Top 3 Ways on How to Learn a New Language

by Marek on January 8, 2014

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How to learn a new language

Global competitiveness and personal growth are just two of the best reasons to learn a new language, as the world becomes a place where people are expected to relate via oral communication that is not restricted by culture or geography. For those who are looking to learn a foreign language, there are quite a few ways to achieve such goal outside the context of traditional education.

Listed below are various ways on how to learn a new language, as well as practical tips on gaining fluency in a short time frame.

Full Immersion Method

This is perhaps the oldest and most used method of learning a foreign language. While considered by many as outdated and tedious, the full immersion method does have its benefits, not the least of which is the fact that it allows people to not only learn but also experience the language first hand.

Pros:

First Hand Language Exposure

Learn a new language - Immersion methodA lot of people discount the merits of experiencing the culture behind a specific language, which in fact allows effective learning because the words become part of one’s life. Many who have tried learning a language this way can vouch for the fact that they have a full experience as opposed to simply grasping words and stringing them into sentences.

Fast Tracked Fluency

Being in a foreign country means having very little choice but to speak the local language in order to be a functional member of the society. This would in turn force the brain to adapt to the sounds and tones that are unique to the language, which is a great way to achieve fluency in a matter of months (or weeks for some people). You can hope to end up sounding like a native speaker, which is a hard feat to achieve especially in the case of some languages.

Cons:

Expensive and Time Consuming

Not everyone has the financial resources to move (albeit temporarily) to another country in order to learn a language. In addition, since people absorb knowledge at different rates, there is no guarantee that you can become fluent in a short period of time. This means you might have to stay at least a year, or perhaps more, in order to achieve fluency, which is not ideal for most people.

Online Language Courses

Living in the information age affords certain conveniences such as being able to learn a language from the comfort of one’s own home. Regardless of the specific language you wish to learn, there are various courses offered on the internet that teach interested individuals through various media, i.e. video, audio, text-based lessons.

Pros:

Relatively Inexpensive

Online Language CoursesCompared to the immersion method of learning, taking online language courses does not cost too much money. For a few hundred dollars, you can learn a language and gain fluency with the help of various online tools.

Learn on Your Own Time

Another benefit of choosing online courses to learn a language is that you get to choose the time of day (or night) to take the lessons. This method is highly recommended to those who have busy work schedules, or are otherwise occupied with personal tasks, i.e. caring for children and/or maintaining a household.

Cons:

Lack of Feedback on Your Progress

Since there are no instructors to provide feedback on the level of your proficiency, it can be incredibly hard to gauge just how much improvement is gained at any given point. You can never truly know how well you can speak a language until you have communicated with native speakers, or at least someone who is sufficiently proficient in it.

Fluency Can Take Years

Depending on how much time you spend poring through the lessons provided in the online course, it could take a long time to become fluent in the language of your choosing. This can present a real problem especially for those who need to gain proficiency for purposes of higher education or gainful employment.

Language Software Packages

Over the past few years, more and more language learning tools have become available to consumers. Language software has become increasingly popular because they provide a number of different ways to learn various languages in a short amount of time.

Pros:

Online and Offline Access

Compared to online-based language courses, language software packages can be used even without internet access. This particular method of learning was patterned from old-school techniques such as the use of language tapes and English to foreign language dictionaries, which were considered effective back in the day. You need not be connected to the web in order to access lessons, which is a huge plus because it affords convenience to those who do not have internet at home.

Dozens of Languages to Choose From

Learn any language fastThe coverage of language software packages these days can only be described as wide and expansive. Apart from popular foreign languages such as Italian, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, English, and Dutch, there are many other choices available for those who wish to become multilingual. Choosing this method would allow anyone to learn practically any language in existence.

English Translations Available

One of the main disadvantages of learning a language on your own is getting lost in translation. For primary English speakers, it is usually necessary to have access to English translations in order to grasp the language faster and more effectively. Most language software packages provide translations in order to facilitate learning and avoid confusion.

Cons:

Commitment is Required

While this is not technically a disadvantage, people have to know that this method still requires time and effort in order to gain desirable results. A couple of hours each day to study the lessons would be a requirement; otherwise you cannot expect to become fluent, let alone sound like a native speaker.

Tip:

When choosing a language learning package, it is necessary to find the best product that can provide excellent results in as little time as possible. Reading up on reviews and consumer testimonials would be a good practice especially for first time buyers.

Learning a new language is a noble goal that also has a number of practical benefits. In order to achieve fluency in any foreign language, it is necessary to choose the learning method that has been proven to work for most people.


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