As many of you already know, I am currently brushing up my skills in another language. I am currently using Rosetta Stone as my primary teacher, but I also use a few other tricks to help me get a grasp of the language. Here are few things I use to keep my new language skills developing. (And to prevent forgetting the language. Cause guess what that can happen!)
That is the best way to learn a new language.
What do I mean by “full immersion?” Well, just short of actually moving to the country of your dreams you should surround yourself as much as possible with the language.
Listen to talk radio from that country. A simple google search will show you apps and other ways you can listen. (they often play on a loop, which is great because of the massive time zone differences for some areas.)
Sign up for the newsletters of whatever radio station you are listening to. For instance you are listening to a news station. Well, sign up for their news letter. Often times they will talk about it on the radio, so that will give you an idea of how the words are being pronounces and what is being said. Look at the pictures too, if there are some.
Re-read books you’ve already read in that language and buy the audio books. I would suggest reading a children’s book. Doing this you will connect with your prior knowledge of the subject of the book. You’ll be able to correlate the actions with the words. By reading along with the narrator you’ll learn how to say the words, while learning how to read. This will also help you with your accent. Often times we learn a language, depending on where you are in the US, from someone with an accent. Say Southern. You will never or hardly ever get the accent of your chosen language unless you hear it correctly.
Watch international shows.
Other countries also have online news programs that you can watch. Or you can watch International Films. Just don’t turn the subtitles on. Make sure you pay attention though!
This was how my mother learned English. She would watch commercials, soap operas and other forms of television. Sometimes she was lucky enough to catch a show that she’d seen in France. It was those times she was able to make a connection and know what was going on.
Of course, if you’re not in school, get a language program. Set up a schedule, because like fitness, routine is key!
Make an online friend.
(with caution!) Get comfortable enough with that person so you are able to have video chats with them. Ask them to listen to you speak, and try to only speak in that language. You will find there are a lot of people out there who want to teach you their language. Casual conversation, while learning, and making a friend, all of it is a win win!
There are a number of ways you can learn a language, you just have to put in the time and work. What I’ve listed is just a start, or perhaps all you need.
If you know of anything that might be helpful I’d love to hear it!