How can we get a better knowledge of a foreign language when we are thrown into it? Are there books you want to read, but can’t find? How can I improve my vocabulary and language skills by adding new words and concepts? This is not a problem! The best idea is what you’ve not tried.
When it comes to learning a new language, there are many different methods that people use. Some people prefer to take classes, while others choose to study on their own. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but the bottom line is that if you want to learn a new language, you need to be willing to put in the time and effort. In this blog post, we will discuss 9 effective methods for teaching yourself a new language!
- Learn the IPA phonetic alphabet
- Research how to learn the specific language you’re interested in
- Choose a curriculum or method from a textbook
- Anki – Practice, practice, practice!
- Use resources like books, movies, comics, and tv shows to help you learn
- Listen to podcasts
- Find a language partner or tutor
- Download a language learning program
- Join a language meetup group
- Read a foreign language book aloud
- Travel to a country where the language is spoken
No matter what method you choose, the most important thing is that you are consistent with your studies and practice. The more you use the language, the better you will become at it. So get out there and start learning!
What is language learning? Is it hard to learn a new language?
It can be difficult to learn a new language, especially if you are starting from scratch. In order to learn a language, you need to be willing to put in the time and effort. You need to be willing to practice and learn new vocabulary and grammar rules.
Despite all the hard work it will take, there are many rewards to be had when learning a new language. Not only does learning a new language make you smarter, it can also help improve your memory, increase your vocabulary in your native language, and make you more culturally aware. In addition, learning a new language can help improve your communication skills and allow you to connect with people from all over the world. So if you’re looking for a challenge, learning a new language is definitely it!
Learn the IPA phonetics of the foreign language words in your native language
When I was learning how to read and write in Macedonian, one of the things that I found most challenging was learning the phonetic alphabet. Unlike English, which is not written phonetically, Macedonian is a phonetic language. This means that the spelling of words almost always corresponds to how they are pronounced. In order to learn how to read and write in Macedonian, I had to learn the phonetic alphabet.
Although in this instance, the pronunciation rules are pretty rigid, other languages like French have a lot of leeway when it comes to how words are pronounced. For example, the word “un” can be pronounced as either “uh” or “on.”
To help you figure out the pronunciation, look up the IPA guidelines for pronunciation in your target language. The IPA, or International Phonetic Alphabet, is a system of symbols that represents how sounds are pronounced in languages around the world.
By learning the IPA phonetic alphabet, you will be able to sound out words in your target language and know how they should be pronounced. This is an essential tool for anyone who wants to learn a new language!
In order to learn the IPA phonetic alphabet, I had to go online and look up how it worked. I found a great website that had a list of all the symbols and their corresponding sounds. I was able to use this resource to help me learn how to pronounce words in Macedonian. Wiktionary.org is a great resource for this.
Research how to learn the specific language you’re interested in
All languages are structured differently and there’s no 1:1 comparison or one-size-fits-all way to learn a language. However, there are some general tips and methods that can help you learn any language.
Before you start learning a new language, it’s important to do some research on how best to go about it. There are many different resources out there that can help you learn a new language. You can find helpful articles, books, websites, and even apps – but find a curriculum that lays out a rough path through the language. What to learn first, what to practice, and milestones for how long it should take you according to your level of practice.
Choose a curriculum or method from a textbook
When it comes to finding a language learning curriculum, the internet is your best friend. There are many websites that offer free language learning curriculums, and often you can find PDFs of these curriculums that you can download and print out.
One great website for finding language learning curriculums is Foreign Languages for Travelers. This website offers a variety of different language learning curriculums, all of which are available for download as PDFs.
Another great website for finding language learning curriculums is Live Mocha. This website offers a wide variety of language learning resources, including lesson plans, activities, and even audio and video files to help you learn a new language.
The Peace Corps has published a series of language learning textbooks that are available for free online. These textbooks are great resources for anyone who wants to learn a new language.
Once you have found a few different curriculums, take some time to look through them and see which one would be the best fit for you. Consider your learning style, how much time you have to dedicate to learning a new language, and what resources are available to you.
Once you have chosen a curriculum, the next step is to find a textbook. A textbook will provide you with the structure and framework for your language learning journey. It will lay out the grammar rules, vocabulary words, and conversation exercises that you need to learn in order to become proficient in your target language.
There are many different textbooks available for purchase online, or you can often find them at your local library. Once you have found a textbook, make sure to also purchase a good dictionary. A dictionary will be an essential tool as you learn a new language, and it will come in handy when you need to look up words that you don’t know how to pronounce.
Anki – Practice, practice, practice!
Anki is a tool that helps you practice and memorize new information. It is available as an app for your phone or computer, or you can also purchase a physical flashcard set.
When it comes to language learning, Anki can be a great tool for practicing pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. One of the best things about Anki is that you can create your own flashcards, which allows you to tailor your learning to exactly what you need to work on.
If you’re struggling with a particular grammar point, for example, you can create a flashcard deck with all of the grammar rules that you need to practice. Then, every time you open up Anki, you can focus on practicing those specific grammar rules.
In addition to creating your own flashcards, you can also download pre-made decks from the internet. These can be a great way to get started with Anki, and they can also be a great resource for reviewing material that you have already learned.
Some of the best websites for finding flashcard decks are:
All of these websites offer a variety of different flash card decks that you can download and use to help you learn a new language.
One last tip for using Anki – be sure to set aside some time every day to review your flashcards. The more you review, the better you will remember the information. And, as they say, practice makes perfect!
Use resources like books, movies, comics, and tv shows to help you learn
One of the best ways to learn a new language is by using resources that are already in your native language. This way, you can focus on learning the new language while still using familiar vocabulary and grammar structures.
