Fluency in a New Language with 4 Simple Tips

When I first started learning Mandarin, I was daunted by the seemingly impossible amount of knowledge needed to hold a conversation. This made me ready to give up before even starting. However, after twelve years of studying the language, I discovered that learning a language is a joyous process. The process while daunting at the start can be made easier with these tips:

  1. Motivate yourself

Learning a language could entail going through pages and pages of new grammar and vocabulary rules. The work needed could appear frightening and never-ending. However, it is essential that you are able to motivate yourself through the process. The secret to learning any new language lies in committing to the process. Remember, it does not matter if you are the tortoise in the race as long as you reach the finishing line. 

  1. Talk to others

Learning from a textbook would provide a foundation for your language learning. Utilising the language to converse with other learners or locals would solidify your foundation. By talking to others, you learn from the mistakes you made such as pronunciation, which you might otherwise not realise. Furthermore, it makes learning more fun when you see the results of being able to communicate with others using the new language you have learnt. 

  1. Find relevant examples

Some examples in textbooks may not be enough. To tackle this issue, try reading or watching television shows in that language. Children’s books are great accessible starting points to see how locals utilise the language. A bonus is that most of such books are illustrated, making it a visual treat. 

Watching your favourite television drama dubbed or subtitled in the language you are learning would also be useful. If these options are not available, go for local television shows. The global expansion of Netflix and other streaming services would likely mean easy finding of these shows. 

  1. Immersion is key

Go through the 100 words and phrases you learnt again and again to make sure that they stick in your mind. Immerse yourself in the new language if possible. Change the operating language on your browser or mobile phone. You may get stuck for the first few days but it will help you become accustomed to seeing the language in your everyday life. During your transport time, listen to podcasts or the radio in your target language. Do everything in the language you are learning for maximum retention. 

Learning a language is challenging but very fulfilling. What is your experience with getting fluent in a new language?

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