e-book Practical and Effective Tips for Learning Foreign Languages

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Spending time on learning obscure animals and kitchen utensils isn't going to help you much. At least initially, though take it from an expat, at some point you're really going to be desperate for the word for spatula or wasp. Learn just enough grammar to be able to do this and do it until you feel pretty comfortable with all of them," suggests Manson. You don't need a teacher or even a conversation partner to practice your language skills. We all have monologues running in our head, and typically they run in our native tongue. You can continue to practice and construct sentences and fake conversations in your head in a new language," explains Manson.

My Greek tutor who is in no way to blame for my slow progress. I'm not always the most dedicated student is currently studying Turkish, and swears by this technique.

Language Learning Tips | Effective Language Learning

Whenever he goes for a run, he challenges himself to describe what he sees around him in Turkish. The third app we would recommend is Busuu. This app also uses interactive manners and quizzes in order to emphasise memorisation. The app has five levels beginner, elementary, intermediate, upper intermediate and travel and it is especially useful for people who need to dapt quickly to a new environment as it teaches many sentences and basic conversational forms that can be applied instantly in the foreign country. If you simply want to learn a few basic phrases, OmniGlot is an excellent website providing totally free overviews of the most essential phrases in hundreds of languages.

12 Languages Later, My Best Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

Old-fashioned language books are a great alternative for people who are not as fond of technology or learners who simply appreciate opening a book and going step by step from there. The disadvantages are obviously linked to the fact that books do not offer the same interactive, lively teaching methods as online courses.

Here is a list of some of the best textbooks for several languages:. Libro del alumno CD English edition. A highly effective method to learn a language while sitting on your cosy desk at home is to engage in a skype conversation with a native speaker. There are several companies offering online exchanges between learners and teachers. The best one is in our view Italki. Their offer of languages is extensive, and the quality of the registered teachers is excellent.

They moreover offer the possibility to choose between thousands of teachers and to fix the date and time yourself which will enable you to fit language classes into your daily schedule.

1. Intensity of study trumps length of study.

This is obviously highly dependent on whether you live in a large cosmopolitan metropolis or in a small town without a foreigner community. If you are fortunate enough to live in a city where such events exist, you should definitely attend these events as they offer an easy way to meet native speakers and to practice the language you are learning first hand.


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I used to live in Cologne , the fourth largest German city with a large student, expat and immigrant population. One bar organised an event called Mundo Lingo every Wednesday during which the organisers distributed little flags to put on your shirt, helping you to quickly spot the people who speak the language you want to learn.

This was a great event because it was a way to practice languages but most of all it was a casual drink in a bar without the academic feel to it. If you already have some academic basics in the language but lack exposure to the more common way of speaking, reading books and watching movies is a great idea. The advantages of movies, television and music are linked to the fact that it will show you the quicker, more casual way of speaking the language.


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The most instructive way to watch a movie is to watch it with matching subtitles in its original language. For example, if you want to improve your Spanish, you can watch the Che Guevara movies in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. Doing a course abroad is one of the most fruitful ways to learn any language. You will have a teacher and you will be in a country where the language you are learning is spoken. A great company to book courses abroad is ESL Swiss language schools. Having used them 3 times, I can vouch for the quality of their courses and services. They have partnerships with local schools and they review them very frequently and thereby check if the quality of the local school still fits the standard expected in Switzerland, yes, your read correctly, Switzerland.

This method only has one significant downside, its price. You will always pay more for an actual course abroad than for an online course, but you should keep in mind that this method combines learning a language with a potentially memorable travel experience. If you truly want to learn how to speak a language, you sometimes have to get out of your comfort zone and take a leap of fate.

For many of our panellists, reading was not only great for making progress, but one of the most rewarding aspects of the learning experience. Memorising lists of vocabulary can be challenging, not to mention potentially dull. Ed Cooke, co-founder and chief executive of Memrise, believes that association is key to retaining new words: You are a monolingual adult: As children we learn languages organically and instinctively; as adults we can learn them systematically. Different approaches may be necessary at different stages of the learning process.

7 Tips to Learn a New Language

Once you have reached a certain level of proficiency and can say quite a bit, fairly accurately, Rebecca Braun, senior lecturer in German studies at Lancaster University, says it is typical to feel a slowing down in progress. Many of the panellists were cautious of the F-word. Travel and living abroad can complement learning in the classroom: Read the full discussion here. Make realistic, specific goals You have decided to learn another language.