Some tips and tricks on learning foreign languages (with some examples and resources for learning English and German).
Need to learn new words easier and faster? Check out our spaced repetition tool for busy adults studying foreign languages: https://vocblocks.com
Read online in your target language, look up and learn the words you choose with our free dictionary plugin vocBlocks LookUp: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/vocblocks-lookup/ehnoadhemhhkcggnacpabgdpnoacadao
Read our blog for tips, inspiration and language fun: http://blog.vocblocks.com/
no tips or tricks,
no matter how awesome they are,
will get you speaking a foreign language
like your mother tongue
after studying it for a couple of months.
The good news is learning a foreign language is SO much fun
you will not want it to stop
once you've started.
Tip # 1
Choose a good and fun study book
These usually come with audio materials,
a workbook and additional materials available online.
If you study English,
there are loads of books available
from the Oxford and Cambridge universities, for example.
For German, Hüber is a well-known publisher.
Whatever book you choose,
make sure it is suitable for your level
(elementary, intermediate, advanced),
your purpose of learning the language
(business, tourism, passing IELTS, etc.)
and that the book is fun!
Study books are a great basis
for your language learning
as they have all four language skills covered,
i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking,
and each study unit has a specific topic,
for example, travelling,
which helps you build
in an organised way.
Tip # 2
Get a good self-study grammar book
Grammar is language skeleton, so do not ignore it.
Studying grammar rules
and doing grammar exercises
is a great shortcut to understanding how language works,
so it would be silly not to use it
and rely only on
your observations of the language.
Grammar does not have to be boring!
Short clear rules and lots of exercises featuring everyday situations!
For studying English the popular classics is
'English Grammar in Use' by Raymond Murphy
and for studying German
'EM Übungsgrammatik' is a very good
(and fun!) book.
If you fancy throwing some rhythm
and a bit of performance
into your English grammar study,
discover Jazz Chants by Carolyn Graham.
Or, create your own
in any language you study!
Tip # 3
Get some fiction books
you would love to read
Writers create fiction reality in its every detail
through language alone
(no video or audio to help out!),
so reading helps you acquire
and even detailed
Make sure these books are not too difficult for you to read,
i.e. only about 5% of all the words are unknown.
The idea here
is to read as much as possible,
to let words and phrases flow around you,
to immerse yourself
in the language you are learning.
Look up and learn a new word if
it's a key word
and you cannot understand what's going on
without knowing it;
you have come across it several times and
would like to know what it means.
These words will be easy to learn
as you will recall the context
in which they were used.
Tip # 4
Choose some non-fiction read
will make sure
your target language vocabulary
that will educate you for your particular needs,
be it your career
Change is the key word today,
so you need to keep upgrading your knowledge
before reality forces you to do it.
If you are crazy about cooking,
you can discover new recipes
in the language you are learning.
Check out You Tube 'how to' videos
in you target language.
If you read papers or watch news at your coffee breaks,
why not reading or watching them
in the language you are learning?
It’s so easy with news websites
(e.g. BBC, CNN)
Tip # 5
Choose some movies,
TV series and comedy shows
you would love to watch
If you want to understand
what's being said in your target language,
just practise listening to it being spoken!
and comedy shows
are fun too!
the movies, TV series and comedy shows
which can be switched off.
Subtitles are useful
if you don't understand much
because of the accent or speed;
at the start of the movies or shows
when you are still tuning your ear to the cast;
for capturing words and phrases
you don't know at the moment
but would love to learn
and use yourself.
Tip # 6
Get some of your favourite songs
It is good for your language acquisition
as rhythm, rhyme and melody
help you retain
and even whole sentences
in your memory.
You will most definitely need lyrics
for the songs you love
and would like to sing yourself.
These can be found easily on the Internet.
Otherwise you might end up singing
something completely different
from the original text!
Make sure you truly understand
the meaning of the lyrics,
if you are inserting famous quotes
here and there.
For example, don't tell your macho mates
that you 'gotta kiss yourself you are so pretty'
just because Bruno's song
is so damn catchy!
Tip # 7
Find a language partner.
Yep, let's communicate!
After all this is the main purpose
of speaking any language, isn't it?
So, let the real challenge begin!
Your language partner
needs to have a good level of your target language
or, ideally, be a native speaker.
There are websites connecting people
who want to learn languages in tandem.
For example, while you practise German,
your German language partner
masters their French,
i.e. your native language.
Ideally you need to practise
all three forms of communication
with your language partner:
With emails effectively it is writing
that you will be practising.
In contrast to emailing,
exchanging instant messages
often happens in real time, so speed and brevity
are vital here.
Speaking is completely different
and the most difficult,
so first you might want
to practise speaking to yourself.
even if learning a language is difficult at times
and you don't feel
that you are making any progress whatsoever,
do not give up!
Give yourself time and
you will get there in the end.
Brought to you by
a languages study tool for busy adults
Organise and learn new words with our spaced repetition tool.
Check out ready vocabulary blocks for learners of English.
Read online in your target language, look up and learn the words you choose
with our free dictionary plugin vocBlocks LookUp:
download from Chrome store here.
Read our blog for tips, inspiration and language fun here.