I’m not here to recommend you a course. When you ask yourself this question: What is the easiest way to learn a foreign language? I believe many online could mislead you. The Internet is full of hyped offers: purchase this latest thing and you’ll obtain the results you’ve always wanted, sign-up to this platform and you’ll become fluent in no time.
We all know that things don’t work that way. Learning takes time and commitment. And there are no short cuts.
When you ask for “the easiest way”, I understand your point. I have been there. Sometimes it’s pressure to learn this language. In other occasions, it’s years trying to learn and not being able to see significant progress.
We both know that the easiest way doesn’t exist. But what is underneath this question is trying to find a way in which you start to make progress and that progress excites you so much that you want to keep on learning. I perceive that what is beneath this enquiry is that you want to discover an approach in which learning feels natural.
Why do I want to learn this language?
This is a basic question that must be addressed from the start. Identify which are your goals. How will you plan to use this language?
In this post we’ll focus on persons that want to learn a language with communication purposes in mind. People that want to be able to understand and talk in this new language. If that’s your case, please continue reading.
I have tried to learn this language but it’s too difficult!
The previous ways in which you’ve tried to learn this language haven’t worked because there has been a problem in the approach. So you really don’t need the easiest way. What you need is the most effective way! One that syncs in perfectly with you.
What is the easiest way to learn a foreign language?
Playing house with the language. What does this mean? Let me explain. Invite that foreign language into your daily life. Welcome it at the door and let it into every room of your existence. Live and breathe that language you want to learn.
A mistake some students make
Some students with tremendous effort set apart two hours a week to learn a language, and that’s commendable. During those two hours they strive to learn as much as they can. And once those two hours have ended what happens? Yeah, you guessed it! They close the platform, put away their books, leave their notes at the studio and forget all about it… hold on, ‘til next week! Yeah, just until next week. What’s wrong with that? Isn’t it supposed to be that way? And next week, the cycle begins again.
That’s not the way to learn a foreign language. That definitely is not the way! Let’s predict what will happen! Two years later that person will state he sees very little progress despite all the effort.
What should I do to learn a foreign language?
Use every opportunity to get exposed to the new language. As we stated above, the problem with many students is that they approach the process of learning a language the wrong way.
A person lays all day in the beach and inevitably will get sunburned. Somebody willfully gets exposed continually to good content to learn a language, and what will the results be? You guessed it!
So we have just hit to key points here. Did you recognize them?
Exposure and Good Content!
Not anything in the new language is suitable to be used for you to learn. There are certain basic criteria and we would like to talk about it briefly.
What type of content would help me learn a new language?
We have basically considered two main points here. They are:
1. Content must be in harmony with your level of understanding in the new language. If you choose content that is way too advance, all you’ll hear is unrelated sounds. When you’re absorbing this new vocabulary, you need to make associations. And these associations are done when the words are simple and repeated frequently.
When you choose simple content in your target language, you’ll still hear mainly sounds the first days. But because it’s repetitive, after time you’ll be able to recognize those sounds.
When you choose complex content in the language you’re trying to learn, time will go by and you’ll continue without grasping much despite listening to it every day. Please don’t commit this mistake.
2. You must find the content interesting. There is nothing more boring than having to go through topics you don’t care about. It will be harder for you to pay attention. Besides when you enjoy the time you spend with the material you choose, you’ve already won half the battle.
What can I do to get exposed to a new language?
Here are just some ideas. You could pick up those that work for you and we also encourage you to come up with your own ideas. Here is a small list:
1. Take time to write down labels for every object of your house with the word written in the foreign language. This may seem simple but it’s effective.
2. Listen to audio content as podcasts and audio books in the new language. I’ll never emphasis too much how important it’s to listen to people talking the language you want to learn.
3. Read kids’ books and consume other types of content created for kids in that language. Children’s material is simple and in most cases it can even be fun!
4. Watch subtitled TED and TEDx talks about topics that are interesting for you. You should already have a general idea about the topic from your native language so your brain may be able to do the associations.
5. Live-narrate parts of your day as if you had beside you a foreign friend that only spoke that language.
Once you’ve assimilated this approach, you’ll discover that learning a new language is something of everyday life. You will even come up with your own ideas. Things that can be inserted into your routine that will add exposure to the language you’re learning.
And above all, have fun learning the language incorporating it into activities you enjoy. It will not only make you desist from dropping out. It will make you excitedly share with others that you’ve discovered “the easiest way to learn a foreign language”!
These principles stated in this post are valid for learning any language. This site you are in right now, also gives specific recommendations for learning Italian. If the language you’re learning is Italian, then you need to take a look at this post too by clicking here.