Learning a new language can seem like an impossible task, especially if you’re trying to learn on your own with limited resources and time. But the most important thing to remember when learning any language, whether it’s Japanese or Spanish, is that it takes time and practice over an extended period of time to really make any real progress. To help you meet these goals, here are four tips for learning languages on your own
Tip 1: Make language learning a daily habit
This can be anything from 15 minutes a day of focused study to listening in-between activities. The important thing is that you’re aiming for something just slightly outside your comfort zone and make it consistent. The more you do it, the better you get and eventually, you’ll notice that your brain will start picking up new words or sounds without any extra effort on your part. So don’t feel like you have to learn Languages Tutor an entire language in one sitting (unless your goal is fluency) because at first, no matter how dedicated you are, there are going to be gaps. That’s okay—you can learn how to fill them later.
Tip 2: Learn the right words the right way
When learning any language, it’s important to learn words in context. Often, that means speaking with native speakers. For many learners, finding these people can be difficult and even expensive. However, if you’re learning for travel or work purposes, you may have access to resources or other people in your situation who want or need help with their language skills and are willing to swap free tutoring for your own efforts teaching them English. Consider meeting up with these people once a week at Starbucks and practicing regularly with them; it’ll pay off in spades as both parties improve over time. In addition, make sure you learn new words every day through movies or podcasts featuring speakers at your level of proficiency as well as real-life conversations as much as possible! Remember: speak from day one!
Tip 3: Immersing yourself in your target language is key
Sure, you can learn how to say Where is my hat? without speaking any Pashto Language. But it’s much harder for your brain to associate language with words if you’ve never actually spoken or heard those words before—in other words, there’s no substitute for actually using your target language in real life. In fact, research has shown that people who actively use languages they’re learning score better on tests of their ability.
Tip 4: Practice speaking as early as possible
Speaking is one of those skills that should be practiced as early as possible. Students usually think about practicing writing or reading before speaking, but if you want to learn fast, then you should definitely practice speaking as soon as possible. Your brain needs to get used to making sentences in your target language and it’s easier if you do it from day one. Plus, if you wait too long, it will be more difficult because by then your brain already has rigid patterns of how things are done in your native language and will resist change. So take note: once you have learned enough words and phrases in your target language (at least 50) and have grasped at least basic grammar rules, start using them right away!