Learning a New Language – As Easy as ‘A B C’!

Learning a New Language – As Easy as ‘A B C’!

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This is some commentary from a college friend of mine: are you looking to pick up a new language for the New Year? I have always wanted to learn French, but was daunted as an adult going ‘back-to-school’ as I was worried about fitting in classes and homework in between my day job. It has been a year since I started French lessons and I am loving every minute of it.

Here are my personal tips to help you make learning a new language easy and fun.

1) A little every day goes a long way

The Kumon method (http://www.kumon.com/resources/the-importance-of-studying-every-day/) – popular in Asia – is a huge advocate of studying just a little each day to master the subject. I set aside an hour each evening (just 4% of your day!) to learn a bit of French.

Now, this does not have to be strictly reading your textbook, making notecards or doing your homework. Make it fun by mixing it up – read a short story, watch the news online or challenge yourself with understanding a YouTube recipe or song in the new language. You can even watch a French movie to learn how to listen and understand the language.

2) Practice makes perfect

Languages need to be spoken, and what better way to test your new skills at an event? Schools that offer French courses, such as Alliance Française, usually organize networking events for students to practice the language with French natives and advanced students. Look out for French groups in your city who have regular meet-ups, or find a Facebook group if you aren’t able to travel frequently.

Not only do you get to practice a new language, you end up making new friends and learning more about the art, culture, food and history of France through these events.

3) Learn with a friend

The joy of learning a new language is in meeting new classmates. Make fast friends with them as you can help each other out with notes when you have to miss a class. We don’t have to be embarrassed about being wrong or mispronouncing words as we are all learning together.

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There is an added advantage to studying together too. By asking each other questions and coaching one another, you will memorize the language better – especially useful before a test.

4) App your way to a new language

We are lucky to have a lot of online resources and technology to help us. To study on-the-go, download apps such as Duolingo or Rosetta Stone to widen your vocabulary. You should also download a translator such as Reverso Context, which provides you with several meanings to a new word, depending on the context of the sentence. This is useful to understand the new chapter you are learning, with minimal frustrations.

It is easy to learn a new language when you make it fun for yourself, while growing your social circle along the way.
If learning a new language is one of your resolutions, share this article with your friend and sign up for a course together. What are you waiting for?

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