6 tips for learning a foreign language
Learning a new language is often a source of personal growth and future professional opportunities. That’s right! In today’s world, knowing how to speak several languages is a real asset, whether for travel, work or simply to better understand the world around us.
But before you can see the benefits of mastering a new language, the road can sometimes be complicated. So how do you go about it? We share our top 6 tips with you!
1) Practice regularly 🙌
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to spend hours studying a language to master it. The main thing is to be regular in your learning, i.e., to schedule revision sessions for yourself at constant intervals. This principle will help you to:
- Create a learning routine:
The hardest part of any project is getting started! To reach your goal, we advise you to define it well. This will involve setting an achievable and measurable goal. For example, it would be preferable to set the objective “study Spanish 1 hour a week ” rather than “learn Spanish” which is not concrete and precise enough. To stay motivated, we also advise you to monitor the achievement of your objectives by noting each week whether you have reached your objective. This will enable you to adjust your objectives if necessary.
- Memorise better:
Did you know that? Over time, our brain forgets. And not just a little! After 20 minutes, we forgot 40% of what we’ve just learned. Regularly reviewing information enables us to reactivate the memory before we forget. To memorise better, it’s better to revise in short sessions and frequently.
2) Use the right tools 🛠️
It’s not always easy to know which methods to use to retain as much information as when learning a new language. We can differentiate two very useful tools for learning:
- Index cards:
Ideal for summarising key concepts, they will enable you to list all the essential information you need to know by heart. You should use index cards for:
- Grammar rules,
- Specific lessons.
The aim of index cards is not to copy out your entire lesson but to rephrase the essential elements for a good understanding of the language by making a note of the key concepts.
With the REVISION 2.0 index cards and the SCRIBZEE application, you can scan and store your cards on your phone to access them at any time. In addition, you can track your progress by assigning a status to each one of your cards:
- Green = learned ✅
- Orange = in progress ⌛
- Red = to be learned ❗
Perfect for learning your vocabulary, these small horizontal format cards will allow you to write a word on the front and its translation on the back. This way, you can ask quiz yourself by looking at the front, the aim being to remember what’s hidden on the back. Pretty fun for revision, isn’t it?
FLASH 2.0 flashcards are also compatible with SCRIBZEE. In addition to having your flashcards with you everywhere, you can use the STUDY mode to access personalised learning sessions. Your flashcards will be shown on the screen, and you can indicate whether you have successfully remembered the translation or not by swiping right (✔️) or left (❌). SCRIBZEE will remember the flashcards you know or not and will suggest a future session adapted to your level of knowledge.
3) Practice the language 💬
Learning grammar, conjugations and vocabulary is essential to your success. But once you’ve acquired these basics, there’s nothing like moving on to something concrete to familiarise yourself with accents and the usual language of native speakers. There are several possibilities:
- Watching films and series in their original version is one of the easiest options. While being in your own environment, you will get used to the different accents and expressions used in everyday language. And you’ll always have the subtitles to help you understand the meaning of your film.
- Exchanging with native speakers is probably the most effective option once you’ve become somewhat familiar with the language. Several alternatives exist:
- Mobile applications that put you in touch with native speakers who want to learn your language. This is a very comfortable way to learn, as it allows you to practice with a native speaker whenever you have time, wherever you want.
- Polyglot cafés. These are places where people from all over the world can meet to talk in the language they wish. These meetings are perfect for immersing yourself in the learning of a language thanks to the closeness, conviviality but also the benevolence of the participants.
- Trips to a country where the language you are learning is spoken. They will be even more enriching if you make the effort to go and meet the locals to exchange with them. You will then be in the thick of things and can test both your understanding of others and your ability to make yourself understood!
Learning a foreign language is a real challenge. But with a little motivation and regular work, it is within your reach. The hardest part is getting started. So, a word of advice: go for it and don’t be afraid of other people’s opinions. Learning a new language is very personally rewarding and will certainly open up many personal (✈️) and professional (💼) opportunities.
So, what are you waiting for? 😊