to use them with someone else.
Әл-Фараби атындағы ҚазҰУ, 1-курс магистранты Шарипбекова Мадина; жетекшісі - ф.ғ.к., Әл-Фараби атындағы ҚазҰУ доценті Данат Жанатаев
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