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Language learning tips

15 Proven Language Learning Tips for Mastering a Foreign Language

Are you searching for some language learning tips to master a foreign language? Then, you landed on the right place!

Learning a new language is not an easy job; it requires a lot of dedication and hard work. At times, it can even feel overwhelming. In our case, it took years of studying, practicing and living in foreign countries to become fluent in a second language. So, we understand firsthand how challenging and hard learning a new language can be.

Here, we put together the language learning tips we personally follow, along with other tips from language students we’ve met over the years, to support you in your language learning journey.

15 Language Learning Tips

Find a Reason, Set up Goals and a Deadline

We all know how tricky it can be to start something new without a good reason. It’s the same with learning a new language. When you have a reason to learn a language, you will set up a deadline to accomplish your goal.

Everyone’s got their own reasons for wanting to learn. Whether it’s spending some time in a foreign country, try to understand your in-laws, or enjoy the benefits of being multilingual.

Once you found your reason; set up your goal. How far do you want to get? Do you aim for the basics or dream of becoming fully fluent?

But here is the thing: setting a deadline is crucial. If you don’t, you will procrastinate and you will not even get started.

To sum up: Find a reason → Set up your goal + Establish a deadline.

Make Learning a New Language Your First Priority

If you don’t make the language learning process your top priority, chances are you will end up quitting.

We all get it, as we get old, our responsibilities fill up our time to the point that we barely have any left for ourselves. However, if we can find the time to exercise, why can’t we do the same for our language goals? In the end, it all comes down to priorities.

Therefore, if you dream of becoming fluent in a foreign language, prioritize your language learning.

Love to learn pencil signage on wall
Love to learn pencil signage on wall

Conventional Language Classes are not Always the Best Choice

Most conventional language classes tend to be crowded and often move to the pace of the people with the lower proficiency level.

Additionally, learning a language should ideally be a customized experience to meet the specific needs of each student. When you find yourself in a class with many other language learners, chances are the class is focused on meeting the needs of the group as a whole.

Also, it’s not uncommon for these classes to leave aside a crucial aspect achieving fluency: practicing the speaking skills.

That’s why we recommend one-on-one practice. It will provide you the opportunity to focus on your weaknesses and practice your speaking skills as much as you need.

Start Speaking as Soon as Possible

Regardless of your fluency level, it’s crucial to start engaging conversations in your target language as soon as possible. Learn the basic rules and vocabulary, and then start speaking. Just give it a try!

In our experience, this is one of the most useful language learning tips without a doubt. You will quickly discover how powerful an hour of conversation is compared to hours and hours of a traditional language classroom setting. Conversing forces you to use all the grammar and vocabulary you’ve learned and you will even pick up new things too.

In addition, we recommend one-on-one conversations if you are still at a beginner level. Group conversations can be quite challenging when you haven’t reached fluency yet. However, once you’ve improved your language skills, we encourage you to engage in conversations with a larger group of people.

Are you wondering how you have conversations in a foreign language? Here are a few ideas:

  • Meet a friend/s who is/are learning the same language as you.
  • Join a language exchange group (help somebody learn your mother language while that person helps you with your language goals).
  • Enroll in any kind of activity that requires the use of your target language. For instance, join a trivia team.
  • Take language classes with a teacher.
Woman sitting around a table talking
Woman sitting around a table talking

Do Not be Afraid of Making Mistakes

Many people fear that the world will end if they make a mistake when speaking a foreign language. But guess what? It won’t! 

Don’t worry about the mistakes and what others might think. Instead, learn from those mistakes and laugh!

Most people is very understanding at the fact you are making a big effort to try to be understandable. Just speak and do not overthink about your mistakes.

Do not Get Obsessed with the Rules

Oftentimes, people begin to overthink about all the grammar rules they’ve learned, which lead to not even trying to speak if something doesn’t sound grammatically correct.

Unless you say something completely wrong, people will often understand what you are trying to say. 

That’s why we recommend you not getting obsessed with the rules. Don’t let this stop you from speaking.

Woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer
Woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer

Do not Worry About Understanding Everything

When you haven’t reached fluency in a foreign language yet, you aren’t able to understand everything in a conversation. You might comprehend one word here and there, and if you’re lucky, even a whole sentence.

