4 Tips for Learning a New Language

It isn’t easy to become bilingual. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult things that you ever do. If you’re up for the challenge, however, here are just four steps that you can take to increase your odds of success.

1. Start Small

This is where a lot of people go wrong. They load themselves up with textbooks, notebooks and flashcards and burn themselves out trying to learn everything within a week. A better way to become bilingual is to download an app or sign up for a language course where you’re given small, regular lessons that will be absorbed into your brain over time.

2. Consume Foreign-Language Media

Watch shows and movies in the language that you’re trying to learn. Listen to music and look up the lyrics. Try to read a popular book. Not only will this be much more entertaining than your standard lessons, but it will also expose you to natural, real-world dialogue that isn’t overly stiff and formal.

3. Get Professional Help

While there’s nothing wrong with being self-taught, it can become a heavy burden. If you need someone to help you carry this weight, consider signing up for German conversational workshops or Chinese language summer programs. Having guided direction can make all of the difference in your language-learning, especially if you’re a beginner.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice

At the end of the day, there’s no better way to learn a new language than to practice it with diligence. You won’t get any more fluent just by staring at your textbooks! You’ll need to crack them open and get to work. Aim for a consistent study schedule if you can; otherwise, just sneak in some language practice whenever possible.

These are just a few tips for learning a foreign language. As you can see, there’s a lot more to the process than simply conjugating verbs and memorizing funny phrases, so make sure that you’re fully committed before you begin. You’ll need a large amount of determination if you truly want to become fluent in a second language.

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