I’m not here to recommend you a course. My purpose is to provide some insight into foreign language learning. This will be a tremendous help for anybody who needs a clear and satisfying answer to the question: “What is the easiest way to learn a foreign language?”
It is indisputable that there’s a lot of online counseling that could mislead you. The Internet is full of hyped offers: purchase this latest novelty and you’ll obtain the results you’ve always wanted; sign-up to this platform and you’ll become fluent in no time .
Most of us know that things don’t work that way. Learning takes time and commitment. Besides, there are no shortcuts.
When you ask for “the easiest way”, I understand your point. I have been there. Sometimes it’s pressure to learn a foreign language. In other occasions, it’s years trying to learn and not being able to see much significant progress.
The question about the “easiest way” is rather difficult to answer. But the main point underlying this question is to find a way to learn a foreign language in which you could start making the progress you have sought after for so long and this progress itself will motivate you in such a way that your learning would continue without declining. So what you have been looking for is an approach which will satisfy your expectations of attaining desired skill levels and achieving improvements in the target language. All this done in a way that feels natural.
Why do I want to learn this language?
This is a basic question that must be addressed from the very beginning. It is necessary for you to identify your goals. It is also very important to know how you will use this language.
In this post we’ll focus on the needs of learners that want to master a language with communicative purposes in mind. These learners want to be able to understand and talk in the target language. If that’s your case, you need to continue reading. Please do so!
I have tried to learn this language but it’s too difficult!
The previous ways in which you’ve tried to learn your target 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… “What’s wrong with that?” I’ll be back next week!” “Isn’t it supposed to be that way?” And next week, the cycle begins again. Definitely, that’s not the way to learn a foreign language! Let’s predict what will happen. Two years later that person will state he sees very little progress despite all his 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 two key points here. Did you recognize them?
Exposure and Good Content!
Not everything 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 this 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 advanced, 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, during the first days, you’ll still hear sounds mainly. But because it’s repetitive, after time you’ll be able to recognize those sounds.
When you choose complex content in the language which 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 make 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 suggestions. Here is a short list:
1. Take time to make labels for every object in your house using the written form of the word in the foreign language. This may seem simple but it’s effective.
2. Listen to audio content as podcasts and audiobooks in the new language. I’ll never overemphasize how important it is to listen to others talking the language you want to learn.
3. Read books for children and learn through other types of materials created for kids in the target language. Children’s material is simple and in most cases it can even be fun!
4. Watch subtitled TED, also watch TEDx talks about topics that are interesting to 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 a foreign friend who only speaks the target language were right beside you.
Once you have a real insight into this approach, you’ll discover that learning a new language is something of everyday life. You will even come up with your own ideas; self-assignments that can be inserted into your routine which will add exposure to the language you’re learning.
And above all, having fun learning the language by incorporating it into activities you enjoy. It will not only make you stop considering dropping out, it will make you feel excited to share with others your great discovery: “The easiest way to learn a foreign language”!
The principles which have been stated in this post are valid for learning any language. By now, you have realized how important it is to have the language you’re learning surrounding you every day. Please click here to read a post with good and practical advice on how to accomplish this.