Have you recently decided to start learning a new language but don't know where to begin?
Congratulations! Learning a language can be difficult but comes with lots of rewards.
These 4 tips that I learned through studying Spanish will help you on your language learning journey.
1. Make it a Routine
The most important part of learning a new language is regular practice. You can make progress by making a routine and following it daily.
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Remember, it can take years to become fluent in a language.
Some ideas for daily practice:
Find the meaning of ten new words a day.
Practice writing five sentences a day with words you have trouble remembering.
Watch short video clips or TikToks with subtitles to see how the language is used in daily life.
Set small goals to start so you don't feel overwhelmed and as you improve in the language, you can extend your practice time.
2. Read Daily for a Vocabulary Boost
You can learn lots of new vocabulary by reading in the language you study.
Some reading ideas for beginners are children's picture books, graphic novels, and short articles on the internet.
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Once I started reading in Spanish, I learned many new words.
3 steps to help you remember new words:
Highlight, underline, or write down the words you don't know.
Use a translator app or dictionary to find out the meaning of the words.
Try focusing on and using these new words for the next week.
3. Make it Fun
You can have fun learning languages by doing the things you already do!
If you're having fun, it won't really feel like studying and you might be more motivated.
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When I started studying Spanish, it felt like a lot of work until I found fun activities to keep me engaged.
Some ideas to keep it fun:
4. Practice Speaking from Day 1
You need to start speaking right when you start learning to gain confidence, pronunciation, and language skills.
After all, speaking to other people is the reason most people learn a new language!
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True story: when I first started learning Spanish, I didn't speak it until I knew enough vocabulary to have a solid conversation.
This put me behind in my speaking skills, and to this day, in some situations, I can understand most things but I don't know how to reply fluently.
Some free ideas for speaking practice:
Talk to yourself or your pet in your target language.
Find a list of questions online in the language you study and reply to them out loud.
Find someone to study with such as a friend, in an online community, or someone from a language class.
Find a language exchange partner. One website that offers text, voice message, or video chat options is My Language Exchange.
Amy is learning French. What are three things she can do to improve her speaking? Select all that apply:
Five years into my language learning journey, I can almost understand everything in Spanish. Whatever language you're learning, with patience and practice, it can happen to you too!