Do you have a dream of speaking another language fluently? You are not alone. Many people desire to become fluent in a foreign language. Developing this skill will widen your knowledge of new cultures and change your perspectives about so many things. Truth is, becoming fluent in more than one language will make you smarter.
Other benefits of speaking another language include a boost in cognitive abilities to sharpen your memory, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Studies suggest that knowledge of a foreign language enhances the brain’s executive function. This command system is responsible for directing attention to functions such as solving problems, planning, and handling mentally challenging tasks. Knowledge of various languages allows the acknowledgment of the perspectives of other people.
The first hack to learn a new language is to get yourself in a situation where you can’t speak English. Spending time having strenuous conversations with native speakers like an online language buddy will make you hone your skills in the language over time. A language requires processing and not memorizing. So, forcing yourself to speak a new language with people who speak it better than you is very rewarding. The mind places more emphasis on memories involving real social and human experiences with attached emotions.
Learning a foreign language accurately requires rigorous study of vocabulary and grammar. However, a chance to speak the language in real-life situations is more rewarding. A wonderful idea is to sign up for a foreign exchange program for a chance to visit the country where the language is native.
Here, you will get an opportunity to speak with native speakers including the host family and local students. Additionally, you get various wonderful moments to speak the language regularly. Using the language consistently and often will make you discover various nuances to make you a better speaker.
Technology has made various things easier including learning a second language. Smartphones come in various languages and you can set yours to a language of your choice. You can change the language in your browser too. If you don’t have a pocket dictionary, use an app like Duolingo to access a gamified approach to honing your grammar. Anki is another wonderful app you can use to memorize your foreign language vocabulary using its intelligent flashcards.
Another smart way to learn a second language is to watch movies in that language. At first, it doesn’t sound like a good idea since you’re less likely to enjoy the movie in a language you can’t understand. However, movies with subtitles will make the enjoyment a breeze. You can tell the meaning of whatever the actors are saying. With time, you will have acquainted yourself with nuances and slang of the language to watch movies without subtitles.
Appreciating a foreign language goes beyond being able to read and speak the language. Understanding the culture and background is equally important. You have to understand the cultural history, religious beliefs, current events, and customs to get a better understanding of the natives.
A basic understanding of the culture and context makes reading a second language better. Learning the culture of the native people for your second language will limit you from making offensive mistakes and embarrassing moments.
Vocabulary for every language is different. Success in learning a second language requires the ability to hold a basic conversation. Most classroom lessons in foreign languages usually include how to tell things like family members, rooms in a house, clothing, food items, and family members. However, it is very important to know what to say in situations like when asking for directions.
The trick to holding a conversation in a second language is to understand the most common words and phrases including sentences like ‘do you speak English’. Practice how to make sentences using the most common words regularly to build your grammar. Over time, you are more likely to become very comfortable with all those words.
Don’t expect to be 100 percent accurate when learning a second language. Be ready to feel a bit silly. The trick is to focus on using the language at any opportunity until you become fluent. Never translate the second language directly into your first one. Equally important is to desist from immediate criticism when practicing the new language.
Expect to feel a bit embarrassed when speaking the second language amidst natives but they always appreciate the effort of foreigners to speak their language. Speaking a second language fluently takes some years and persistence regardless of your age.
Full immersion through an exchange program offers an opportunity to learn a foreign language better. Immersion offers higher levels of proficiency in a new language compared to school-based classes. Life as an exchange student is the best way to become fluent in your target foreign language.