What Is The Best Way To Learn A New Language?
We see this question asked a lot online, and we’ve also considered the question at some point. However, one thing we have found out is that there is really no single foolproof way of learning a new language. Instead, there are a variety of different ways available, and while certain methods work fantastically well for some people, others may not find it as effective. And some, like me, may find that a combination of two or more methods may be the best way to start habla Español or parler Français-ing in no time. So right now, let us take a look at the many possible ways that you can learn a new language.
As a minor in school.
Although this may not be a feasible option for some people and, therefore, doesn’t really count, it’s still worth a mention. Most high schools and colleges these days do offer foreign language classes, usually as a minor or elective course. And while these will probably not make you fluent in a second language, it is a great way to learn the basics. Not only that, it can be quite fun, too, and earning school units/credits while you are having fun learning a beautiful language is like hitting two birds with one stone.
Go to a specialty language school.
Every city has one these days, and it is highly likely that your language of choice is one of the language courses that are on offer. The great thing about language schools is that classes are often taught by native speakers, so it is as close to a “real world” exposure as you can hope for outside of the native country in question.
Most language schools offer various programs for a variety of learners. This can range from beginners courses to intermediate and intensive classes. The duration of the courses also vary. Intensive courses often go for as long as six hours per day, while standard courses go from two to four hours. The syllabi are often the same for these courses, however, so the only real difference is the pace at which you are learning the language. This is great as you can adjust your pace to fit your schedule, which is particularly useful if you are working or studying at the same time.
When you study with a language school, you will generally be included in a fairly small class—often no more than a dozen students at a time. However, you also have the option to go for private one-on-one classes. Although the latter is predictably more expensive, you do learn more in less time, so this might be worth your while.
You will be surprised to find out that there are people who learn languages by reading books, so don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. At the very least, it can be a great way to get started. Not only that, but it’s also quite accessible with so many For Dummies books available nowadays.
Listen to instructional audio.
Learning through audio is quite a convenient method. All you need is a portable player and a good pair of headphones, and you’re already well on your way. You can listen to it on the drive to work or while you’re sweating away at the gym for your morning workout, and you would have already achieved a great deal of productiveness early in the morning. The lack of interaction can be off-putting, however. Not only that, the speakers tend to speak somewhat slowly, so you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed when speaking to real, live person as they speak more rapidly.
Take advantage of online resources.
YouTube has a great number of random people giving out language lessons, so it is a great, not to mention, free resource when you are looking for a way to learn a language. There are also mobile apps like Duolingo available that make basic learning a lot of fun.
Make use of instructional software.
Software allows you to learn at your own pace and they are as interactive as can be. These also use different applications to emphasize certain disciplines. For example, Rosetta Stone uses a very interesting word association method to enhance your vocabulary.
The best thing about using a language learning software is that learning is never boring. Some have great self-testing tools that mimic real-world scenarios, so it really helps simulate conversation. Some also have cool recording features where one can actually hear oneself speaking the new language.
Indeed, there is probably no real best way to learn a new language as each one of us learns differently. Just consider and try out different options to find the best method for you.
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