While surviving the global pandemic, individuals have taken quarantine as an opportunity to learn new skills such as cooking, sewing, at-home workouts, etc. Learning a new language is another activity that numerous people have taken up. A study has revealed that learning a new language as an adult reroutes brain networks, initiating shifts that can have long-term repercussions on memory and cognitive function, even though children often pick up new languages more rapidly than adults. Learning a new language is a way to help people stay sharp and mentally healthy through reshaping brain networks, improving global cognition, and increasing functional connectivity. Apart from this, learning a language can also open various pathway, both personally and professionally.
Here are some fun and exciting ways to learn a new language:
Meeting with a language partner, making new friends, or joining a conversation club with people who speak the language you want to learn is one of the easiest ways to learn a language! Practising is imperative; thus, interacting with other individuals who talk about the language you are learning is extremely beneficial. A few online language learning communities include:
- Fluent In 3 Months: This program helps individuals be confident in speaking any language in three months through a unique system.
- Linguaholic: This forum is a place where language enthusiasts worldwide meet and discuss the fascinating topic of language.
- WordReference: This form was designed for threats that aren’t restricted to one or more specific languages, asking for a word’s or phrase’s translation, and even talking about linguistic phenomena that occur across several languages.
- Unilang: In this forum, language learners and native speakers can interact and debate various subjects, including issues that come up when learning a language. You may also work on your language abilities or request help with grammar or translation.
This method can help you memorize words more quickly and efficiently! Flashcards can be executed electronically or written to help intensity memory. An example of a great online tool would be Quizlet! This online platform allows you to have unlimited flashcards, quizzes, and other learning tools for free! To make your own flashcards, you can also use cue cards! Flashcards work best when you allow them to test your memory, so make sure you guess the meaning of a word before turning over the card!
3) Immerse yourself by watching TV shows and movies
Fully immersing yourself and your surroundings can be extremely beneficial to help you learn a language faster. You can even start watching children’s shows to understand and perfect the very basics of a language. This will help familiarize you with the sounds of the language, which have positive effects, including becoming accustomed to the language, identifying, and understanding common words, and learning proper pronunciation.
4) Read books, newspapers, and magazines
By reading interesting content, you can pick up vocabulary and grammar! When reading a book in another language, listening to an audiobook may help, as you follow along easier! Reading different types of writing styles can help you understand different types of terms.
5) Learning programs and applications
We live in a world where knowledge and information are at our fingertips! There are many websites and applications you can use to help test and utilize your skills! With daily activities and quizzes, you can enhance your skills through these programs/applications. Examples of some online applications include
- Memrise is a language app founded in 2010 and has quickly grown through its unique talk-first approach.
- Duolingo believes that anyone can learn a language through their free bite-size lessons. Its mission is to make learning fun, provide personalized education, and be universally accessible.
- Pimsleur vision is to continue to develop and distribute effective language learning courses for a wide variety of languages available in an equally wide of formats.
- Rosetta Stone helps individuals build the fluency and confidence they need to speak new languages through immersion, support, and expression.
- Babbel will help you learn practical and valuable skills that you can apply immediately and quickly to meet your goal of having real-world conversations. Their approach includes engaging and interactive dialogues and helpful grammar tips while you practice reading, writing, and listening.
Tips and Tricks
While learning a new language, it is essential to remember to go at your own pace. Here are some tips to help you during your journey!
- Implement specific and short-term goals, so you do not feel overwhelmed. An example of this may include focusing on words, then easing into slowly picking up grammar.
- Consistency is key! Find a language habit that you can follow. This can be changing your phone settings or listening to music in the language you desire to learn.
- Use every opportunity to be exposed to the new language; this may include labelling objects in your house or reading a book in the language.
- While learning a new language, it is also important to learn about the culture and history of the language itself.
- An organized routine will make learning vocabulary and other important keywords more manageable. Examples would be categorizing words such as food, transportation, greetings, etc.
Don’t worry about making mistakes, it’s necessary to make them within the learning process!
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