Accelerated language learning:
10 Tips to Learn a New Language Faster
10 language learning tips to achieve accelerated language learning
Most of us want to do what we do faster, that is especially true with language learning. This page gives you ten language learning tips to help speed your efforts to learn a new language. Many courses promise to do give you great results in a short amount of time. One even uses the theory of suggestology. I've never heard of that before, and am not sure if the power of suggestion can help you learn a language faster, but here are ten language learning tips that have helped me achieve accelerated language learning.
- Surround sound - The first of my language learning tips has to do with surrounding yourself with the sounds of your new language. Turning on the TV, the radio or background music in your target language gets your ear accustomed to the rhythm and intonation of your new language. In first language acquisition and experiential language learning I summarized some of the language learning solutions that my noticed in observing child language learners. Remember child learners spend one to two years just listening to their new language. If you are looking for accelerated language learning, you don't have to spend two years just listening, but the more time you can spend passively listening to your new language, the faster you'll learn your new language.
Conversation - the quickest way to accelerated language learning it to talk as much as you can. Using your new found language skills as often as you can in real life situations really speeds your progress. But you are shy you say? Well, here are three simple language learning solutions to remember to overcome shyness.
Reading - several years ago I read The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. The book focuses on the importance of reading aloud to children, however, he shares a nifty little language learning tip about a number of women learning English. They were given and encouraged to read teen romance novels. Guess what? Their English skills jumped by leaps and bounds. Reading is a great language learning tip because it helps by exposing you to new vocabulary. Published books contain correct grammar; you can learn past, present and future tense . . . in context where it makes sense rather than from a list of verb conjugations. Reading aloud helps you practice your pronunciation. Your lips and tongue get the chance to feel how words should sound, and your brain hears you saying complex sentences. It thinks you are pretty smart when it comes to languages; you've accelerated your language learning.
- One: Visualize. Before a new situation, imagine yourself in the moment. Picture yourself as an excellent conversationalist. Imagine that you are making lots of positive contacts with others and they enjoy you. It is like a mental pep talk.
- Two: Breathe. Shyness can increase your anxiety when you are in situations. When you start to feel anxious. Focus for a few minutes on breathing. It will give you the calm you need to talk to new people.
- Three: Focus on others. You may feel like you are on center stage when you are around other people. Instead, turn your thoughts outward. Remind yourself that generally other people are so concerned with themselves that they won't notice your awkward feelings.
Writing - Writing in your new language lets you take time to practice your skills and capture your current language ability. You can stop and correct grammar and polish and hone your writing. Used in conjunction with a mentor, like Terry's thank you note or Mariarosa's diary this technique is an effective way to achieve accelerated language learning.
Need - The most important foreign language learning tip is needing your new language. How much do you need to learn this language? If you've been plunked down in the a Kwaio village deep in the jungle of the Solomon Islands where no one speaks your native language, then your need will be greater than if you are living in your native country trying to learn a new language. You can increase your need and thus achieve accelerated language learning by increasing your exposure to the language. For example, say you live abroad, but you socialize primarily with speakers of your own language. Instead, try to place yourself in social setting with only speakers of your target language.
Motivation - Motivation is key to maintaining your accelerated language learning. How do you maintain your motivation? Motivation stems from desire and from knowing clearly what you want. Take some time to visualize what you really want. Do you want to be able to function as a native speaker in your new language? Or if you are truly honest with yourself do you merely want to be able to make small talk with people similar to you. A quick look at the self rating guide can help you decide what you want. Then you can assess if your motivation is waning because you've already achieved what you wanted.
Focus on new skills - As you press forward in your language learning. Make sure to spend adequate time learning new skills. Sure it is nice to practice skills you already know, but you won't achieve accelerated language learning that way. I once read a story in which the habits of Olympic skaters were compared with those of amateur figure skaters. It was found that the Olympic skaters spent 80% of their time practicing skills and techniques that they didn't know while the amateur figure skaters spent 80% of their time practicing techniques that they already knew. Guess who went to the Olympics?
Rest - Accelerated language learning strains the brain. I've experienced headaches when trying hard to learn a new language as fast as I can. One of my most enjoyable language learning tips is to give yourself a break now and again. Give yourself permission to use your native language for a few hours. When you return to your foreign language study, you'll find yourself refreshed and ready to continue learning.
Use technology - Many language learning solutions are now mobile. Mobile apps can help you learn a new language. From dictionaries, to self-study modules, adding a few of these to your Smart Phone or your iPad is a great way to enhance your study. They are convenient way to use wait time, like when you are waiting in line, or waiting for an airplane, or waiting for the doctor.
Song - Preliminary research suggests that using music can help you achieve accelerated language learning. Students exposed to songs were able to memorize vocabulary faster than students using conventional methods. Try out some children's songs in your new language. Or make up your own song to help you learn new vocabulary. See http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/manup/rie/2009/00000082/00000001/art00001
There you have it. Ten language learning tips to help you achieve accelerated language learning. Good luck as you build your perfect language learning solution. Have fun!
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Learn a Language Fast
Read this page to learn 10 foreign language learning tips that will accelerate your language learning solution.