What are some of the best strategies for learning a new language? There are a few schools of thought on this. Some people will encourage multiple hours spent throughout the day. Others will recommend flash cards. I’m going to tell you right now that the best way that I have come across to learn a new language is to flat out start using it as much as you can, as soon as you can. The brain processes learning much better when something is being used in context. When learning a language out of context (such as with a flash card system) your brain will not associate it as well as if you were using it in practice.
Another method that reinforces learning a language is actually LISTENING to it. This is something that many people tend to ignore. The best thing to do would be to start using podcasts and movies in the language of your choice. In this manner you can begin to see patterns and recognize vocabulary when it is used naturally.
One thing that can actually hinder progress is apathy towards the language you are trying to learn. A keen interest in the culture and other aspects of the language has shown to be very positive for learning the language in question. So if you can, start reading about the culture of your language and try to develop an interest. Sometimes this can be hard to artificially generate, but it can definitely be done. Perhaps you can find some movies in the target language by a certain director you like. I did this while learning Spanish through the movies of Pedro Almodovar. I really liked his style and his movies are excellent. Talk To Her is one of my favorites.
Good language learning products are also a must. If you’re learning Spanish for example, you’ll want to get a great Spanish learning program. These programs are great for people who are learning from home and need some guidance.
All in all, there are several different things that can boost your learning retention. Check back for more tips and tricks in future blog posts!