Language learning can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can become an exciting and rewarding journey. In this post, we’ll introduce you to eight of the best language learning methods for all skill levels.
For those who need order and organization, a full-service language program that guides you step-by-step may be just what the doctor ordered. There are various options available, including textbooks with written exercises and audio listening components, online courses or programs, apps, YouTube channel playlists, and in-person or online classes.
One of the best places to find your language program is your local public library. Search the 400s section using the Dewey Decimal System to locate the language books of your choice. Amazon and Google Books are additional resources for finding a language learning program that fits your needs. They usually allow you to preview a book before buying it.
Once you find a program you like, stick with it. Switching back and forth between different programs may deter your progress since they don’t go at the same pace or follow the same patterns.
Some online programs we recommend are Mango Languages, Pimsleur, FluentU, italki, and Busuu. For more language learning courses, check out our post here.
When you can’t travel abroad to a country that speaks your target language, the next best thing is to pretend you’re there. Put Post-it notes or sticky labels on items around you to help you learn their names in your target language. You can even buy yourself a pre-made Vocabulary Stickers set, which gives you fun, color-coded labels for the most common items in your home and office.
When you can’t label things—like in public—try to think of the word in the language. If you don’t know it, jot down a note and look it up later. Be curious about the world around you and how it would be talked about if you were in another country.
Flashcards are a proven way to memorize learning material. When you’re learning a language, you want to learn it for life. Flashcards can get vocabulary to stick, but only if you keep using them consistently. The best way to remember words and phrases is to be exposed to them frequently.
Keep your memory sharp by using flashcards every day—even for just five minutes. Rotate your flashcards in logical themes, such as objects in the kitchen, verbs related to sports, and vocabulary for the workplace. Introduce new vocabulary regularly, but if you find yourself forgetting words you thought you knew, you might want to go back and revisit them.
Some of our favorite flashcard resources are Brain Grinder, Anki, Chegg, Quizlet, and Memrise.
Reading the news in your target language is a great way to stay connected to current events happening in the country, regardless of your level (even as a beginner). Regularly reading in the language exposes you to various words and grammatical structures, many of which you might not encounter in your regular language studies.
You can find an online newspaper from just about any country online. For example, a quick Google search for “newspapers in China” brings up Asia Today, Beijing Daily, and Chinese Daily. The website Online Newspapers provides comprehensive lists of newspapers around the world. Look for simple topics like celebrity news or local crime events when browsing headlines.
A bonus to this technique is that you’ll learn a lot about the culture and people that speak the language you’re learning. As you continue to read more, challenge yourself to try more difficult texts. You may be surprised by how quickly you’ve advanced using this technique!
Learning a new language can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it can also be a challenging one, especially if you’re not sure where to start. If you’re looking to improve your language skills, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier and more effective.
One of the most important things you can do when learning a new language is to practice speaking it. Practice is the key to improvement, and the more you speak the language, the better you will become. One of the best ways to practice speaking is to find a conversation partner.
Joining a Meetup group is a great way to find people who are also learning the language you want to learn. You can practice speaking with them and learn from those who are more advanced than you. You can also help those who are less advanced by teaching them new words and phrases, which can reinforce what you’ve already learned.
Another option is to find a language exchange partner. In a language exchange, you’ll meet regularly with someone who speaks the language you’re trying to learn. Instead of paying them, you’ll spend some time tutoring or conversing with them in a language you know. This can be a great way to get one-on-one time with a native speaker and to make a new friend.
There are also several language exchange apps you can use to find a partner, such as HelloTalk, Tandem, and italki. These apps allow you to connect with people from all over the world who are also learning the language you want to learn.
In addition to finding a conversation partner, it’s also important to think like a kid when learning a new language. Adults often struggle with learning new things because they become rigid in their thinking and develop a fear of failure. Children, on the other hand, are less judgmental and more willing to try new things and make mistakes.
Try to keep an open mind when learning your language and actively break down your own preconceived notions of how it should be structured based on what you already know. Don’t judge yourself, and don’t be afraid to use the language you’re learning, even if you make mistakes. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, and you’ll never become fluent if you don’t let yourself try.
Learning a new language can be a fun and rewarding experience if you approach it with an open mind and a willingness to practice. Finding a conversation partner and thinking like a kid are two great ways to improve your language skills and make the learning process easier and more effective. So, get out there, practice speaking, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
Setting goals is an important aspect of any learning process. It gives you a sense of direction and helps you stay motivated. When it comes to learning a new language, setting goals can be especially helpful.
Think about what you want to achieve with your language learning. Do you want to be able to have a basic conversation in the language? Do you want to be able to read and understand a newspaper article? Do you want to be able to give a presentation in the language?
Once you have a clear idea of your goals, break them down into smaller, achievable steps. For example, if your goal is to have a basic conversation in the language, you could start by learning common phrases for greeting people, asking for directions, and ordering food in a restaurant.
Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, and realistic. It’s also important to set a deadline for achieving each goal. This will help you stay on track and monitor your progress.
Remember to celebrate your achievements along the way. Learning a new language is a challenging process, and it’s important to acknowledge your hard work and progress.
Children’s stories are a great resource for language learners of all levels. They are usually simple and easy to understand, which makes them ideal for beginners. They also often use repetition, which helps reinforce vocabulary and grammar structures.
Reading children’s stories in your target language can help you improve your reading skills and expand your vocabulary. It’s also a fun way to immerse yourself in the language and learn about the culture.
You can find children’s stories in your target language online or at your local library. Look for books with simple language and colorful illustrations. You can also find audio versions of many children’s books online, which can help improve your listening skills.
Some popular children’s stories that are available in multiple languages include “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, and “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss.
Learning a new language can be a challenging but rewarding experience. The key is to find a method that works for you and stick with it. Whether you prefer a structured language program or a more relaxed approach, there are many techniques you can use to improve your language skills.
Some of the best language learning methods include finding a program and sticking with it, labeling your stuff in the language, using flashcards consistently, reading the news in the language, finding a conversation partner, thinking like a kid, setting goals for yourself, and using children’s stories.
Remember to be patient with yourself and celebrate your achievements along the way. With consistent effort and dedication, you can achieve your language learning goals and open up a whole new world of opportunities.