Language learning, especially in its early stages, can seem a very enduring and daunting process. Getting to grips with complex grammatical concepts can be troublesome in your native language, never mind a foreign language consisting of varying gender and numerous case marking systems. Without question, your language learning potential is at its most effective when you are able to fully engage and enjoy the material you are dedicating time towards. Here are just a few interesting tips and ideas that may be beneficial when starting out your language learning journey.
Familiarise through listening– Language learning doesn’t have to be rushed, and there is no need to pressurise yourself by attempting to speak the language right away. Just listening to your target language can be just as useful, familiarising yourself with the different sounds and pronunciations. Make it as enjoyable as possible by listening to materials in your target language which reflect your personal interests. That might be through listening to a particular genre of music you like, a film/ television programme dubbed into your target language, or even a commentary of a sporting event that might be of interest.
Practice Language Actively– When you are practicing and learning a language alone, try and speak the language aloud rather than reciting it silently to yourself. Speaking the vocabulary and pronunciation activities aloud will help you master the process of transferring language from your mind to your mouth. This same active learning process can also be utilised when practicing your writing skills, so rather than simply gliding through the activities in your mind, getting your answers down on paper can be extremely beneficial as a visual learning aid.
Conversation – Without a doubt, the most effective way of learning another language is by speaking that language with other learners or a native speaker if possible. Forming study groups with fellow learners provides an excellent way of learning vocabulary, mastering pronunciation, and getting to grips with the grammatical structure of the language. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, this is an inevitable but vital step in becoming fluent in your target language. It is important to decrease any gaps in your knowledge, and making mistakes is the only way this can be achieved.
Here at Worldwise, we have a number of weekly sessions dedicated to practicing your conversation skills with a native speaker. Speaking with a native speaker is a fantastically efficient way of learning a language, as it allows you to communicate meaningfully and get to grips with using language in its immediate context. Anyone who is currently enrolled on one of our language courses are welcome to attend. The timetable for the conversation classes can be viewed below; (click to enlarge)
Conversation classes_semesterTwo _2013_updated (Printer friendly view)