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,