As society is becoming more interconnected and globalised, it is clear to see that learning an additional language would prove to be an invaluable asset in this evolving society. We’re all very much aware that effective communication is essential in building strong relationships with others, whether business related or personal.
In this article, I will aim to provide you with the 10 best tips to help you learn a new language from the comfort of your own home.
- Consume Media In The Language You’re Trying To Learn
- Flash Cards
- Listen To Music In The Language You’re Trying To Learn
- Practicing With Native Speakers
- Recording Yourself Speaking
- Cooking While Learning
- Using A New Word A Day
- Language Tutor
1. Consume Media In The Language You’re Trying To Learn
Have you heard of passive learning? Well, if you love watching films, series, or listening to the radio and podcasts, this might be the perfect tool for you. Scientific studies, featured in the Journal of Memory and Language, have shown that passive learning – that consists of consuming media such as film, television and radio – can be a very efficient method for learning languages. And it can be used for all levels whether beginners, intermediate or advanced.
Learning language through media will allow you to become more familiar with specific phrases and vocabulary that you have been studying. This will give you insight on pronunciation and tonality. In addition, this method of learning is a great way of understanding context. When watching films and television specifically, it would be a good idea to watch with subtitles. It will allow for an understanding of the language, both in speech and written text, which is overall beneficial for your linguistic growth. Altogether, using media is an enjoyable and convenient method to learn a language from home.
2. Flash Cards
Flash cards are a commonly used tool for revision and education, recommended by educators and academia alike. They’re useful as they aid with the retention of information, which is critical when learning language. Research indicates that flash cards allow one to engage in “active recall” which creates strengthened neural connections in the brain. This leads to an improvement in memory. Frequent use of flash cards will improve your ability to retain and use the information you have learned. This is a useful tool that can be used at home.
3. Listen To Music In The Language You’re Trying To Learn
Music is a fun and useful tool that can aid the process of learning a new language. The melodic nature of music allows for information to be retained quickly. The consistent repetition of songs will ensure that you pick up on certain phrases said within the song which will overall increase your vocabulary. In addition, music will give you insight into how language is used colloquially and give you a broader understanding of general day to day speech. Music is a fun and enjoyable tool to learn a language from home.
Newspapers and magazine articles can be reliable sources to expand your vocabulary. Consistent reading will allow you to familiarise yourself with the language. In addition, newspapers and magazine articles can also help improve your ability to speak the language as you read aloud with the articles, a habit that is important if you’re trying to learn to speak the language fluently. Newspapers and magazine articles will also give insight into the cultural customs of the country whose language you’re understanding. It will also improve your overall understanding of the country as a whole.
5. Practicing With Native Speakers
Hearing the language spoken by someone who is a native speaker is a great method of familiarising yourself with the language, as you’re having first-hand experience of how the language is spoken on an informal level.
In addition, a native speaker can provide insight on the language and the customs that follow it. With language, there can be a variety of context clues that won’t be evident to you through reading a textbook. A native speaker can be found from the comfort of your home through Learn&Co. Our tutors are native speakers of various different languages. Under their tutelage, they will ensure that your learning experience is both informative and rewarding.
6. Recording Yourself Speaking
While hearing the sound of your own voice may seem like a daunting task for most, it is important to recognise how you sound when speaking a new language. Recordings offer a way to track your progress, and can highlight areas of improvement such as articulation and vocabulary. In regard to language, it is important to have tangible evidence of your progress. What you think you sound like may not be reflective of what you actually sound like.
7. Cooking While Learning
A study conducted by linguists and computer scientists at Newcastle University suggested that cooking is an efficient way to learn language. Cooking provides exposure to new vocabulary and grammar that wouldn’t be traditionally taught in standard language classes or textbooks. Another related advantage is that instead of just reading vocabulary from a list, learning while doing lets you put what you learn into practice right away.
8. Using A New Word A Day
Adding a new phrase each day into your vocabulary will help you learn a new language. Each day you should pick a specific word and use it throughout your day. Whether it be in person conversation or online forums, the objective is to use the word as frequently as possible. This repetition will store the word in your long-term memory. For more effective results, incorporate past words-of-the-day in your activities so you can keep everything fresh in your mind.
I know the word test can make you feel anxious and give you haunting flashbacks to secondary school. However, research shows that the tried and proven method of tests can aid our long-term memory. As well as the ability to retrieve important information when necessary. American psychologists Jeff Karpicke and Henry Roediger conducted an experiment on a group of students to examine the effects of testing on fact memorisation and language learning. The results of this test showed that students who had studied recalled 80% of the information they had learnt. Testing also serves as a way to track your progress as you’re able to see which areas you excel at. As well as tracking which areas still require improvement. There are a variety of tests that you can conduct from home. One example is reciting the definitions of specific words, and spelling tests.
10. Language Tutor
Having a tutor allows your progress to be overseen by an expert. This will not only accelerate your learning process, but it creates an environment that encourages your growth and development. While learning independently is certainly encouraged, being left to your own devices can leave you feeling directionless. With a language tutor, you’re able to study at your own pace. And you’re able to focus on the skills that are most important to you. Whilst having an expert speaker of the language available to correct you. As well as explain new concepts and keep you on task. Learn&Co provide excellent tutors who can aid you in your studies.
Learn&Co provides languaging tutoring for a wide range of clients ranging from the ages of 7 to 70 years old. We will assist whoever has the desire to learn a language, whether it be for professional endeavours, or simply to expand your knowledge of language. Hiring a language tutor can be one of the fastest ways to learn a language. It allows you to focus on the language skills that are most important to you. It also allows you to get specific assistance with the skills that you struggle with.