Don’t stressed yourself out if you don’t understand everything. Instead, try to connect the words and sentences that you did comprehend and put them into context; they will start to make more sense.

Practice, Practice, and Then Practice a Little More

Practice is key! Even when you’ve achieved a high level of proficiency in a foreign language, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Make sure to keep practicing that language, no matter what.

There are numerous ways to practice a language. Here are some:

In other essence, just use the language!

Make Learning Into a Habit. Be Consistent

Regularly practicing a language makes it easier to stablish a rhythm, reducing the effort needed to begin the routine practice.

Also, daily practice is better than practicing once in a while. Repetition and consistent practice are key in language learning. If you study a language once a week, you’re likely to forget what you learned the previous day. However, with daily study, remembering the prior lesson becomes easier, since it was just yesterday.

Practice Intensively for a Short Period of Time

Many people find it challenging to remember the language skills they learn in school. Often, languages are taught for just a couple of hours a week over an extended period, making it easier to forget the lessons and lose motivation.

But here’s the good news: immersing yourself in the language regularly for short period of time, can significantly improve your retention and recover the enthusiasm.

Person holding white mini bell alarm clock
Person holding white mini bell alarm clock

Make the Language Learning Process Into Something Fun

Practicing the new language with topics that interest you, really makes the learning process more enjoyable.

Even when you are super excited about learning a new language, sometimes the lack of motivation takes over. Learning a language with topics you are passionate about, can bring your motivation back.

Talk to Yourself

We have to admit it: we all talk to ourselves. So, why can’t we do it in a foreign language? It is the easiest way to practice. It can be done whenever, wherever, and it is doesn’t cost a thing!

Challenge yourself by practicing in your head the sentences you struggle with the most or simulate conversations you might have in the future. Just imagine different scenarios and create different conversations.

Hang out with Native Speakers

Spending as much time as possible with native speakers enables you to learn things that a traditional classroom setting can’t teach.

At first, hanging out with native speakers might be a bit challenging. Adjusting to their accent doesn’t happen overnight. But once you overcome this stage, you will learn what the ‘real language’ sounds like and explore various aspects, like culture, which goes hand by hand with learning a foreign language.

Don’t know how to begin your search for native speakers? No worries, we got you covered. Here are a few ideas:

  • Participate in language exchanges.
  • Join programs that are run by international departments of universities. Many offer programs to help newcomers fit into their new country. Find here a student from the country whose language you are interested in.
  • Take classes with a native tutor.
  • Travel to a foreign country.
People hanging out representing hanging out with native speakers as one of our language learning tips
People hanging out

Find Someone who you can Practice with and Correct your Mistakes

One thing is to speak a language; another is to speak it without making mistakes. Mistakes are unavoidable, but often we find ourselves repeating them over and over again without even realizing.

When someone is there catching those mistakes for you and correcting them, it will prevent them from becoming habits.

That’s is why we suggest practicing with someone who has the patience to correct your mistakes and explain them for you.

It is Never Too Late to Learn a New Language

Learning a language as an adult may not always be easy, but you can still enjoy the benefits that comes from it.

It’s been proven that learning a second language, even later in life, improves your cognitive abilities and can delay dementia. Plus, el saber no ocupa lugar! (you can never know too much).

So, don’t let age stop you from learning a new language.

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” -Sarah Caldwell

Infographic

Language learning tips infographic

Final Thoughts

Follow these tips and make language learning adventure less challenging.

In today’s globalized world with diminishing physical borders, knowing multiple languages will make your life easier and provide you with significant advantage.

We’re all aware of the benefits of learning a second language. In particular, Spanish, as one of the most spoken language in the world, is a language you can not overlook.

Because we know the importance and benefits of learning languages, we offer online Spanish conversation classes, providing you the opportunity to practice your Spanish conversation skills from anywhere.

Now, put all this into practice and embark on your language learning journey! But before you go, we’d like to hear from you.

  • Do you follow any of these tips?
  • What other tips would you recommend?

Share your answers in the comment section below.


17 Tips to Becoming Conversationally Fluent in Spanish

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