Learning a new language when you are 3 years old is easier but if you are planning to learn Polish, French, or any other language when you are a full grown up, that’s a whole different story. In fact, learning a new language as an adult is challenging. You have to learn the grammar, memorize new words and make sure you use the correct pronunciation.
Learning a new language doesn’t have to be difficult. Yes, you will face some complications and some days you would feel like you are not making any progress. However, there are some hacks that can help you learn any language fast. Read on to get your hands on them:
Start by learning the sounds
Have you ever wondered why learning a new language was easier when you were a kid? It is because babies have the ability to differentiate different sounds in different languages and even remember them. This is how babies become expert in their native languages.
As an adult, you may not have the same ability to memorize sounds but you can develop it. Before mastering the grammar or vocabulary, memorize the sounds of the foreign language. Spend time in listening to the language. Repeat its phrases and sounds. To master a language faster, you must learn to comprehend different accents. As you listen to different speakers, this will train your brain and help you transfer the knowledge into the real world.
Schedule learning sessions before bedtime
Sleep lets you clean the active operating memory. This hence boots your learning capacity. So, if you learn something before nap or bedtime, your brain will remember that information for a longer time.
This technique will help you improve the connection between your short-term and long-term memory. You will be able to remember things faster.
Study the content instead of the language
Research published in the Cambridge Journal said that students who studied another subject in French instead of attending French language classes performed better in listening tests. They were more motivated to learn. Why not use this trick to your advantage? When you are learning a new language, include some content on the topic of your interest. Watch videos, read online articles or even listen to different podcasts.
Mix the old and new words
The human brain is always in search of novelty. However, if you attempt to learn new words all at once, this could be overwhelming. A great trick of memorizing new words is to mix them with old information that you are familiar with.
For instance, read a children’s book you know in the language you are learning. The language is going to be simple and since you know the story already, it will be easier for you to guess the meaning of new words you come across.
Make new friends
It is great that you have memorized new words and you finally have a hold on the language but if you don’t interact, you would miss out on the opportunity to become fluent at it. Find a native speaker near you and converse. This will teach you how to express your thoughts intuitively instead of just translating each sentence in your head before saying it. If you can’t find a native speaker near you, look for one online. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to help you practice a foreign language.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
The most common barrier to converse in a new language is to face your fear. Since you are in the learning phase, you are definitely going to make mistakes and that is ok. In fact, use these mistakes as a learning opportunity. Start a conversation in the foreign language with a peer and test your language skills. The more you speak, the closer you will be in getting the native-like fluency.
Fluency before accuracy
Fluency is the ability of a person to express easily and articulately. If you are fluent in a foreign language, you will be able to use it smoothly in real time. Accuracy refers to the ability to be correct and precise. It means you will be communicating in the foreign language without any errors.
When it comes to language learning, fluency is more important. Your goal should be to become fluent in the foreign language rather than being 100 percent accurate. Accuracy is important too but it comes secondary. Once you are fluent in the new language, you can then focus on improving your grammar, tone, and vocabulary.