5 Tips To Help You Learn A Foreign Language

5 Tips To Help You Learn A Foreign Language

Around the same time last year, I wrote a post giving you five reasons why you should learn foreign languages. One is more than enough though. Depending on your work I assume. But again, easier said than done. Learning a foreign language is not like learning how to ride a bike. Practice is not enough, you need full immersion to better learn it and not forget it. Yet, not everyone is lucky enough to go study or work in a foreign country. Hence why I put together this list of easy tips to help you learn a foreign language.

1. Read books in that language
Reading in your own language has great health and educational benefits. You improve your general knowledge, grammar, develop your writing style and imagination. Well, the same happens in a foreign language. Reading in a foreign language will enhance your comprehension of said language, enrich your vocabulary and help you improve your grammar. You will learn about aspects of the language that a classroom would not have had time to teach you. Finally, you’ll also discover many new authors and titles, which can always prove useful at pub quizzes!

2. Watch movies in that language
I would personally advise that you start with kid movies and cartoons. The language will be rather simple to allow comprehension from the little ones and will be great practice for you. Watching Disney movies in English and the Winx Club in Italian helped me quite a lot in better understanding both spoken English and Italian. Try to diversify what you watch so that you get familiar with as many accents and regional peculiarities as possible. If you are learning French, start with France French before attempting to watch anything in Québec French. Believe me it is for your own good!

3. Join a university society
If you are currently attending or have attended university, you probably were part of some student societies. Business and modern jazz societies as far as I am concerned. However, a friend of mine from New Zealand was learning French and signed up to the French society. She attended so many French-related events: quizzes, balls, award ceremonies, dinners with the French ambassador (yes, yes, absolutely!), cultural events, trips and many more opportunities to speak in French. As a result, her French was really good! She had been learning it for three years but it was as if she had learnt if for ten years! She just grabbed any opportunity to practice!

4. Organize meet up with a native speaker
The best way to learn a language is to be fully immersed into the culture. Yet, there might be an easier way to achieve a good level: meeting up regularly with a native speaker. It can be around a cup of coffee, for a cocktail or any shared interest. This is something you can easily arrange at university either through a student association or the Erasmus association. An exchange student will love the opportunity to improve in the target language, to find out more about the country, get a bit of help too, while you will also improve in the other language. Maybe have one evening dedicated to speaking one language and the next one to the other one.

5. Lesson exchange with a native speaker
Last but not least, you can get some extra lessons. With a native speaker of course. Again, arrange this through university if possible. If not, well, use your network or leave an ad somewhere, stating that you want to exchange language lessons. Let’s say you want to learn Russian, find a Russian who wants to learn your language. If you can’t afford actual lessons with a professor, this is a great alternative. Usually also funnier and more enjoyable. You’ll both be a teacher to the other one and meeting for that purpose only at first, but who knows, it could turn into a beautiful friendship!

Do you speak any foreign language? If so, how many? One, two, more? What are your tips to help improve your foreign language skills? Have you tried any of these? Any that you’d want to add to that list?

I hope you liked this post. Thanks for reading.

See you soon,
Love,
Corinne

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83 Comments

  1. December 31, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    These are some really helpful tips. Thank you for sharing! I’m currently trying to learn Japanese and it’s so hard but I’m going to try these tips..

  2. Lisa Dimaline
    December 31, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    Great ideas I haven’t thought about learning another language since I was at school maybe I should have it as a goal for 2018! Thanks for sharing 😊

  3. December 31, 2017 / 11:57 pm

    This is such a great post. My parents speak 4 languages but I only picked up 1 second language. I would really love to learn more!! Came from twitter 🙂

  4. January 1, 2018 / 11:49 am

    I speak two languages and a know 3 more but not really proficient but I must say it’s tough trying to learn and these tips would be help for sure

  5. January 1, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    I don’t speak a different language. I did take up some French in school many years ago though. I do have an interest in it now though and maybe have better luck with the discipline it requires.

  6. January 1, 2018 / 12:57 pm

    These are all great tips. I would only add one more. Go and spend at least year in that country if you can. I know it’s always possible but it’s amazing how quickly you learn when everyone around you is speaking a different language. In South Africa we have 11 official languages and I’m fluent in 2 of those and understand 4 more, not very well mind you, I still get the verbs confused often 😉

  7. January 1, 2018 / 1:54 pm

    I would love to learn a foreign language. I currently only speak English. I’m hoping your tips will help me expand that.

  8. January 1, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    Very good advice. When I was in college I was fluent in Spanish, not enough to pass as a native speaker, surely. But I could hold my own in conversations with native speakers. The best thing we did was a weekly conversation hour (that often ran into two and three hours!) with native speakers from a variety of countries. Sadly, I’ve not used the skill much in the intervening years and so I’m quite rusty these days.

