Tools and Techniques When You’re First Starting to Learn a Language
Learning a new language is both exciting and challenging because you need to commit time and effort to the process. There are instances wherein you might feel lost or confused, but your motivation and discipline should be enough to keep you going. Although it is indeed a challenging task, learning a language is very beneficial to your mind and dramatically improves your interpersonal communication.
Studies say that learning a language is easier for children than adults because of their improved neural formation and brain elasticity. However, this should not bother you and feel intimidated because you can use tools and techniques to speed up your language learning process. Keep reading to find helpful tools, tips, and techniques you can use on learning a language.
Various tools you can use to start learning a language
In any learning process, there are two ways of medium you can use to assist you in building the foundation of knowledge. These are through the use of traditional means and utilization of technology. You might want to consider the following tools to start your language learning.
1. Traditional way or printed materials
- Taking courses, whether it be through a physical school or online is one of the traditional ways to learn a new language. Taking online classes, however, is the most convenient as you can easily look for English courses for beginners on the internet and start your classes right away at the comfort of your home.
- Find books written in your target language. It could be short stories for children, cookbooks, novels, books of poems, and essays. It would be better to find books with illustrations since they can give you contextual clues that can help you understand what the reading is all about.
- A pocket dictionary can be beneficial for a language learner like you. You can bring it anywhere and can quickly look it upon whenever you want. However, words are limited in a pocket dictionary, so it would also be a wise decision to have a complete vocabulary dictionary in your bedroom.
- Search for magazines or tabloids written in your target language, just like a book. But why should you still read magazines if you already have books? Books take the formal use of a language while magazines use some informal, technical, and even artistic way of presenting the language. You can use these informalities, technicalities, and fashionable expressions every day or on the right place and occasion.
- A map is another traditional material that can give you background and information regarding places written in your target language. Nouns like places are one of the essential vocabularies you might want to get familiar with in the first few days of your learning.
2. Mobile and desktop applications
- This application uses music videos, film trailers, and news to create more personalized language learning, most especially vocabulary.
- This is a more fun language learning tool wherein you will play and construct your vocabulary using a hammer and nails. As the game progresses, you will see your improvement.
- This is famous for its DIY flashcard technique, in which you can personalize your language learning. From illustrations to words, this is a perfect tool for building basic vocabulary.
- This is both available on desktop and mobile, which has a Spaced Repetition System (SRS). SRS helps you with vocabulary learning through pre-made flashcards. The software also lets you track your progress and what word you should focus on.
Techniques to speed up your language learning process
- Start by learning the first 50 to 100 most common words of your target language, including famous people, philosophers, places, and animals.
- Always carry a pocket dictionary and try to memorize ten words per day, including their definition and proper pronunciation.
- Listen to audios such as music, podcast episodes, and interviews in your target language.
- Familiarize yourself with pronunciation patterns.
- Watch videos or tutorials while practicing pronunciation to know the tongue’s proper positioning and other articulations needed.
- Watch films or movies and try to understand the dialogue. Keep an eye on the actual pronunciation during the conversation.
- Use the target language in a conversation, and apply the “Practice makes perfect”
Start language learning today!
Language learning is a process that involves the activation of your cognitive abilities such as memorization, comprehension, and application. The whole learning process might look daunting and tedious, but with the right tools and techniques, you could get there right on time.