Surely, you are planning during this year to increase your language skills and perhaps master Mandarin, try your hand at Italian, try to speak French again or improve your English. If so, the points we have outlined are going to help you for sure.
I.Don’t get discouraged before you start
Let’s get the negative out of the way: there are those who are put off by research indicating that we lose our ability to develop language fluency after a certain age.
Some linguists support the idea that there is a “critical period” and that our ability to learn new languages with ease stops after a certain age. A recent study indicates that this occurs around age 17.
However, this study only examined the ability of participants to competently understand the grammar of another language. But how many of us can say that we fully understand the grammar of our native language?
You may make grammatical mistakes at times, but your age is not a barrier to learning the vocabulary of another language at a very high level.
II.You can learn to learn
Learning a language may be easier for some than for others, but it is not a skill that only some people have, it is the product of curiosity and effort. And for millions of people around the world, it is a necessity.
Think of South Africa, for example. It’s not a matter of having the ‘gift’ of being multilingual. If you live in Johannesburg, you basically need five languages to survive, and everyone speaks them.
III.where to get started?
The first thing to do is to try to learn some basic words and greetings to train your tongue and ears, and get used to the sounds and rhythms of the language. Many people also find language learning apps useful for building vocabulary.
Tips : take a topic like going to the store and on a piece of paper, write down every phrase you imagine you might need at that location. Then try to find those phrases on the Internet or translate them and memorize them. That way, when you are in that situation, you have all the vocabulary you need on hand.
VI.Surround yourself with that language
You don’t have to go back to class to take your language learning beyond mind maps and apps. There are all sorts of options available that may be better suited to our learning style than a classroom setting.
Tips : the best way to learn a language is when you feel like you’re not learning anything at all. How can you do this? Read or watch movies in the language you want to master. Linguists point out that visual cues when watching movies and TV shows in different languages can be very helpful.
The tone of voice, facial expressions and body language that accompany certain sentences can help convey meaning, for example. They also expose you to accurate pronunciation, different accents and dialects, and the nuanced ways native speakers use the language in conversation, rather than perfect textbook examples. Learning to pass an exam, as is usually done in school, is not a great motivator, whereas doing so to open doors to a new culture is much more motivating.
V.Practice Often and Little
With a busy work life, finding the time to commit to a new language can be a challenge in itself. But experts agree that you are more than likely to make significant progress with just an hour a day. Practicing little and often is a more productive way to learn than longer, more sporadic periods. Whether you want to brush up on your language skills for the next vacation, watch foreign movies without subtitles, learn about literature from around the world, chat with new people, or simply stimulate your brain, you can do it. You will definitely need to put this little guide into practice.
What do you think would be the best way to learn a new language? Leave a comment to see how we can enrich your language experience.