Which is the best way to learn a foreign language?
Because everyone learns differently, there is no best way to learn a foreign language. Before embarking upon this educational journey, it is important to know what kind of learner you are. Do you work best in groups? How useful are visual aids in helping you retain knowledge? Here are five methods of learning a new language that touches on different learning methods. Each is effective in their way, and more than one may apply to you. Remember, the variety of methods you use at one time, the faster you will learn.
1. Classes – Taking a foreign language course will cover most methods of learning. By incorporating sound, repetition, visual aids, group work and homework, language courses can accommodate all learners’ types. Plus, teacher supervision and evaluation will ensure that you are not making and learning mistakes.
2. Language tapes – If you are pressed for time and work well independently, foreign language tapes could come in handy. They mostly work well in tandem with language courses. Keep in mind that you must have a right ear for sounds and a talent for mimicry. It can be hard to form new words without seeing them spoken.
3. Culture – Each foreign language has strong ties with its culture and many small nuances and sayings can get lost in translation when you are not familiar with that culture. Do some research and find out more about the culture associated with the language you are learning. You can also do this by joining cultural clubs on campus or in your community. Also, look into an exchange program where you can meet with a native speaker of your learning language. You can learn more about their culture and teach them English while they teach you their language.
4. Media – A great way to immerse yourself in a foreign language is to check out foreign media. Movies, TV shows and radio programs will allow you to listen to the language and put it in context. You may not have access to foreign TV with your cable provider, but you can always stream videos online.
5. Travel – While this is not a learning tip recommended for beginners, more advanced students can challenge their new skills to the ultimate test by visiting a foreign country. You must already have a solid understanding of the language, yet you will learn to perfect it by getting out of your comfort zone and doing some traveling.