1. Donandrsquo;t be unrealistic
You aren’t going to be an expert from the word go. Even if you have a basic grasp of the language, there are still going to be some areas that are new to you and it will take some time before you have a sound understanding of them. The old adage that practice makes perfect is certainly true in the case of language learning, so persevere and you will witness the improvement first-hand; but don’t expect too much too soon or you will get annoyed at yourself and lose motivation to continue.
2. Split up your study time
The best way to learn a new language is to study frequently but for shorter periods of time, instead of infrequently for longer periods. This way, your learning will fall into a system and your mind will stay more focused and organized Also, try and stay connected with your learning at certain idle moments during the day, such as when you are eating your breakfast or showering.
3. Learn vocabulary effectively
The more words you know, the more you can use and understand. One of the best ways to do this is to purchase some flash-cards, cut them in half (so you have twice as many!) and write the foreign word on the front and the English definition on the back. There are quite a lot of possibilities open when using flash-cards, such as color-coding for different gender words, and adding variations of words as you gain more confidence.
4. Practice, practice, practice!
At every possibility, practice your language. Whether this is on holiday, speaking to a foreign friend or even using a foreign chat-room, you should actively use your new language at every opportunity. If you want to learn Italian, then go to an Italian restaurant and try to order your food in the native language.
5. Do your homework properly
If you set aside an hour for doing some work on your language, then make sure you use this time to the full. Donandrsquo;t have any distractions around you, such as a television or other people, and make sure you are fully-focused on your work. If you see a word you don’t understand, don’t ignore it – look it up in the dictionary and make a point to know it in the future.
6. Form study groups
Learning with others can often be more beneficial than learning alone because you have more sources to refer to in the case that you don’t understand something. It also gives you the opportunity to practice speaking the language with other people, and you can identify places where you are weak and need improvement.
7. Identify your learning style
There is no set way to learn anything, and everyone has their own way of doing things. Some people like to read and read notes until they can picture them in their mind, whereas some people like to speak the words aloud to prove that they know them. Also, remember that everyone learns at different speeds, so if someone in your class is getting ahead of you, don’t worry because it doesn’t mean you are worse at the language than them.
8. Maximise your language exposure
If your goal is to be completely fluent with the language, then you need to get used to being exposed to the language in all aspects of your life. If you start to get confident with the language, you could buy a film or music album in that specific language. You wonandrsquo;t be able to understand it all at first, in fact you might be able to understand very little, yet it will get your more accustomed to the tone and rhythm of the language.
9. Spend your time wisely
The whole point of your class-time is to increase contact with the language and understand it more, so if you find yourself wasting some of the time, find something else to do that will be beneficial. Don’t just do a task for the sake of it andndash; make sure that it relates to your learning and is helping you develop your skills
10. Communicate with your teacher
Remember that you are in charge of your own learning, so take responsibility. If you are having any problems, then don’t hesitate to raise them in the next class and overcome them. Often the problems can be overcome easily, and they wonandrsquo;t be as serious as you firs thought andndash; so try not to get frustrated!