We’ve all heard the facts about babies having a significant advantage over the rest of us when it comes to picking up a new language, but this shouldn’t put you off. Learning a language as an adult has numerous known benefits from improving your job prospects to enhancing your cognitive abilities. It comes as no surprise then that learning a new language remains one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions worldwide. Yet as we wave goodbye to January, a time where many gym memberships fall by the wayside and “New Year new me” dieters succumb to temptation, motivation can be hard to find…
We asked the team at GlobaLexicon to share their own language-learning secrets to help you along your journey and to keep up that all-important enthusiasm.
1 - Learn on the go
A common choice is to use apps like Duolingo and Memrise. By incorporating topic-based vocabulary and grammar lessons into useful memory games, with rewards and levels to maintain interest, these language-learning apps are a great way to spend 10 or so minutes a day building on and refreshing your newly acquired skills. Any linguist will tell you that repetition is key in remembering new words and phrases, and by downloading an app you can learn on the go.
2 - Sit back and relax
Another way to immerse yourself in a language, whilst making it relevant and interesting, is by watching foreign films or listening to music in your target language. Seeing or hearing it in context can help you to better understand how it can be used whilst also benefitting your pronunciation. Even better, if you can find one of your favourite films dubbed in the language you are hoping to learn, then you may even be able to start picking out words yourself!
3 - Phone a friend
Roping a friend or partner into the venture means you will have someone to bounce off of and boost your motivation when it falters. By having someone to practise with, you can stumble through together, sharing new phrases and testing each other on what you have learnt so far.
4 - Book a holiday
A rather more expensive but nonetheless effective motivator is to book a trip to a country where they speak the language you are learning. With this goal in mind, you have a set date to work towards, knowing that there will be a chance for you to put your new talents into action. You could even combine this with the point above, and go with someone who has also undertaken the task, so that you can spur each other on!
There are many different ways to keep inspired when learning a new language, and a method that is fool-proof for one person may not suit another at all. However, what is certain is that no matter how you get there, the feeling you get from being able to speak another language is one that is totally and completely worth it.