Κυριακή, 18 Νοεμβρίου 2012

3 Steps to Get You on the Path to Fluency When Learning a New Language

1. Make studying as important as brushing your teeth – which we hope is pretty important to you.

If you read our previous blog post about fitting language learning into your daily routine, you know that adding language learning into schedule is surprisingly easy no matter how busy you are. So, without the excuse of not having enough time for studying, you just have to make language learning a priority. Think of studying and exposing yourself to your new language as food for your brain. The more you feed it, the stronger it will become and the closer you’ll get to fluency!

We know that studying isn’t always the most exciting thing in the world, so make sure to switch up your study methods to keep things interesting and challenging. Daily podcasts are a great way to keep your language learning on track. Or keeping a daily journal in your new language is another great way to make sure you’re getting in a daily dose of studying. No matter what method(s) you choose, make sure to set clear, attainable goals for each day or week to help hold yourself accountable.

2. Speak and speak often.

We believe that speaking is the most important step in the fluency process. It seems obvious, but a lot of people take a class or use online software to learn a language and only speak when prompted. If your goal is fluency, then at some point you have to be able to start and hold a conversation with people outside of your class. While complete immersion in your new language would be ideal, we know that it’s usually not financially feasible, so we’ve found a few great ways to simulate it.

Couchsurfing

If you have an extra room or couch, Couchsurfing is a great site for meeting native speakers and putting your conversational skills into practice. If you don’t feel comfortable letting travelers stay with you or you already have a full house, you can always find travelers looking to meet up for drinks or coffee in your area which is still a great opportunity to get in some quality conversation practice. Also, when you’re traveling abroad, it’s a good way to travel for cheap while meeting and speaking with locals.

Meetups

Meetups are also a great way to have conversations with people in your new language. We’re big fans of Meetup.com. They have language meetup groups all over the world making it really easy to find other language learners to connect with.


Immersion Courses

Language immersion courses are a highly rewarding way to get on the path to fluency. Not only will you learn a lot, but you’ll strengthen your conversation skills in no time! Plus, investing time and money in a class will ensure that you’re practicing your new language regularly. If you would like to try an online lesson for free, visit www.italianonline.gr

3. Keep your ultimate goal in mind and stay positive!

Language learning can get pretty tough, and when it does, it’s easy to feel defeated or just give up. Don’t worry though, you’ll get there! I mean you’re learning a new language – cut yourself some slack! When you have trouble remembering your vocab or just can’t wrap your head around tough grammar concepts, just breath and break your lesson into more manageable pieces. Instead of trying to memorize all 50 vocab words at once or all the verb tenses in one sitting, try going one word at a time until you feel confident, and then move on. Setting smaller, more specific goals will help keep you from getting overwhelmed and giving up.

Always remember that nobody wants you to fail. So even if your conversation skills aren’t great, you’re still trying and that’s more than a lot of people can say. Just think about how accomplished you felt when you first introduced yourself in your new language and put your first sentence together. Keep celebrating the things you know and look forward to all the things you’re going to learn, because if you’re studying frequently and at least trying to have conversations, you’re only going better and better!

Do you have any tips or encouragement for language learners? If so, we’d love to hear them and so would other learners!

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