How to start learning languages?

Tips and advice about language learning

RUSSIAN FRENCH

Recently I was thinking about my New Year’s resolutions and one of them is to learn a new foreign language and to continue improving those languages that I speak. So, if you also have this resolution, I will tell you a couple of words about how to start learning a foreign language.

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My advice for those people who have never spoken/learned/heard foreign language: don’t try to start learning language on your own. Of course I understand that in the great century of the Internet we can find all information there – videos, books, exercises. But the problem is that at the beginning of your learning you may not pay attention to your pronunciation, phrase structures or you will not be able to find the answers to your questions. As the result, learning process will be difficult, obscure and you can loose your motivation. I believe that you need to have person who will correct your mistakes and easily explain you difficult questions. If you don’t have time/money you can take a tutor just once a week or find a language partner (native speaker) in the Internet. He or she will check your exercises, speaking and reading skills. And plus, your speaking process will proceed faster with some person who you can discuss with and do small dialogues.

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Another question is choosing of method. What does the method is? Method is the group of steps that one can do to achieve the aim. Speaking simply, it means that you will follow a book (a course) step by step, and in the end an author promises that you will obtain a perfect understanding/speaking/writing.

You can choose two or three methods. Combine and find the best way that is good for you.

Never look for an easy way. If you will listen to the unknown audios 50 times a day, don’t expect that in two weeks you will speak or understand the foreign language. Don’t believe that. Our knowledge can’t be sent via the Bluetooth directly to the brain. Only your everyday work and desire will help you to speak and understand foreign language.

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If you already have some basic knowledge and you can speak/understand foreign language, it doesn’t mean that you can stop practicing. How not to loose your lexical treasure? I think that the best way is speaking clubs, where you can meet lots of interesting people and have a chance to discuss with native speakers. These clubs usually work every week-end. There is a topic for every meeting, so you can choose the most interesting theme for you. You even can choose the meeting according to your level. Or you still can discuss with the native speakers in the Internet. Don’t forget about everyday watching foreign channels, films or news.

At the beginning, you can answer these questions:

What language do I want to learn?

Why do I need this language?

What is my motivation?

What methods will I use?

How much time do I have?

You can read this article “Organization tips”, to know more about organization of the learning process.

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And for the end I would like to give you some useful tips about language learning. To achieve the best results, you should work all skills (speaking/listening/reading/writing) together. Use interesting and modern methods. Forget about boring repeating and don’t concentrate too much on grammar. Instead of that, listen more dialogues and try to memorize the patterns.

We are all different, that is why you should find your best way of learning. It can be an oral or a visual way, maybe you memorize better when you write the words or when you see the image of it.

Don’t wait until you will learn enough words to speak, start to speak from the first lessons. Even if you can’t say a lot of things, you will progress with the time. It will give you the very important habit – speaking. Some people understand the language but they can’t speak. That is why you should use the language every day. Describe the events, different things, paraphrase – it will help you to practise your language. And don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of time for learning. 30 minutes a day is quite enough, but it have to be systematically, every day. Don’t forget to read more about the culture, slang, idioms, listen to music and watch films, programs and news in the language that you learn.

I wish you all the best and I hope that my advice will help you to achieve your aim.

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