How to Learn a Foreign Language
You cannot not be impressed when you hear someone talking three or four languages. Globalization is not a fairy tale to tell children, it’s an actual fact. And you might think that English is enough, but here’s a shocking truth: not everyone speaks English. In Spain for example, there are very few English speakers.
So, we decide that we should speak at least one foreign language. Now is the best time to go off and learn, because after 30 years, learning processes don’t work as they did when we were younger.
Before we start having conversations in Portuguese and Japanese, we must learn something about ourselves. Each person has a certain style of learning. For some it might be easier to learn by listening, and for others by visualizing.
It is true that some people have a natural inclination towards foreign languages and it is easier to teach them, but everyone has a natural predisposition toward a particular learning system and if you can combine it with the foreign language you want to learn, the entire learning process will be easier. To discover which learning style suits you better, you can complete some online tests, compare the results and read the descriptions to find what suits you.
If your learning style is kinesthetic, that means that you must learn to use the vocabulary as much as possible in daily life. If you have a learning style based on visual stimuli, then you need to read, write and reread again and again. Finally, if you can do better learning “by ear” (hearing based learning style), you have to listen as many dialogues and words as possible, meaning movies and songs. One of the VarsityTutors can also help you find out which learning style is best suited for your needs and adapt the lessons to respond to those needs.
There are many other factors that influence your language skills. Even your personality can be a factor. Some researchers have argued that extroverted people, due to their need to “give themselves to other people” (metaphorically speaking) are better students when it comes to foreign languages.
Adapting to a new language is not a scary process, and in three months, practicing daily, you may learn more than in eight years of school where a teacher tried to teach you and mold you to his own, maybe not so great, vision.
Apart from the freedom that you feel, you can enjoy the advance technology. Download language courses on your mp3 player, listen and repeat what you hear, on your way to work, while cooking, jogging. Do not underestimate power of grammar and vocabulary sheets. Especially if your style is a visual one.
Finally, to learn a foreign language you have to prepare yourself for inevitable frustrations that will arise during the learning process. As long as you understand your learning style and you’re willing to devote enough time to the process and you can get over obstacles, then you are guaranteed to become a fluent speaker of any language, as long as you set your mind to learn.
Not to mention the incredible benefits of learning a foreign language:
-extra point on your resume
-new job opportunities (translations, teaching, tourism)
-meeting new people
-discovering a new culture and history
-personal development (self-confidence, creativity, determination, communication)