In today’s world, learning a second language almost feels like a must. And we can all agree: learning a foreign language is always a good idea, whether you do it for personal reasons, for easier travelling or to upgrade your professional profile.
In fact, more and more people in the world are bilingual (or multilingual!) and having at least a couple of languages on your CV is now the norm.
This doesn’t only show to potential employers your ability to communicate in another language, but it can somehow be a statement of your drive and willingness to learn new skills.
So, what are you waiting for? Start learning a foreign language now!
Here, we’ll share our secrets on the fastest and easiest way to do it.
Set your Intentions and Goals
One of the first and most important aspects of learning any language is motivation.
If you have your intentions and goals clear in your mind, it will be easier to find the time and willpower to do those grammar drills or practice verb declension and prepositions usage.
Be clear about why you want to learn a foreign language and keep reminding yourself of all the benefits learning it is bringing into your life.
You will soon find out that motivation goes hand in hand with a positive attitude, so keep your spirits up and make your language-learning journey as pleasant as possible!
Use the Right Tools
Nowadays, with the Internet and all the technology at your disposal, this should not be hard. You can choose to take an online audio course, real-life lessons with a group or with a private tutor, or decide you want to self-study and take advantage of all the incredible language learning content available on the Internet.
Whichever resources you choose to use, make sure you explore them and know how to use them and draw from them the maximum possible benefit.
Ensure you have something to practice all the essential language-learning skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, and work harder on those that come less natural to you.
We all have different ways of learning and it is essential to be perceptive of our own progress and choose the right tools to go with our innate abilities!
Challenge Yourself (but not too much!)
Many learners find that adding small challenges to their studying routine make things more interesting and allow them to push themselves a bit more. Set yourself some weekly goals, for example “I want to learn to use 10-15 new verbs this week” and try to stick to them. You can even make yourself a test (or take one online) at the end of the week to keep track of your progress.
Remember, however, that you’re only human and that pushing yourself too much will only result in a loss of motivation, so try to keep a good balance between challenging yourself and rewarding your efforts!
Introduce the Language Into your Everyday Life
Even if you can’t find the time to “study” in the strictest sense of the word, do not fret. A foreign language can become part of your everyday life if you allow it into it.
Put your phone settings in that language, fill your house and kitchen with flashcards with the name of furniture and other items, practice with a language learning app while you wait for the bus, etc.
With time, you will find your own ways of introducing the language you are learning into your everyday life, and this will not only keep your motivation up, but it will ensure your brain is constantly working on learning it without you even realising!
Dive Into the Culture
Another great way to invite the language you’re learning into your life is to explore the culture of the country where it is spoken. If you are learning Italian, for example, watch Italian films and series, listen to Italian music and cook with Italian recipes! You will be improving your language skills as well as your knowledge of Italian culture, all by following your interests and passions.
A language is a window into the culture of a country, and you will be surprised how much you will learn just by diving into the habits, customs and history of the people who speak it… Not to mention the fact that it will inspire you to learn more and more!
Practice and Have Fun!
The most important thing while learning a language, however, is to have fun with it! Finding topics that you like to study, talking with native speakers about subjects you’re passionate about and trying to make studying and practicing as pleasant as possible will all make you learn faster.
There are so many resources available to make studying fun, including games, interactive lessons, quizzes and podcasts… And don’t forget to make new friends (online or in real life) that speak your target language. Then, even going out for drinks will count as study time!
Most of all, try not to look at language learning as a duty, something you’re forced to do (even if by your own self!), but as a hobby you love, a great way to spend your time and an investment in your future.