Globalization gives millennials an incredible opportunity to travel around the world and explore other cultures. It’s the right time to learn as many foreign languages as possible. Being a polyglot doesn’t only make your traveling easier, but it can also help you get a better job, make new friends, and keep your mind sharp.
Most people think that learning a language takes years. No one wants to wait that long- it’s discouraging. The truth is that you need only six months to learn the basics of a foreign one. Yes, you will be able to say something more than just “Hello, my name is..”. In fact, in 24 weeks of commitment and hard work, you will be able to communicate with foreigners.
Learning a foreign language shouldn’t be your lifelong dream because it is easier than you think. Check out these tips to know how to learn a foreign one in only six months:
Find Your Motivation
Before you buy tutorials, schedule lessons, and let everyone on Instagram know about learning a foreign language, make a list of things that motivate you to keep going.
You should list as many reasons as possible. Every time you will want to skip a lesson and watch a movie instead, read that list.
Your learning process should be entertaining. That’s why you need to start playing games in a foreign language. You can play with native speakers or other students. If you can’t find anyone to play with, consider playing video games with people from all around the world.
Here is the list of games that can help you improve your vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation:
- Twenty questions
In order to learn spellings, you should start playing Scrabble. If you have any problems with solving anagrams, feel free to use Unscramblex.
Have you ever wondered how you managed to learn your first language when you were a baby? Basically, you learned it just by listening.
Listening is one of the most important strategies for learning a foreign language. That’s why you should listen to podcasts, watch movies or news, and even eavesdrop on people’s conversations ( but be careful here) daily.
Of course, at the very beginning, you will not be able to understand even 10% of what other people are saying. However, it shouldn’t discourage you. Later you will know more words and grammar rules, and it will be easier to understand. Just keep listening.
You might also want to choose materials suited to your level. Consider watching a cartoon or listening to a podcast made by a teacher. Listen to a specific language feature, such as rhythms and tones. And try to repeat some words and sentences with the same intonation.
Let’s say you know only a few words in a foreign language. It means you can already start practicing! A lot of students make the same mistake: they don’t speak to native speakers of the one they are learning because they are afraid to make a mistake. Of course, you will make a mistake, tons of them. It’s a part of every learning process.
If you don’t have foreign friends, find native speakers online. You can either pay them for the lessons or offer language exchange ( they might be interested in practicing your native one as well!).
The best thing that you can do is to travel to a country where your chosen language is spoken. It will help you create a very stressful situation for yourself and learn faster. The author of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert, used this method to learn Italian. She had an immense desire to learn it! No wonder, she managed to become fluent after only three months of staying in Rome.
If you can’t afford a trip to another country, consider becoming a host on the Couch-surfing platform to practice your language skills with foreigners. Also, look for the exchange clubs in your city.
Indeed, learning a foreign language is a true adventure. You never know how many great people you will meet on your way and where it will lead you. You already have everything for learning and practicing, so don’t miss your chance!