  9. January 1, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    Awesome! I really good wanna learn a foreign language.

    I don’t know if I should go with French or Spanish yet!

    I came across duolingo and I’ll be using it and also some tips here

  10. Huda
    January 1, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    Those are some great tips! I did a little bit of French in school and I only know how to speak basic French but I do want to become more advanced in it! I agree with you in that watching movies in that language really helps! 💕💕

  11. January 1, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    I definitely found that reading books in the new language was immensely helpful when I took German classes last year, seeing the words actually in context really helped with vocabulary acquisition, as well as grammar! I really should have joined a university society, can’t believe I didn’t think of that! Excellent ideas, thank you for sharing!

    Abbey 😘 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  12. veronica
    January 1, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    I loved this post! Was really helpful.

  13. January 1, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    I would love to learn another language and actually be fluent in it, especially sign language or maybe Spanish!

    I’ll definitely bookmark this for when I take the leap and start learning 😊

  14. January 1, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    These are amazing tips! I’ve wanted to learn a new language for so long but it’s so much harder now than when I first tried in school. I’ve never tried reading in another language though so I might try that x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

  15. January 1, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    Some really useful tips! I want to to try and learn a foreign language again, I did French until I was 14 and German until I was 16 and can’t remember a thing! Will have to remember these tips for the future!!

  16. January 1, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    Great post! And I agree, learning a new language is a cool thing to do, but also a lot of effort.

    Watching movies in a foreign language is great! Especially when you already know what’s going on… I find that hearing the proper sounds helps so much. (Though when I started with English, I watched procedural dramas, and I cannot recommend doing that – way too many words I didn’t even know in German!)

    I also like to check out local news websites. The journalists speak and write very clearly, plus it’s great to learn more about the country.
    I also try journaling in my target language, but I can only recommend it if you have lots of time to spare! 😀
    Sometimes I also change the language on my phone, but you need to be quite fluent already or you’ll be constantly scared of killing all your files or something :D.

  17. Abbie
    January 1, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    This is super interesting as I am wanting to learn a new language this year. I have decided to take on the challenge of learning Chinese on duolingo so watching TV shows in that language may be a tip I definitely take up.

    Abbie
    overpeachchic.com

  18. Ayse
    January 1, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    This is such a great post and I really want to start learning French so it’s amazing that I read this post for some help and ideas! I’m going to make it my goal for this year to learn to speak some French! X

  19. January 1, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    I love the 2 languages I’m learning, so will try and apply a few of these tips this year! 😊
    Amy x

  20. January 1, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    Wonderful ideas! I am not the best with this type of learning as I am easily distracted and my concertration isn’t the best but I will remember these tips, I do want to improve myself 🙂

  21. January 1, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    Good tips. I speak Spanish (actually my first language) and have maintained my skills through all of these tips, mostly because we speak it at my parents’ home. I also learned a bit of Portuguese through YouTube and then discovered a co-worker was fluent in it so we tried to speak it for a while each day. Good practice for her and instructional for me.

  22. Sunkissed Scribbles
    January 1, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    These are some excellent tips. I remember some of the German I learnt at school. And a few years ago, I tried to learn some Russian but that got VERY confusing because their letters are all different. I don’t really have the patience to learn a new language at the moment. But I do like the idea of a lesson exchange with a native speaker.

  23. January 1, 2018 / 6:20 pm

    These are such brilliant tips! Whenever I go to a foreign country, I try to learn the basics through a CD or a book, but it is so easy to forget! I definitely agree with watching a film, as thats what we used to do in Italian class and it was easier to understand the language when properly put together! I haven’t practiced another language in so long, but it’s definitely something I think I will consider in the future!

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

  24. January 1, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    This is such a great post for all those hoping to learn a new language in the new year. I would love to learn a second language, thanks for all the tips.

  25. January 1, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    Firstly, Happy New Year! Some great tips! I am trying to learn Spanish and have found some fab apps on the phone also.

    Holly xx
    http://www.ldnmuse.com

  26. January 1, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    I speak French and am trying to learn Spanish at the moment with the Duolingo app. The one thing I think is most important is finding people to practice with, particularly native speakers who can help you improve!

  27. January 1, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    I speak a few three to four but as a foreign language the best way I got learn a bit was watching movies and programs in that language, and it really did work because the words would get stuck and I would end up remembering according to the situation. These are really great tips.

  28. Jay Colby
    January 1, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    I’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language. These are great tips!

  29. January 1, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    I would love to learn another language. I need to try these tips. I took French in high school and college so I’d want to continue with that. My son is learning Spanish in high school!

