Language Learning Tips

Forget about Transliteration

Learning to pronounce a language through transliteration is an ideal situation. Transliteration makes you associate the sound of the word with the characters of your native alphabet. In essence you are not learning the actual language because you are learning what is transliterated and will always look to the transliterated version for help in pronunciation. You are doing an extra step in language learning that is not necessary. Associate the sounds with the alphabet you are learning not the transliterated version.

Practice Everyday

Practicing everyday is a lot more beneficial and smarter than one or two cram sessions a week when learning a language. By practicing everyday you are exposing yourself to the language everyday and learning or reviewing things in the language everyday too. Plus setting aside time everyday will probably total more than two cram sessions a week. For instance, if you practice 1.5 hours a day that is 10.5 hours a week, but if you do two or three cram sessions at 2 hours each than it comes out to less than what you have gotten by studying everyday. Studying everyday will increase your progress in learning and is a smart thing to do.

Set Smaller Goals

Everyone has a goal of being fluent in his or her new language learning endeavor. However, many get discouraged because of their perceived lack of progress towards their fluency goal. Fluency is a big goal and may take some time to achieve and when people compare their progress, no matter how good their progress in learning is, to the goal of fluency it always seems they are falling short of that goal and it seems almost like a huge daunting task. The solution to this problem is rather simple. What you have to do is set smaller goals and by doing this it will boost your motivation because you are accomplishing something but you are still also aiming for the big goal of fluency. For instance set a goal for a week to learn words associated with a hobby you like. If you like soccer you can set a goal to learn the name of goal, shorts, jerseys, ball, cleats, etc. Or you could set a goal to master the numbers 1-30. Setting smaller goals and accomplishing your goals will help keep you motivated towards the bigger goal of fluency.

Multi-source Approach

The multi-source approach is the best way to learn a language. By using a variety of learning materials and actual real world materials you will get the most exposure to the language and develop in all areas of the language. Plus with using real world materials many people feel excitement when they heard words in a radio broadcast or in a song that they understand. What this does is also help boost motivation and pleasure towards language learning and gives a feeling of real progress. A multi-source approach of real world materials and language products is the best and quickest way to learn a language.

Flashcards

Flashcards are an excellent and convenient tool to learn and memorize vocabulary. By taking flashcards and using them vertically with many words instead of horizontally you will be able to review more words per card and carry around less flashcards. The nice thing about flashcards is their convenience. You can carry flashcards in your pocket and use them in line at a store, at work, or wherever there is an opportunity to use them. There are also flashcard programs that can be used on a computer that time the repetition to maximize learning.

Immersion through Multimedia

The internet today presents a huge advantage to language learners. Through the internet learners can access online radio broadcasts, TV stations, videos, music, and more. There are also online newspapers and other sites in your targeted language. With all of this available it makes sense to use it to increase language acquisition. Instead of listening to what you usually do when you are on the computer instead turn on an internet radio broadcast or a internet radio music channel. Get exposure that way to the language. Buying foreign movies on DVD is also a good way to get exposure to the language. Plus every time your vocabulary increases and you recognize more words in videos or songs or movies you will just become more motivated to learn the language. The whole idea is to use these resources to help increase acquisition of the language and to get some real world use not just a language learning product.

Take Advantage of Opportunities

This is a rather simple but sometimes overlooked common sense idea. If an opportunity presents itself take advantage of it. For instance, if you are a student in college, talk to someone about doing a study abroad program. Another example is running into a native speaker where you live. If it is possible see if they can help you learn the language or at least get to practice it a little with them for the brief time they are talking to you. If you can afford to take a vacation in a country where the language is spoken, do it. If an opportunity presents itself make sure to take advantage of it.

Have Fun

Language learning is supposed to be fun. If you are torturing yourself with your current method maybe it is time or re-evaluate your method and come up with something that is fun and works.