Whether it’s for work, traveling abroad or to communicate better with new people, many people consider learning a language at some point in their lives. And with so many helpful tools and resources out there, learning a language is easier than ever before.
If you’re disappointed you didn’t learn a new language at school, it’s never too late. In fact, the latest research shows that adults can learn a language just as easily as children can. If you’re intent on learning a new language, here are some inspiring language learning methods that might just be perfect for you.
1. Get a Language App
There are dozens of great language learning apps out there these days. Search your phone’s app store for one you think will be a good fit. It’s a great way to dip into the language, start learning the basics, and build your confidence up. Most apps incorporate short and fun games that help to cement what you learn. Best of all, apps are ready and waiting on your phone when you find yourself with five minutes of spare time.
2. Watch TV
Yes that’s right, you can do the things you enjoy and learn a language at the same time! Watching television or movies is actually a great way to improve your language skills. You could start by watching one of your favorite TV shows with subtitles in your chosen language. Then you can switch it up and watch a show in your chosen language with English subtitles on. After a while of practicing this, you may even feel brave enough to switch off the subtitles!
3. Get Tuition
While there are plenty of ways to build up your language skills, taking language classes is one of the best ways to ensure you continuously improve. Group classes have the benefit of being able to chat and practice together with other students. However, one on one language tutoring online is ideal for taking you to the next level. You’ll get the sole attention of the tutor for the duration of your session. Students who learn in this way really notice how much they improve after each and every lesson and can additionally find discounted lessons online.
4. Label Things
Perfect for dramatically increasing your vocabulary in a language, labeling things around your home will help you learn words in a natural way. After looking at the same words day-in day-out, you’ll naturally start to soak up the vocabulary of your new language.
5. Digital Settings
Another fun way to force yourself to learn new words and terms is to change the language settings on your digital devices and channels. You could do this on your phone, tablet and laptop, as well as on digital platforms you log into regularly. This could include your email account and your social media accounts.
6. Language Exchange
A less formal way to continue building up your language skills is to find someone to do an informal language exchange with. Meet in a café or online and spend half your time talking in your language, and half the time talking in their language. You could even start by texting and emailing each other if having a full conversation seems too daunting at first. Sometimes it helps to be in a situation where you are both learning, as you know you’re helping each other out.
7. Listen to Audio
You don’t necessarily want to be always looking at a screen while learning a language. Finding some audio in your chosen language is a good way to learn and get to know the language. It’s especially good when you’re out for a walk, commuting or driving in the car.
Audio can be more than language learning tracks, although there is a place for these too. You could also try listening to a podcast, and downloading music in the language you are learning. Not only does this help you learn the language and start to recognize more words, you’ll also start to enjoy the culture of native speakers.
8. Do Something Everyday
Once the initial excitement of learning a new language has passed, it can be easy to let your learning habits slip. However, it is important to get into a routine of doing something for your language learning journey every day.
On days when your schedule is busy or you’re feeling tired, it could be as simple as revising ten words on your app, or watching an episode of a TV show with the subtitles on. You’ll feel better for doing something and keeping the language present in your mind.
It goes without saying that one of the best ways to learn a language is to travel and speak it for real. After all, this is the purpose of learning a language in the first place.
Being in a country where your new language is spoken can feel a little like being thrown in the deep end, but you’ll be amazed just how much you can say when you have to. It’s also a great boost when you see your language skills develop quickly when you live and breathe it for a while.