Are you looking to learn a new language without investing in software or courses, but aren’t sure where to start? Whether you’re preparing for future travel, adding to your resume, or just learning for fun, polyglots and linguists alike have voted these as the best steps to learning a foreign language quickly.
Keep your eye on the prize
Most importantly, know what your motivation is and maintain focus. Decide what your reason or driving force is. Maybe you want to be able to read one small book in a month, or perhaps you have a vacation deadline. Set realistic goals for yourself to achieve in realistic time frames, with milestones along the way. It’s much easier to strive for the finish line when you have the path laid out.
Share the experience
One of the best ways to stay motivated in any new hobby is to share the experience with someone else. Not only will it be much easier to practice with flashcards and conversations, but you can hold each other accountable. Plus with the help of Facetime, Skype, and Zoom chats, you can make it even more convenient - no excuses!
Practise with native speakers
The easiest way to learn a foreign language fluently is by watching and learning from a pro. If you don’t already know a native speaker of your target language, explore online or within your community for an active conversation club, or a volunteer tutor. Or, if you’re able, don’t wait to learn the language to travel. Dive-in to those real-life situations.
Always have a reference
This will really come in handy with the previous tip! Keeping a dictionary or flashcards on you is perfect for those real-life situations where the word is on the tip of your tongue, but not quite coming to you. Having a reference in arm's reach also gives you opportunities throughout the day to have a browse, such as your lunch break, the bus ride, or while waiting for an appointment.
Incorporate language daily
Integrating your target language into your life as much as possible will ultimately be the key to your success. Switch the language on all your devices, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, consume the language in as many forms as possible. Listen to tv in your target language one day with English subtitles, and vice versa the next day. This will help to strengthen your listening and comprehension skills.
Keep it fun
As persistent as you need to be to successfully pick up a new foreign language quickly, don’t stress yourself out. Keep your learning experience fun by trying new ways of studying, that don’t feel like studying. Play games in your target language, sing songs, create art. Incorporating your interests and having fun will help the language resonate quicker, as we learn better while enjoying ourselves.
Never give up!
Finally, this is the most important step of all. If you happen to fall out of routine or lose motivation for some time, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t aim to be a perfectionist. You’re learning, and accepting that you will make mistakes early on will help you come to terms with them when they happen and move on from them quicker. Try again next time!