Learning a new language is one of those things we all say we would love to do, but either never got around to it or more commonly, we simply don’t know how.
Let’s face it, languages are daunting, not being understood is one of the common fears, along with pronunciation and just simply looking a douche should you get it wrong.
This article shows how ANYONE can learn a new language, in their own time, on their own terms. You will often pick it up much quicker by using a method that is tailored to your own personal learning style.[toc]
We have a selection of tried and tested methods that have been found to work for many people. The first thing you should do is to discover what kind of learner you are is to take the interactive learning styles test.
Now you know what kind of learner you are, a visual learner, an auditory learner or a kinaesthetic learner, you’re well on your way to choosing the language learning method that best suits you.
This will help to speed up the learning process; you will absorb it much easier and pick it up many times quicker. Below you will find the list of methods and description.
Underneath each section is a ‘Suitable For’ heading. Keep an eye out for your particular type of learning and choose which one suits your circumstances.
For example, there are both paid and free options open to you, if you are on a budget then give the free methods a try. You can always progress onto the more advanced paid versions at a later stage.
1. Michel Thomas Language Course
Suitable For: Auditory Learners
This is by far one of the best and highly rated methods to learn a new language. The beauty of using these audio CD’s by Michel Thomas is that they are a pre-recorded lesson given to two students.
You effectively become the third student in the class. The pace is nice a slow to start off with and picks up as you progress.
Attending a college course is far more expensive than these CD’s and you get to go back and listen to them again and again if you miss or don’t quite get something the first time around.
There are many languages to choose from and this is our pick of the best language learning software available. Here is a selection of the more popular ones you can pick up from Amazon.
- Michel Thomas Learn French
- Michel Thomas Learn Spanish
- Michel Thomas Learn German
- Michel Thomas Learn Italian
Rosetta Stone Language Course
Suitable For: Auditory Learners, Visual Learners
Although more expensive than the Michel Thomas course, the Rosetta Stone course offers much more functionality. You can schedule online practice sessions with real native speakers.
Play games to practice your language skills. Use the course on your smartphone with the iPhone application. It also offers pronunciation recognition so you get real-time feedback on your spoken language.
There are many activities included in this course, all are aimed to engage your mind and surround you in the language as if you were in the country.
You see the sights and hear the sounds of everyday life in your country of choice and answer or ask questions based on the setting. This really is a fantastic, interactive way to learn.
If you have the funds, this is one of the fastest way out there to speed up language learning.
Common Languages are available on Amazon.
2. Flash Cards
Suitable For: Visual Learners
Flashcards go way back to the start when man first began to teach and learn. This FREE and easy way to get started in any language can open up your range of known words very quickly.
There have been many studies made where people have learnt between 10 and 100 new words per day!
Now that may seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple to do and once your brain is engaged and you learn this image associated method you will come on leaps and bounds.
3. Double Translation
Suitable For: Kinaesthetic Learners, Visual Learners
This method goes back to the 1900s where language courses didn’t exist. Basically what you do is buy a book or rent one from a library in your target language.
Next obtain an ‘X’ Language to English dictionary, again the library will normally have these.
Now choose a paragraph to start with and begin to translate the paragraph into English using the dictionary. Once you have completed this ready the paragraph a few times and then translate the same paragraph back into the target language.
This is where the term double translation comes from. Check your new paragraph against the book and see how close you were.
This is a great way to introduce yourself to the written language and if you are traveling or going on holiday it will come in handy with both road and public information signs.
Heck, you may even find yourself reading a local newspaper after a while. This method should be used in conjunction with one of the other methods in the article as this will only teach you to read the language. Listening and speaking still need to be learnt.
4. Classroom Language
Suitable For: Kinaesthetic Learners
Language classes are by far the most popular way to learn a new foreign language. Pupils at school will often continue their studies in languages into further education.
Those that don’t often regret not doing so and will find themselves back at college, relearning what they have forgotten through lack of practice.
Classroom learning isn’t for everyone; however, it does provide the human element that audio courses cannot provide.
With other people in the class, all at different speaking, writing, listening and reading levels you will find yourself pushing your limits to keep up with the best in the class and that is the road to success.
You will find adult evening classes in early all local schools and colleges, they do vary in price so shop around to find the best deal but we do recommend you go along and watch a lesson if you can to get an idea of the teachers methods and how the class is structured so you can best prepare yourself.
5. Total Immersion
Suitable For: Kinaesthetic Learners
If you are fortunate enough to be able to visit and stay for an extended period in the country that speaks your target language, you are in the best position to really expedite the learning process.
Perhaps you’re staying with a friend, or on a foreign exchange program and staying with a native family. Immersion in a language and culture is by far THE best way to learn.
You will have no choice but to speak the language as, believe it or not, not everyone speaks English! You will trip up many times, and be corrected by the locals, but this is not a bad reflection on you, it’s more of an appreciation for your desire to speak their tongue and those correcting you will help guide you.
Holiday for 2 weeks at a time have their place, however, you will not get the true benefits unless you actually live in the country for a longer period of time. I would suggest 3 months minimum.
Think of a holiday rep, they go out with a little knowledge of the lingo, please and thank you, etc but after a few months, they can converse with people at an intermediate or high level.
This is what total immersion will give you.
So there you have my 6 methods to learn a language quickly by using a tailored learning style solution. Everyone is different and what works for you may not work for others.
So please share this article with friends and family so they too can enter the world of smart language learning.