Learning a new language can be fun but also incredibly frustrating. Some people are able to speak a new language within months whereas for others it can take a lot longer. When learning the new language it is important to incorporate the 6 main aspects: reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary. Your focus may depend on what you need the language for but in general you will need to study all of these points in order to achieve a good level.
Living in the same country where the language is spoken is a huge plus and should be taken advantage of as you are provided with constant exposure to the language throughout the day.
Here are some tips to ensure that your language learning is successful!
1. Find a good language school or teacher
Finding a good school or teacher is probably the most important part of your learning process! Small group classes are usually a good way to go as they provide personal attention but are more fun than just having a class one on one. For people who need to focus on something specific or need to acquire the target language in a very short time, perhaps individual classes would be best. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with your classes and make sure that you are being taught in a learning style that works for you!
2. Television and movies
This is a great way to expose yourself to the language as well as learn about the local culture. It can be helpful if you watch it with subtitles of the target language as well and that way you can read and listen to the language at the same time.
Try to read something everyday even if it is just one article. Find a topic that interests you and look for an online magazine or news agency that has information on that topic. Take out your dictionary and write down all the words that you don’t understand. You should be able to understand 80% of what you are reading otherwise its probable that the level is too high.
Listening to music or audiobooks is a fun way to familiarize yourself with the language. The best part is that you can do something else while you are listening. If you have a long commute this can be an ideal time to immerse yourself in the new language.
5. Language exchange program
Many big cities offer language exchange programs. This can be a cheap or free way to practice the new language as well as meet new people. The way they usually work is you spend 50% of the time talking your native language and the other 50% of the time talking the target language. There are groups that organize gatherings or you can put up an ad on a site like craigslist looking for a language partner.
It is important to try to have fun while you are learning the new language. It can be a long process but if you persevere and use all the options at your disposal you will be fluent in no time!