Language learners often moan and complain about how difficult a task it is to get to any level of proficiency in their given language of study. It is true that a monumental amount of effort is required to study all the vocabulary of a language, learn all the intricacies of the grammar and just get it all to fit together in some working condition. However, does language learning always have to be “difficult”? The simple answer is, no. There are plenty of ways you can sneak more of that hard language learning in without it feeling like a tedious task.
It’s interesting to note why language learning seems so difficult in the first place. For one, it requires a great length of time. Also, many people find the tasks involved in learning a language repetitive and thus it quickly becomes boring. There are also few people who enjoy studying complex grammar rules and more people who would rather tear their hair out than study or use the rules.
But let’s forget all that for a moment and look at some easy strategies you can use right now to power your language studies in a way that won’t seem hard.
#1. Find Those “Hidden Moments”
The first way is “hidden moments”. You have moments throughout the day where you are doing nothing or relatively little and could be used to cram an extra vocabulary word or two in during that time period.
The best way to go about this is to use notecards. You can either go the old fashioned way and literally get notecards. Then, write the foreign word on one side and the correspondingly word in your native tongue on the other. This way, you can test yourself accordingly. Whenever you have a spare moment like waiting in line at the grocery store, just pop out your notecard and study away!
If you are more technologically advanced, there are plenty of notecards out there for smart phones. You can input the words you want to learn into a smart phone and the effect will be the same. In fact, you may find that you learn faster this way because the notecard programs usually use algorithms to test you on the new vocabulary at a rate that is optimized for your memorization.
#2. Learn How to Speak – by Speaking!
The second way is getting a conversation partner. You can do this easily by searching the web for sites that offer exchanges. Rosetta Stone has set up a free one called “SharedTalk” so you can search for that. Once you are inside, you can find a conversation partner and begin speaking away in the language you are trying to study.
The reason this is so powerful is because interacting with a real live human being is much more effective than interacting with a boring textbook. The richness of the experience will make it easier for you to learn new vocabulary and even grammatical patterns that you may have had difficulty with in the past!
#3. Having Fun is the Key to Motivation
The third way is doing something fun in your new language rather than traditional study. For example, if you enjoy movies, then go get a movie in your target language and start watching it. If you like dramas, do the same for television dramas. If you enjoy comic books, then go out and purchase some comic books written in the foreign language you are trying to learn. Whatever your interest may be, get something that corresponds to it and use it.
You will gain so much more when doing something “fun” in the language because it will keep you engaged in it for longer. The longer you stay in the language, the more you will naturally learn. So, you want to keep yourself going on the long road of language learning by using fun material that will keep you involved. If you just try to simply use the textbook all day, you will find yourself putting it down and not putting in the required amount of time to get fluent in the language you want to know.
These three simple strategies should boost your language learning and get you on the road to fluency even quicker! Make sure you start using them today or as soon as you start studying your language again so that you can really get them involved in your natural studies. Enjoy and good luck!
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