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6 Tips To Learn A Language

When it comes to acquiring a new skill, learning a new language has to be one of the most common choices. Often we know exactly why we want a better understanding of our chosen language and have a clear goal at the end of our studies but how can we go about achieving them? These six tips on how to learn a language aim to help struggling students find a helpful learning tool to get them started.

1 – Start off with small, continual steps

Many people would suggest that the first place to start with learning a new language would be some simple, introductory tools like phrase books and flashcards. Most book stores will offer phrase books in a range of languages and this option is great if you are just getting started or if you will only be using the language temporarily for travel. Flashcards and online vocabulary apps can offer an alternative, convenient way of learning and this is particularly true if the method is smartphone and tablet friendly because it can provide constant access – at home and abroad – and help with the constant revision and repetition that is so important.

2 – Keep yourself immersed in the real language via media sources

On the subject of constant immersion and revision of phrases, it is also advisable for people trying to learn a language to surround themselves with different forms and cultural media such as films and television. Being able to hear the words spoken on the screen – perhaps with the aid of subtitles – is a different, fun way of adding a new element to language learning other than the standard reading, writing and listening. Accessing foreign films and television is easier now than ever thanks to websites and subscription services and if the idea of delving into a complex, foreign story is too daunting then you can always try a dubbed episode of your favourite sitcom, where you are familiar with the dialogue, or a children’s programme. Either way, these forms of media are a great way to familiarise yourself with real conversation rather than phrases and words.

3 – Don’t be afraid to speak the language

The importance of listening to real people speaking rather than relying on textbooks leads to another tip about speaking the language – communicating with other, native speakers. Actually speaking the language can be a difficult step because there is somehow more pressure to be right once the words are spoken; however, if you do so in a comfortable environment with a friendly speaker that can provide encouragement then it can be a lot easier. Video and voice chats online can be preferable to room full of strangers in a classroom but, either way, conversing is ideal for picking up on accents, pronunciation and colloquialisms that the books may leave out.

4 – Consider taking a language class

Every language student is different and will benefit from different methods and just because some people find the idea of a classroom terrifying, this does not mean that it should be overlooked as a way to learn a language. Joining classes can be a great way of getting access to other speakers and useful materials and, depending on where you go, you could even get a qualification out of it. Adult education and distance learning offer two very different styles but they each provide a sense of structure and discipline that could benefit students that are low on confidence or easily distracted.

5 – Invest in some useful software with an online program

If structure and planned lessons sound like a great idea but the thought of committing to a qualification or going back to school goes beyond your goals, an online program with language software may be an ideal middle ground between the classroom and being self-taught from phrase books and TV. These programs generally involve paying a subscription for a series of lessons, which are either accessed online or through files sent through the post, and students work through the material at their own pace, sometimes with guidance from online tutors or progress reports.

6 – Try the Pimsleur approach

The Pimsleur approach is an audio-only version of the type of courses mentioned in the point above. It uses MP3 files, which are sent via a monthly, automated subscription, to provide a structured lesson plan with useful, repetitive material in an easily accessible, portable form. The method is often praised for its scientific approach and many users feel it is a fast, easy way to learn the language of their choice. The high cost and commitment required for the overall program is an off-putting factor but many would suggest it is worth it because it provides a range of benefits and great results.


In short, there is no single way to learn a language that can be considered to be the best way and other students that have previously learnt the language you aim to master probably have plenty of other helpful bits of advice to add to the six tips above. These six points are all useful measures that could potentially help you reach your goals; some people may find one approach is all they need, others may pick and choose between them all with varying degrees of success. The important thing to remember is that there are plenty of ways to learn and if one does not suit you you can always move on to another.

1 Comment

  • One of the best option to learn any language is to practice as much as you can, try to read more & listen to the native speakers!

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