If you are an adult attempting to learn a new language, the chances are that you are already assuming that it is going to be a harrowing journey. After all, we can’t get fluent in a foreign language in a matter of days. Such dramatic changes are rare in real life.
That said, it is not impossible for the average adult to learn another language confidently. In fact, with the right strategy, you can achieve conversational fluency in a relatively short time.
In this article, we will introduce you to a few practical language tips that can help you get started.
1. Learn the Right Words
One of the critical aspects of achieving fluency is building vocabulary. However, many people spend time focusing on learning new words, and they forget to apply what they have learned. In the meanwhile, they find the entire process overwhelming and quit.
However, the key is to remember that you do not need to have a vast vocabulary to start speaking. For example, around 300 words can make up for over 60% of written material in the English language.
So, if you are an international student, you could easily write an essay with a limited vocabulary. And if you still find it challenging, you can always ask experts from writepaper.com.
2. Find the Cognates
This tip is particularly useful if you are learning a Latin-based language. If you didn’t know this already, English evolved from the Romance language, aka Latin languages such as French, Spanish, Italian. Portuguese, and others.
Therefore, there are several words that are common, spelled almost the same but pronounced differently. For instance, we are talking about the likes of words such as communication, tradition, etc.
It will be easier for you to pick up such words while listening to dialogues as well. Build the foundation using these similar phrases, and start expanding your vocabulary from there.
3. Try Full Immersion
It is a misconception that living in a foreign language-speaking country will magically make you fluent in the respective language. This is far from the truth. There are plenty of examples of people who are settled in a country without speaking the local language fluently.
If you need to be fluent in a language, you do not need to buy plane tickets, especially in the age of the internet. If you want to listen to the language, there are plenty of YouTube videos or live radio platforms. If you want to talk to someone, apps such as Tandem can connect you with other language-learning people who can offer you their expertise.
However, it is important to remember that you will not be able to pick up the language only using passive methods. You should take the right steps and ensure that you put in equal work as well.
4. Attempt Conversations
The longer you wait to practice the language, the more challenging you will find it to get started. There are many among us who keep on working on getting the grammar right and never actually speak the language out loud. Moreover, languages are a tool for communication. You cannot learn by memorizing words alone; you will need to use them too.
However, if you try to speak even with whatever little knowledge you have, the chances are you will improve quickly. This is where the essential phrases you learned will come to use.
More importantly, people are more patient and considerate than you expect them to be. If you try conversing with a native speaker, they will certainly encourage you. Alternatively, you can also be an active listener to have conversations. As a language learner, this will also help you improve your comprehension while being a great company to the other person.
5. Speak to Yourself
One of the struggles of language learners is that the right words do not come to their minds when speaking. This might stop you from being able to attempt the language you are learning in public. However, a preferable solution to this is to start talking to yourself.
Pick a subject for the day, any topic, or even a random conversation. Record yourself talking about that subject. It is highly likely that you do not remember the right words or have to stop yourself many times. Regardless, even if you have to go at it a dozen times, by the 13th time, you will be confident. And more importantly, you would have learned more words in the process. Eventually, this will also help you initiate a conversation with others.
6. Do not Overlook the Accent
If you are trying to sound more native, you also have to focus equally on the accent. Even if you are able to work and interact in another language, this one aspect can still make you sound a little bit odd.
You already know that every language has its own musicality and rhythm. When you can speak, you should also do your best to mimic them – which will make you sound more native.
Not to worry, YouTube has dozens of videos that will help you to train your tongue muscles to figure out the correct intonation. There are also apps that will allow you to speak and practice until you get the accent right.
Which Method is the Best to Learn a Language?
As you can imagine, what might work for one person might not be so effective for another. Regardless, the most important aspect is the application of what you have learned.
You can even use combinations of different methods or develop a strategy on your own to see which one works the best for you.
It doesn’t matter how you try to learn, as long as you apply your knowledge to make progress. It is going to be a bumpy road, but it is definitely worth your effort.