Communication is a solid part of our daily lives and even if we do not live abroad, we are forced to use foreign languages – especially English – daily. English is everywhere…on product labels, smartphones, websites, everywhere. Thus, it is essential to know at least a basic level of a foreign language in order to thrive better even if language learning is not your main goal. This need only increases even more when one lives abroad.
So if you have decided that you want to study a new foreign language, then there is a good chance that you find tons of information and confusing tips on the internet about how to start this long journey. There is no doubt, that you might feel frustrated and don’t know where to start.
Luckily, there are many best practices which can make your job easier.
If you want to go further and master a new language from scratch, then you have to be 100% prepared for the challenge and the following bulletproof tips will help any beginner student:
memorize the most common phrases, questions
Learning a completely new foreign language is a tough challenge at first. Tons of words, weird phrases, endless amount of grammar, irregular verbs and so on. That is surely an overwhelming experience.
First of all, do not try to change the world and do everything at once. Studying a language is a long process, so give yourself time and most of all: be patient with yourself!
Try something which requires relatively low effort, yet gives you a quick feedback on your knowledge. Practice and memorize the most common expressions and phrases of your selected language, so you can reach quick success in daily life situations, where most of the time you will only need to know basic expressions.
This small but effective trick will give you confidence to continue improving yourself!
Get in touch with the language as much as you can
One day consists of 24 hours a day, which means you have several opportunities to practice or study the language during the day.
Do you commute to work? Do you like walking or running? Are you interested in the News? Do you love listening to music?
Any ways, try to study smart and seize these opportunities to learn something new.
Grab a book or your phone and read the news in the desired language you want to study during commuting to work or school. What if you prefer listening rather than reading?
No problem. Luckily, there are tons of podcasts and videos for language learners and the best is that the majority are available for free! You can even listen music or podcasts while you walk or do your daily routine.
Be creative and you will see improving results soon!
Make it a habit
There is a universal truth that the more you make something, the more you will commit to it and decrease the risk of quitting.
Philippa Lally, PhD, a senior researcher at University College London, published a study that it takes approximately 2 months on average before a new habit becomes automatic and part of your daily life.
Consistency is always the key. The beginnings are always the hardest, but if you stick to your goal you will make progress and less likely to give up.
Kerry pro tip: plan your week ahead and dedicate time for studying. Try to stick to the same time every day and try to pick a time when you are not in a hurry. Some people prefer study in the morning before starting their day, some like to study before going to bed.
Know your learning style
When it comes to learning, there is no one size fit all solution. This is especially true with foreign languages. Everyone’s different, so you can save yourself a lot of time if you get to know your own learning style.
What is a learning style?
Learning styles are originally used by educators in order to help students reaching study goals with individual methods. There are many classifications of different learning styles, but the most common model is the “VARK” model, where there are Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing and Kinesthetic learners. Based on your particular type you can decide on whether to use flashcards and pictures or reading notes, textbooks and so on.
You can discover your own learning style by doing a quick test here.
Kerry pro tip: Customize your own language learning strategy around your individual learning style, e.g. if you are a visual learner, focus on color coding or using a textbook with lots of pictures
Focus heavily on speaking and basic conversations
If you live abroad in the desired country of your new language, then simply try to engage in daily conversations with native speakers as much as you can. This small activity will give you further confidence and experience. Another great option is to find a language school where you can start your language studying journey in a more structured environment and you can practice with your teacher or other learners.
There are many available courses and language school with different methods. Try to do some research prior starting your language course since there are many different language teaching method when it comes to language schools.
For instance, Kerry Language School’s main differentiator lies in the heavy focus on speaking the selected foreign language within a short time period. Our school is not a traditional language school, since we are using a two hemispheric method, where you will finish each language lesson with instant knowledge so you can use it immediately.
Whatever method or language you choose, do not forget to stick to your goal and stay consistent and patient!