The Top 5 Tips to Keep In Mind When Learning a New Language

Learning a new language is something everyone should do. It's super fun but knowing two or three languages opens doors for new experiences, jobs, and cultures you might’ve not known before. As an avid language learner, I have often crashed and burned in the process of learning a new language. I haven't followed a study schedule and I've blanked out when people ask me to speak the language. Learning a new language is an uphill battle with yourself, but I’ve figured it out (mostly)! These are five simple tips I follow when learning a new language. They've helped me greatly, and I hope they help you on your journey too.

  1. 1. Keep a Journal

    This might seem obvious but keep a journal. No, I’m not talking about your notebook where you keep all of the new info coming at you, but a journal. Use it as a way to practice all the new knowledge you’re learning. Talk about your day, an event that happened, a special occasion, or anything you want as long as it’s written in your target language. You might want to focus on using one grammatical rule per journal entry. I think you should even use a set list of vocabulary to better memorize the rules.

  2. 2. Download Apps

    Apps, guys, apps! We’re on our phones all the time. What better way to learn a new language than by putting your phone to good use? While there are quite a few apps for language learning, I’m going to name three of my favorite ones. Duolingo, one of the more popular ones, it has a simple and straight to the point design that sets daily goals for you as you learn new vocabulary and grammatical rules. Memrise, which is definitely on my top list for apps to learn new vocabulary words because they even separate them by topics. Last but not least, Quizlet lets you create flash cards. I mostly use Quizlet for grammatical rules I want to refresh, but it can be used for a multitude of things.

  3. 3. Make Friends from the Country

    This might seem a little daunting for people who are only beginning, but you should meet someone who speaks your target language. It really helps you to apply everything you’ve learned, and you could even learn new things. It’s alright if you only know how to have a basic conversation. We all start somewhere. I understand that talking to someone in a language you barely know can be nerve-wracking. You could also talk to a friend that’s learning the language too. This way, you can grow more comfortable with the idea of writing and speaking in the new language. Down the line, you’ll feel more confident speaking with someone from the country of your target language.

  4. 4. If You Can, Take a Class

    If you’re like me, you’ll start learning the language by yourself. I’m not saying you can’t learn a new language like this, but I recommend you take a class. It'll give you a structure that is easier to follow. It can help you avoid feeling lost while learning. This is a more pricey choice which I know not everyone can afford, but if you find a space in your budget for language classes, it’ll be a great help. It’s always best to take classes. It's even better if the teacher is speaking in their mother language. This will ensure you’re learning the language correctly.

  5. 5. Set Goals for Yourself

    Lastly, set goals for yourself. This might seem obvious to some and meaningless to others. However, setting goals for your target language helps you learn things quicker. It can also help you stay motivated throughout the journey. Your goals don’t need to be big. Instead, make small goals: like learning x number of words in a week, or using x number of words and grammatical rules that day. This doesn’t mean that you can’t set big goals for yourself, but setting smaller goals helps you stay on track.

These are some simple tips that have helped me in my language learning journey. They’re simple enough to seamlessly fit into my normal schedule as to ensure I actually sit down and practice the language. I hope that your learning experience becomes more enjoyable and productive through these tips. Happy language learning!