There are a variety of different resources that you can use, including books, movies, comics, and TV shows.
For example, if you are learning French, you could watch a French movie with subtitles in your native language. Or, if you are learning Spanish, you could read a Spanish comic book.
Not only will using these resources help you to learn the new language, but they can also be a great way to immerse yourself in the culture. And, who knows? You might just find your new favorite book or movie in the process!
The important thing is here is learning to listen for the message in whatever is being communicated, rather than getting hung up on the grammar structures. Having a plot line is especially good for getting your attention onto a story, rather than on syntax.
Once you can start to follow along with the gist of what is happening in your chosen resource, you can then start to pay more attention to the language itself. Focus on learning new vocabulary words, and try to identify any grammar patterns that you see.
Listen to foreign language podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to immerse yourself in a foreign language. They can also be a great resource for learning new vocabulary and phrases. Look for podcasts that are specifically designed for language learners. These podcasts will often include transcripts of the episodes, which can be a great way to follow along and learn new words.
Some of the most popular foreign language podcasts include Spanishpod101, Frenchpod101, and Germanpod101.
In addition to podcasts specifically for language learners, you can also listen to podcasts in the target language that are aimed at native speakers. This can be a great way to get exposed to natural conversation in the language.
When I was hardcore learning Macedonian I would listen to a daily news talk show called “Тик Так и Зорка” every day. They would talk about Macedonian news, politics, the weather, and the latest COVID strains taking over the world.
Listening to podcasts is a great way to learn a new language because it allows you to hear how native speakers use the language in everyday conversation. It also gives you the opportunity to practice your listening skills.
This is important because it gives you a chance to practice listening to full speed conversations without the stuttering, awkward halting of having to respond yourself. Life happens at full speed, and so do podcasts.
There are a variety of different podcasts that you can listen to, and this is an area where you can also choose subject matter that you’re already either interested in or familiar with in order to give yourself a better context.
For example, if you’re interested in history, you could listen to a history podcast that is in the language you’re trying to learn. Or, if you like cooking, you could listen to a cooking show.
Find a native speaker of the language
Finding a native speaker of the language you are trying to learn is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. Not only will this person be able to help you with pronunciation and conversation, but they can also help you to become more familiar with the culture of the country where the language is spoken.
One way to find a native speaker is to join a language meetup group in your area. These groups usually consist of people who are interested in learning or practicing a particular language.
Another way to find a native speaker is to use one of the many online language exchange websites, such as Conversation Exchange or My Language Exchange. These websites allow you to connect with people from all over the world who are interested in language learning.
If you’re not practicing actual conversations with a real person, there’s only so much progress you can make. At some point, you have to jump in and start talking to people. And what better way to do that than by finding someone who is already a natural expert.
Use a language learning app
This recommendation comes with a caveat – most instructional apps will only be valuable for the beginner stage. There is a cliff for your ROI on almost every app out there.
That being said, when you’re just getting started it’s helpful to work from a framework that somebody else has put together.
For this, I recommend Duolingo for most people. It’s free (although you can pay for extras), it’s got a great community, and the bite-sized lessons are perfect for busy people. Don’t expect impressive results, but this will get you started.
Once you’ve outgrown an app like Duolingo, your next move will be to find a more comprehensive app like Babbel or Rosetta Stone. These apps will have you speaking and writing in the language in no time, but they come at a cost – both monetary and opportunity.
There are a variety of different language learning apps available, and many of them are free. These apps can be a great way to practice your new language skills. Some of the more popular language learning apps include Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone.
While language learning apps can be a great resource, they should not be your only method of learning a new language. These apps are best used as a supplement to other methods of language learning, such as those mentioned above.
Join a language meetup group
One way to improve your language skills is to join a language meetup group. These groups usually consist of people who are interested in learning or practicing a particular language.
Joining a language meetup group is a great way to get started with learning a new language. These groups provide a relaxed and informal setting where you can practice your target language with other language learners. This is also a great opportunity to make new friends who share your interests.
To find a language meetup group in your area, you can search online or ask at your local library or community center. You can also check out Meetup.com, which is a website that lists various types of meetup groups in many different cities.
Some of the most popular languages for meetup groups include Spanish, French, German, and English. However, you can find meetup groups for almost any language.
Read a foreign language book aloud — One of the very under-rated steps of language teaching
Reading aloud will help improve the pronunciation of the target language. Find some books online and watch it read loudly like you are introducing yourself to someone.
You can find foreign language books at your local library or bookstore. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking for children’s books, as they tend to use simpler language. You can also look for books that are specifically designed for language learners.
Another option is to find an audiobook of a foreign language book and follow along with the audio. This can be a great way to improve your pronunciation and understanding of the language.
Travel to a country where the language is spoken
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. If you want to become fluent in a language, there’s no better way than to immerse yourself in the culture and go to a country where the language is spoken.
When you travel to a foreign country, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your language skills on a daily basis. You’ll also be exposed to the culture, which can give you a better understanding of the language.
If you’re not able to travel to a foreign country, you can try to find other ways to immerse yourself in the language and culture. For example, you could watch foreign films or TV shows, listen to foreign music, or read foreign news articles.
Learning a new language can be a daunting task, but it’s definitely possible with the right methods. These are just a few of the many effective ways to learn a new language. With dedication and practice, you’ll be speaking like a native in no time!
So, there you have it! Eleven effective methods for how to teach yourself a language. No matter what your learning style is, or how much time you have, there is a method here that will work for you.
Don’t be afraid to try out different methods until you find the one that works best for you. And most importantly, have fun with it! Learning a new language should be a enjoyable experience.
Do you have any other tips for how to teach yourself a language? Share them in the comments below!