Learning a language is like starting a new life, with new rules and a whole new context. It’s not just about getting the rules correct, it’s more about trying incessantly and beginning to think in that particular language. It’s a journey into the unknown. A lot of people rely on language institutes and tutors and they forget that most of the work needs to be done by themselves.
LISTEN WITH CURIOSITY
Of course it’s good to be practicing your grammar rules with a pen and paper, but it’s equally important to listen as much as possible. When you’re learning a foreign language, the purpose is to be able to speak in that language. And to be able to speak in that language, it’s important first of all, to understand the language. In order to improve your understanding of a language, it’s a great idea to listen to audios and podcasts in that language. It could also be songs, short stories, news, anything that will keep you in touch with the language.
CONVERSE WITH CONFIDENCE
Each one his technique to get into the groove, but not talking doesn’t help. Mostly, the one who doesn’t ask questions in class has the maximum number of doubts. Even if your language skills are not perfect, try to converse as much as possible in the language so you make mistakes and correct them. It’s by talking more that you realize the common pronunciation or grammatical errors you might be doing. Conversing also makes you more confident. It’s like preparing a play and presenting it in front of the audience, once it’s done, you feel relieved and full of conviction.
START WITH COMMON WORDS AND PHRASES
“I remember my French teacher taught me words like ‘amour’, ‘aimer’, during the very first class I remembered them for the rest of the lesson because it wasn’t related but I felt great knowing them”, shared Ariba Usmani, a Senior Translator. Sometimes, it’s good to start building vocabulary even before your start building your phrases. Once the vocabulary is in place you may start making very basic sentences using the same.
It’s a good habit to carry a dictionary with you, always. It’s easy now-a-days to have a dictionary in your phone and get meanings of different words instantly. Having a dictionary handy means you can toss words more easily and find right ones for the right occasion. Dictionary doesn’t ensure correct grammar but it will definitely help you build your vocabulary.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, MAKE IT FUN
Finally, it’s up to you to make a language fun for you. Learning a language is a fun process it’s making you aware of another culture, their habits and other details associated with it which you wouldn’t even take note of otherwise. Keep things light on your head and start watching and reading things in that language and the language will flow in naturally.
Along with all these strategies, learning a language would require a lot of patience. Keep going, especially during moments where you feel like quitting, it’s such moments that make a difference.