Do you remember learning a language back in high school or college? If it’s been several years (or decades), it’s normal to feel a bit lost when you’re ready to get back at it.
And while receiving a formal education is wonderful for daily language practice, it isn’t always practical. Amid all of your responsibilities as an adult, finding the time to re-learn a language is undoubtedly a challenge!
Working with a language tutor, along with taking advantage of the many language-learning resources online, can be a great way to learn — but you also may need to approach it with a different mindset than you had in high school.
If you find yourself in this scenario, the language-learning blog Games for Language has some great ideas for you. Here’s an excerpt from their article, featuring five language learning tips for easing yourself back in:
1. Develop a new mindset
– Rather than being anxious about grades and not making a fool of yourself in front of your classmates, you can direct your attention to acquiring practical language skills.
2. Find something that makes re-entry into the language fun
– It can be anything you like: listening to music, scanning news headlines on your tablet, watching a tv soap, reading an easy ebook, playing language games, etc.
3. Start putting together your resource list
– While many of your resources will probably be online, a well-rounded resource list also contains some hands-on paper grammar books, phrase books, dictionaries, novels, stories, magazines, etc.
4. Do something in your foreign language (almost) every day
– The amount of time you spend is less important than the daily routine. Try to apply the 20-minute rule — doing something for 20 minutes is manageable for almost everyone.
5. Find a native speaker to talk with
– Find a language-exchange partner in an online community or a tutor on Skype. It could even be someone in your own neighborhood who is eager to speak his or her own language with you.
Seems pretty doable, right? Putting these five tips into practice is what will get you started on re-learning your language of choice. As with any skill, consistent practice is the main ingredient for achieving success. Don’t be discouraged by the workload — instead, organize your work and chip at it little by little every day.
For a more in-depth look at these tips, check out the full article here.
Photo by Francisco Oso