Tips For Learning a New Language

By Edgardo Hernandez
Blog Content Contributor

Language is an essential part of today’s life and its importance only seems to grow. With everyone seeking to improve their communication skills, learning a new language has become a necessity to expand opportunities. Although these new learners are very ambitious, they tend to forget a key aspect in learning a language: having a game plan.

A game plan is basically an outline of how you expect to achieve a goal; in this case, it means learning a language. This outline consists of methods or programs you choose to follow in order to enhance your knowledge of the language. Lucky for us, we are in the age of technology where are resources have become endless.

Duolingo is one of many language applications available on the app stores that will aid you on your learning process. Photo by Edgardo Hernandez, Jr.

For starters, use your phone. Within every phone nowadays is an app store that has multiple applications that offer practice programs. Some applications include Duolingo, which is, by far, the best language application I have found. It is great for beginners. There are multiple languages to choose from and the program follows a level-up system where you start from level one and must show comprehension in order to reach higher vocabulary.

In addition to program applications , new learners can find various dictionary applications for practically any language that will allow you to look up words with or without internet connection. A dictionary application I recommend for you Spanish learners is called SpanishDict, which is a Spanish dictionary that has plenty of helpful add-ons to better your learning experience. The application has a section known as “the word of the day” that sends a notification to your screen showing you a new word and its definition. As well, inside the app is a game that allows you to quiz your vocabulary skills.

In addition to using your phone, “old-fashioned” ways are just as beneficial. These include reading books and talking to someone native to the language. By using these methods, you can face the language directly. When reading the books, it is fine to stop and look a word up if you don’t understand what it means.

Just for fun, try using this method: grab a set of sticky notes (a good chunk of them) and post them all around your room and home on the furniture and electronics. Once you’ve stuck them all, write down the name of each object in the new language. Now, everyday when you go to use this object, or glance at it, the new name will be there! You can use these to practice saying the words, knowing what they mean, and putting phrases together! I swear, if you do this, your vocabulary will go sky-high!
There are a number of ways in which you can practice both comprehending and reciting a new language. Believe me, it is not going to be an easy journey, but the benefits of learning a new language and what the culture it brings along with it is worthwhile.

Featured image by Edgardo Hernandez, Jr.

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