  30. January 1, 2018 / 10:50 pm

    These are some great tips! English is my first language but living in a country where the native tongue is Spanish, I definitely had to learn how to pick up the language. Listening to music and watching movies in Spanish helped a lot, as well as listening to others talk. 🙂 Love this post! xo

  31. January 1, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    I am bilingual but I would love to learn new languages as I think it would be wonderful if you visit a new country and know some basic words in their language. I would love to learn Italian and I agree that a lesson exchange with a native speaker is a great idea!

  32. January 1, 2018 / 11:23 pm

    I am usually not good with languages. But I find your tips quite practical. Watching movies in the language sounds like an entertaining way to learn a language.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  33. January 1, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    When I was learning Spanish, my class with to Costa Rica. We were there for a week and stayed with other foreign exchange students. Some of them were there for the entire summer. They told us that if we wanted to truly learn the language, we would need to stay there for at least 6 weeks. I wish I was able to return and do that but life happened and I moved on to something else.

  34. January 2, 2018 / 12:41 am

    I speak VERY little Spanish and even less French. I took both in High School and wish I could’ve have picked them up, but my brain just doesn’t seem to grasp anything but English and that’s iffy sometimes. lol

  35. January 2, 2018 / 2:03 am

    These are such great tips, not just for learning another language but also for keeping up with it. I took Spanish throughout grade school and high school and I have recently been brushing up on it just to keep things fresh. I also grew up speaking dialectical Italian. A few years back I decided that I wanted to be fluent in Italian (proper Italian) and began practicing constantly, I found myself correcting the dialect words my mother would use (much to her chagrin) but I look for any way I can to practice my language skills. Speaking multiple languages is such a wonderful resource to have, especially here in the US where so many refuse to learn more than one. I recommend using apps on your phone that allow you to practice for spells of time when you might get rusty. I have used Duolingo a few times for that purpose. Now I mostly just have conversations with my toddler in foreign languages so she grows up multi-lingual. lol

  36. January 2, 2018 / 2:19 am

    These are very helpful tips! Matter fact my 2018 goal is to learn a foreign language. I am definitely going to try these tips out.

  37. Diana
    January 2, 2018 / 4:52 am

    Great advice.Learning a mew language is so good for everyone.I would love to learn a second language, thanks for all the tips.

  38. January 2, 2018 / 5:14 am

    These are great tips! I’ve been learning Spanish since elementary school, but still struggle. In college, we were assigned a book to read. It could be difficult at times, but helpful. We should’ve started out with children’s books. 😆

  39. January 2, 2018 / 9:05 am

    These are great tips! I used to be very good at Spanish, but over the years I’ve lost it! I have an app that is fun to use. Thank you for these tips, I hope they’ll help me in the New Year!

  40. January 2, 2018 / 10:24 am

    Great tips – I don’t speak any other languages but I’d love to learn German xxx

  41. January 2, 2018 / 11:08 am

    I so wish I had the patience to learn a new language! Lots of useful and helpful tips here 🙂

  42. January 2, 2018 / 12:57 pm

    when I learned French during my post graduate studies, I watched a lot of French films. It helped me learn more. It was fun too!

  43. January 2, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    It would be very helpful if I fluently spoke another language and maybe someday in the future I will. These are great tips!

  44. Rosey
    January 2, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    My son said about two years ago that he was going to teach himself Spanish. He started listening to only Spanish radio while he was in the car. He’s still doing that and not only is he speaking the language well he’s also nailed the accent.

  45. January 2, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    Not easy but possible. Using the foreign language you want to learn everyday and speaking it with a native speaker would really help a lot for easy memorization and proper pronunciation too.

  46. January 2, 2018 / 7:15 pm

    These are some amazing tips. I do want to learn more foreign languages, planning to start French first as my daughter has already started her classes for it. I do plan to watch movies and read books and it would be a great boost for my daughter’s learning too.

  47. January 2, 2018 / 7:45 pm

    When I was in college and taking Spanish courses, several of my classmates and I would get together after class and watch Spanish soap operas to brush up. It was pretty neat once we started being able to follow the storylines.

  48. January 2, 2018 / 7:50 pm

    Oh these are really helpful tips, thank you. I regret not taking the chance to learn new languages, I hope to learn Spanish.

  49. January 2, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Great tips!
    I’m a non-native English speaker but I’ve been reading and watching TV shows/films in English since I’m a teen.
    I learned a lot of new words everyday and am almost fluent now.
    I would love to learn Spanish.

  50. January 2, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    I would love to learn a foreign language, some great tips here to make a start with. 💕

  51. January 2, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    I really like the tip suggesting a lesson exchange with a native speaker. I’ve always been told that immersion is the quickest way to learn a lesson, so I feel learning directly from someone who not only speaks the language, but understands all the nuances of the language (in a way that sometimes professors do not) could be really helpful!

  52. January 2, 2018 / 8:03 pm

    Some great tips here. Learning a foreign language can be great and I also think even listening to some videos on YouTube may help.

