1 Simple “Trick” to Learn a New Language Faster in Your Home Country

1 Simple “Trick” to Learn a New Language Faster in Your Home Country
***QUESTION***
Hi Robbie!
My name’s Travis, and I’m a born and raised native English speaker from America. I’ve never had to use a second language before, though the idea of being fluent in 2+ languages has always been appealing to me. Especially now, as i start my attempts to learn Korean so I can eventually move there and start a career there.
I’ve read lots of online sources, and even shelled out the money for Rosetta Stone Korean(just started, not going as well as promised, but we’ll see. I’m only on course 1).
I know the best way to learn a language is to completely omit your native language from the learning process, but I’m having a hard time doing that. Everything that goes in Korean tends to come out English, an if I’m luckily, a Korean translation stuck in my head!
Is this normal for someone who’s just started learning a language? I think it’s mostly because I can’t be fully immersed in the language, and I’m bombarded by English left and right, with only a few Korean signs around my neighborhood.
I’ve been utilizing your free tips on language learning for a while, and I’m probably going to purchase your ebook package soon. Anyway, I guess my real question is, is it possible to become fluent in a language with only a slight amount of total language immersion?
Thanks so much in advance!
>>>MY COMMENTS:
Hi Travis,
When a language learner wants to get proficient in the language of one’s choice, one often does not have the benefit of living in a country where that language is spoken. You want to learn the language but are surrounded by people speaking your native tongue.
If you are only using English everyday to communicate, you are already at a disadvantage since most of your “language” time is spent not in the language you *want* to learn but rather in a language you already know too well!
To become fluent in a new language, you have to use it and breathe it. The more time you spend in your new language, the sooner you will reach “fluency”.
Here’s how you can “upgrade” your life to spend more time in the language you want to learn rather than English:
1) Identify some areas in your life where you already use English (for example, watching TV in English, reading magazines in English, reading English websites, etc.)
2) Go online to your favorite search engine and search for the activity + the language you are trying to learn (so: Korean TV, Korean magazines, Korean blogs)
3) Keep doing the same activities you did before but instead of doing them in English, do them in the language you want to learn!
By replacing English with the language you want to be fluent in, you can keep doing your favorite activities like reading or listening to music but the advantage here is that you are now getting immersed in the language you want to learn.
By living in America, you already know English and spend enough time each day practicing it. If you can choose just a few activities and switch them from English to your new language, you will find that this added input will push you faster towards “fluency” and creates a type of immersion environment that helps train your mind to get used to simply using the language; rather than just viewing it as a “study” when you turn on Rosetta Stone.
I’ll talk to you soon.
Your Friend,
Robbie Kunz

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