I’m not here to recommend you a course. My purpose is to provide some insight into foreign language learning. This will be a tremendous help for anybody who needs a clear and satisfying answer to this question. “What is the easiest way to learn a foreign language?”
It is indisputable that there’s a lot of online advertisement that could mislead you. The Internet is full of hyped offers. These include: buy this latest novelty and you’ll get the results you’ve always wanted. Another one is: sign-up to this platform and you’ll become fluent in no time.
However, most of us know that things don’t work that way. Learning takes time and commitment. Besides, there are no shortcuts.
When you ask for “the easiest way”, I understand your point. I also have been there. Sometimes it’s pressure to learn a foreign language. On other occasions, it’s years trying to learn and not being able to see much significant progress.
The question about the “easiest way” is rather difficult to answer.
But what is the main point underlying this question? You have to find a way to learn a language in which you can start making your desired progress right away. These immediate results will provide you with motivation to continue learning without slacking. So, what you have been looking for is an approach that will meet your expectations. You want to reach your goal skill level and achieve improvements in the target language. And you want to do all this in a way that feels natural.
Why do I want to learn this language?
This is a basic question that you must address from the very beginning. It is necessary for you to identify your goals. It is also very important to know how you will use this language. For example, some learn a second language to be able to read. Likewise, others learn in order to orally communicate with others. The goals can be diverse.
In this post, we’ll focus on the needs of learners that want to master a language to be able to communicate through it. These learners want to be able to understand and talk in the target language. If that’s your case, you need to continue reading. Please do so!
I have tried to learn this language but it’s too difficult!
Consequently, the previous ways in which you’ve tried to learn your target language haven’t worked. This is because there has been a problem with the approach. So, you really don’t need the easiest way. What you need is the most effective way! One that is an exact fit for your specific needs and learning style.
What is the easiest way to learn a foreign language?
Playing house with the language. What does this mean? To illustrate this, imagine the language is a guest. Invite that foreign language into your daily life. Welcome it at the door and let it into every room of your existence. Live and breathe that language you want to learn.
A mistake some students make
Some students with tremendous effort indeed, set apart two hours a week to learn a language. And that is commendable. During those two hours, they strive to learn as much as they can. But once those two hours have ended, what happens? Yeah, you guessed it! They close the platform and put away their books. Then they leave their notes at the studio and forget all about it… “What’s wrong with that? I’ll be back next week!” they could say. “Isn’t it supposed to be that way?”
Accordingly, the next week the cycle begins again. Definitely, that’s not the way to learn a foreign language! Let’s predict what will happen. Two years later that person will state he sees very little progress despite all his effort.
What should I do to learn a foreign language?
Use every opportunity to get exposed to the new language. As we stated above, the problem with many students is that they take the wrong approach.
A person lays on the beach all day and will inevitably get sunburned. Somebody continuously and purposefully exposes himself to appropriate content to learn a language. What will the results be? You guessed it!
So we have hit two key points here. Did you recognize them?
Exposure and Good Content!
There is content carefully crafted to meet student’s needs. For example, platforms such as BBC have worked in this direction. Have you seen their material for students learning Italian? Check it out by clicking here.
But, not everything in the new language is suitable for learning purposes. You could apply filters to determine if content is appropriate or not. Here are certain basic criteria we would like to mention.
What type of content would help me learn a new language?
We have considered two main points here. They are:
1. Content must be in harmony with your level of understanding in the new language. If you choose content that is way too advanced, you will only hear unrelated sounds. When you’re absorbing this new vocabulary, you need to make associations. And you can do these associations when the words are simple and repeated often. You need to choose simple content in your target language. During the first days, you’ll still hear mainly sounds. But because it’s repetitive, after time you’ll be able to recognize those sounds.
You could choose complex content in the language you’re trying to learn. But time will go by and you’ll continue without grasping much despite listening to it every day. Please don’t make this mistake.
2. You must find the content interesting. There is nothing more boring than having to go through topics you don’t care about. It will be harder for you to pay attention. Besides, when you enjoy the time you spend with the material you choose, you’ve already won half the battle.
What can I do to get exposed to a new language?
Here are some ideas. You could pick up those that work for you and we also encourage you to come up with your own suggestions. Here is a brief list:
1. Take time to make labels for every object in your house using the written form of the word in the foreign language. This may seem simple but it’s effective.
2. Listen to audio content like podcasts and audiobooks in the new language. I’ll never overemphasize how important it is to listen to others talking the language you want to learn.
3. Read books for children. Learn through other types of materials created for kids in the target language. Children’s material is simple and, in most cases, it can even be fun!
4. Watch subtitled TED, also watch TEDx talks about topics that are interesting to you. You should already have a general idea about the topic from your native language. This is so that your brain may be able to do the associations.
5. Live-narrate parts of your day. Speak as if a foreign friend who only speaks the target language were right beside you.
Once you have a real insight into this approach, you are ready to go. You’ll discover that learning a new language is something of everyday life. You will even come up with your own ideas. You will create self-assignments that you’ll insert into your routine. These will add exposure to the language you’re learning.
Above all, it is important to have fun learning the language. You can do this by incorporating it into activities that you enjoy. This will stop you from considering dropping out. And it will also make you feel excited to share with others your great discovery. The discovery of: “The easiest way to learn a foreign language”!
The principles stated in this post are valid for learning any language. By now, you have realized how important it is to have the language you’re learning surrounding you every day. Please click here to read a post with good and practical advice on how to achieve this.