  53. January 2, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    These are actually really helpful! I’ve always struggled to learn a foreign language. The closest I got is with Italian but I’m still not very good haha x

  54. January 2, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    Great tips! I want to learn a few languages. I love watching movies in the language, I imagine that works very well for the movies that you’ve seen in English.

  55. January 2, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    Great post! I’ve been learning Korean for a few months now, and all of these tips are super helpful!
    ellie | elliekblog.blogspot.co.uk xx

  56. January 2, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    Such a great idea! This is so inspiring to learn something new!

  57. January 2, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    Great post! I’ve been learning Korean for a few months now, and all of these tips are super helpful! xx

  58. January 2, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    I’ve always struggled with learning new languages, I wasn’t very good at school (we had to learn 5!) but maybe if I focused on just one it would come to me easier. It’s crazy how much you can pick up watching a foreign film with subtitles though!

    Beth x
    isthisseattaken.net

  59. January 2, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    These are really useful tips! Thank you for sharing 💖. I learned French in school but forgotten it all and can only ask where the bin is now. I imagine learning a language is really rewarding, I may try it again in the future ☺️ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  60. January 2, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Speaking multiple languages is such an important thing to be able to do. I’d love to learn another language.

  61. January 2, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    I have to say these tips are spot on. Coming from someone who is originally from Italy and speaks fluent English (and blogs in English too), this is so the way to go!
    I never really meant to learn English, it just happened, but I definitely did the first two points. By the end of the year I was already almost fluent. It then took me another year to basically become bilingual and that happened through the good old forums where I would chat with people from all over the world.
    One other tip that helps is listening to loads of music and reading the lyrics whilst you’re listening. It helps you understand pronunciation SO much! But be aware that you might end sounding like the vocalists so choose a band/singer that has a good accent whatever the language. I can now say people truly believe I’m British born and bred… and I’ve only been living in England not even 4 years haha

  62. January 2, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    I have been dying to learn a language! I did French and Spanish at school and got an A and A* respectively but could barely use a word of either now! Thanks for these awesome tips!

    Chloe ❤ http://www.anomalouschloe.com

  63. January 3, 2018 / 2:39 am

    Great tips! I regret not learning another language. I would love to learn Italian and Spanish and hope to for the New Year.

  64. Gemille Sleweon
    January 3, 2018 / 3:37 am

    I speak both English and French as well as a dialect called Koloqua from my native country Liberia. I’ve been wanting to learn Spanish and I believe your tips would be very helpful.

  65. January 3, 2018 / 3:39 am

    I’m trying to learn Spanish now. I believe listening to music in that language helps too!

  66. Leigh Anne Borders
    January 3, 2018 / 3:49 am

    I would really love to learn to speak another language. I remember doing this in high school but alas I only remember a tiny bit of Spanish!

  67. January 3, 2018 / 8:29 am

    I’m currently studying Chinese, Japanese and French so I love love love reading posts like this. Thank you for sharing!

  68. January 3, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Wow these are really good tips to learn a foreign language… this article was of great help to me .. as im planning to learn few new languages this year..

  69. January 3, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    These are so helpful. I downloaded an app called duolingo and I find that very useful.

  70. January 3, 2018 / 2:28 pm

    Great post! I used to listen to the music and learn that way as well. All great points in this list and I never thought about reading books in another language. So simple and effective. Thank you!

  71. January 3, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    I want to learn Spanish and Deutsch languages. I need to find time to do that.

  72. January 3, 2018 / 5:34 pm

    love these ideas! I also like to change my facebook to that language!! That with the movies is always super helpful!

  73. January 3, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    I love these tips for learning a different language. I regret not sticking to Spanish in grade school through high school and into college. I think it could have been very beneficial. Maybe I will take it up soon!

  74. lavandaMichelle
    January 3, 2018 / 11:13 pm

    These are some really simple and great tips.I will be implementing these soon with my family to assist in our learning Spanish.

  75. January 4, 2018 / 1:08 am

    I so wish I had these tips when I was taking Spanish classes at the beginning of my college courses! I don’t remember much of it now but if I spent more time talking to other native speakers and other students in it I probably would have retained so much more!

  76. Sara
    January 4, 2018 / 1:47 am

    These are great tips. I would love to pick up another language.

  77. January 4, 2018 / 2:06 am

    Great tips. I have tried to learn Spanish in school but always had a hard time. What you recommend sounds great.

  78. lavandaMichelle
    January 4, 2018 / 3:17 am

    These will help me and the family. We are learning Spanish together this year.

  79. Nicole Flint
    January 4, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    Every year, I always say it’s going to be my goal to learn a new language but I always end up not doing it! These are great tips.

  80. January 5, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    Some really good tips & a great starting point. I always say I would love to learn a new language & I never do. I love the way you’ve broke it up & I am certainly going to give it a try.

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