If you consider yourself to be an avid and lifelong learner, then you have probably thought about learning a new language at least once. Maybe you have always wanted to watch French movies with no subtitles, sing along to Spanish songs fluently or immerse yourself in culture through its language.
Whatever the case may be, you can start learning your target language anytime you want, you can start today! But before you do, we have some tips for you on how to learn a new language by yourself, so when you start learning, you are not confused or overwhelmed with the process.
Tips for Learning a New Language
- Learning the Basics
A lot of people start learning a new language from scratch, meaning that they need to start with the most basic thing – the alphabet. If this is your case, you need to learn the letters – in all forms – of your target language. However, if it does not have letters, it has characters instead that you need to learn first.
Learning the letters means learning how to write them and how to pronounce them, so it is ideal to learn each letter with a small group of words. This way, you learn simple necessary words while also learning the alphabet.
This brings us to our next point.
- Learning Vocabulary
Learning a new language requires learning lots of new words, which is quite a challenge for many learners. Think of it this way, if you really want to excel at the language you’re learning, you’ll need to know the simple words to home appliances, directions, and food, alongside many adjectives and verbs.
Unfortunately, that is not all. When advancing your learning, you’ll get to explore and learn vocabulary and terms that are more specific to certain areas of knowledge and specialized topics.
Learning many words at once is one thing, but revising them and remembering their meaning, accurate pronunciation, and correct use is totally a whole other thing.
So, how do you maintain learning new vocabulary?
- Learn Words within Context: The reason why recalling words and their meanings is difficult goes back in part to language learners not learning words within context, but instead learning words separately from their use.
Well, where to find context?
Phrases, collocations, and proverbs are a great start. They will enable you to learn more words at once, all within context, which will make you more familiar with the language, standard, and spoken.
- Flashcards: Though learning words within context is efficient, there is no escaping learning words through the good old “write it down, memorize it, revise and repeat.” But turning this method towards making flashcards will make your learning process easier, and much more fun.
You can divide the cards in color (or even shape) according to what type of speech the word is, or to what area of knowledge it belongs. Make sure to include a sentence or two that use the word you’re writing down to give it the context it needs.
- Learn Grammar in Small Chunks
Grammar can surely be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
Grammar is already broken down into rules and exceptions; however, what you can do to study grammar effectively is to break it down into even smaller chunks, this can be especially useful when the exceptions of a rule tend to outweigh the rule itself.
When studying grammar keep in mind to look for patterns, and as for your starting point, it should be the most basic thing in grammar, which is parts of speech: Verbs, nouns, adjectives, prepositions, and so on. Start with the most essential and beginner-level grammar lessons, break them down and practice them.
How to practice?
Work on grammar exercises, join online groups to engage in dialogue, and write down diary entries that will put your vocabulary and grammar to practice.
- Online Courses
There is nothing wrong with a bit of help, and taking an online language course can make a huge difference to your learning process. Language courses are very popular and high in demand, all thanks to the great input and added value they contribute to your learning.
Don’t know what courses to take? Check out Oktopi courses!
Oktopi is an online learning platform that is empowered by artificial intelligence, aimed at educators to provide learners with the best free and affordable classes through flexible and easy-to-use features. It is also aimed at learners who are looking for a new learning journey that is beneficial, informative, practical, and fun.
So, if you are looking for language learning classes, Oktopi classes await you to take them up so you excel at your target language.
There is no wrong way to learn a new language; however, it is always best to look for tips that will help you out along the way, and taking one of the Oktopi language classes is surely one that you should consider.