How to Speak a New Language Correctly
Speaking a new language poses a number of challenges, not the least of which is achieving a level of fluency that would allow a person to communicate well and with unflappable confidence. While the process can be quite daunting, it is not at all impossible to achieve excellent results provided you have access to the right tools and instructions. Below are step-by-step guidelines on how to speak a new language correctly as well as attain a native-speaker level of fluency.
Step One: Concentrate on Your Vocabulary
Words are essential to any and all languages so it is crucial to learn as many words as possible and be able to use each one appropriately in a sentence. Vocabulary building exercises are among the most effective tools you can use to your advantage, especially when learning a difficult language. Some of the best online-based language program today provide several lessons on how to build an excellent foundation for your vocabulary with the use of specific recall and association techniques.
Language experts have long ago posited that if a person can learn 10-20 words (and their meanings) everyday, he/she can become fluent in any particular language in a matter of six months or less. This is believed to be especially true in the case of the English as well as Spanish language, but it also applies to other foreign languages as well.
Step Two: Train Your Ears to Listen
Some languages are tone-sensitive. That is, intonation (i.e. peaks and valleys) and stress are crucial aspects of the language, as in the case of English, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, and many others. In order to speak a new language well, you have to train your ears to listen to the subtle but important variations in tone so that you can effectively imitate how native speakers deliver their sentences during normal conversations.
This can be achieved through listen-and-repeat/respond exercises. Certain language programs include lessons where you listen to a recording and repeat or respond to the words or sentences. The brain has a unique way of training itself to retain information and auditory stimulation is one of the most effective methods to use.
Step Three: Do Not Rely on Translations
There is much to be said about deep immersion as a tool for learning, not the least of which is the fact that it helps you become a native sounding speaker in no time. While you will need the help of English translations during the early stages of the learning process, it is not ideal to depend on this tool because it will eventually become a crutch that hinders your progress towards fluency.
In order to become a competent speaker of any foreign language, you need to get your brain used to forming thoughts and ideas in that particular language. Thought translation usually leads to poorly constructed sentences, which makes for a less than impressive conversation. You need to be able to think and speak in a foreign language in order to become fluent and confident.
Step Four: Ask for Feedback
While most people assume that online-based programs preclude any form of reliable feedback, it is in fact possible to gauge your proficiency level accurately. While using an online language program, you can also find forums or chat rooms where other people who are also trying to learn a new language share their ideas and experiences. Some forum members are native speakers of the language you are trying to learn, which gives you have the opportunity to converse with them and see whether your skills are at par.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be in a classroom and be taught by a language professor in order to receive valuable feedback. Keep in mind that the internet allows people to connect from even thousands of miles away, for the purpose of sharing information.
Step Five: Practice Your Speech to Achieve Refinement
All Languages, with the notable exception of ASL, are meant to be spoken. To master any particular language, you will have to speak it everyday for an extended period of time and get used to all its components, subtleties, and its entire personality. Since each language is unique, it has to be part of you and your daily life so that it eventually becomes an indelible skill that you can easily pull out for use whenever necessary.
Language is just like human beings in the sense that it is alive and it can flourish and evolve given the right amount of time and proper usage. When language is appreciated and experienced in just the right way, the rewards are abundant and permanent.
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