Tips for learning a new language

Learning a new language is a goal that many people have. Whether or not you are an international student, it’s never too early or too late to start learning a new language. Below are some tips to improve your foreign language studies:

  • Clearly define the level of fluency you want to achieve – Before you begin studying a new language, you need to clearly define a goal for yourself on how fluent you want to be in your new language. Do you want to just know the basics? Do you want to have a grasp on basic conversation? Do you want to be fluent? Or, do you want to use your newly acquired language for business?
  • Setting aside time everyday – Once you have committed to learning a new language, you should set aside sometime everyday to study. Especially with new languages, every moment you are not using it is a moment you are forgetting it.
  • Anytime study – Aside from your scheduled study time that you have set up for yourself, make a habit to fit in small amounts of study time if you have some free time on your hands. A good time to do this is when you are commuting by car, train, or bus. Some other ideas include watching TV or movies in the foreign language, listening to music, or even watch music videos.
  • Start with a good foundation – While I’m a huge advocate for learning a new language through immersion process, it pays to start with a good understanding of the grammar. Be sure not to pick up incorrect speech which may be harder to fix once you have incorporated it into your understanding of the language.
  • Find friends who can practice with you and use it in daily situations.
  • Join a language exchange community website – If you are having a hard time finding friends to practice with, try joining a language exchange website. You can practice your new language in exchange for helping the other person learning your language – all online!
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – It’s normal to be a little nervous and you might find it a little awkward but if you become too afraid to speak than your language will not improve.
  • Start now, don’t wait – As they say, you’ll never get anything done if you procrastinate.
  • Study Abroad! – Personally, I think there is no better way to learn a language than to put yourself in an environment where everyone around you only speaks the language you’re trying to learn. A good way to do this is of course to study abroad.

Posted by ahoontrakul

Originally from Thailand, Apinant grew up in the United States and has extensive international experience traveling throughout Asia, Australia, North America and Europe. He has lived, studied and worked abroad in China, England, Taiwan and Thailand. Apinant is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Management.

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