If you’ve always wanted to learn another language but you’re overwhelmed at the thought of taking on such an immense project, then take heart and get ready to start learning. Thanks to the Internet and a variety of streamlined study courses created by linguistic experts, you can learn any language from the comfort of your own home, without having to go out and take expensive, time-consuming classes.
Whether you want to learn a language for business reasons, or you’re planning to take a trip or move abroad, here are a few tips to help you quickly become multilingual.
Learn the Basics First
Do you remember how, when you first learned to read, every new letter and syllable was an exciting discovery? You need to use this same approach and learn your new language bit by bit, letter by letter. If you try to go too fast and don’t thoroughly learn the basics of grammar and spelling, you won’t be able to progress very far. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that you understand (and retain) each lesson in its proper sequence before you go on to the next one.
Take a Progressive Course
One of the best ways to learn a language is to take a progressive course that takes you from beginner to intermediate level. This type of course generally follows a tried-and-true method of training that makes it easy for you to learn a lot in a relatively short period of time. A progressive course will start you off with everyday conversational words and phrases, while teaching you simple grammar rules along the way. As you progress, your skills will advance rapidly as you build upon these basics of the language.
It’s not enough to learn how to read and write a language; you need to learn how to speak it as well. That’s why it’s important to include a spoken language course in your study regimen. A spoken course will train your ear to recognize certain sounds and intonations so that you can replicate them yourself. You’ll also learn proper pronunciation, which can make all the difference in the meaning of a word or phrase.
Study Every Day
If you want to learn a language well, you’ll need to study a bit every single day, even if you’ve only got half an hour to spare. By exposing yourself, both visually and aurally, to your new language on a daily basis, you’ll be able to quickly develop your cognizance level and progress much more rapidly. Even if your study consists of playing your favorite language CD in the background on busy days, you’ll still be developing your ear.
Choosing a Language to Learn
If you’ve always wanted to learn a fun and easy language, how about trying Spanish? The best way is through a progressive course such as The Massey Method, a Spanish course developed by Dr. Keith Massey, a former member of the National Security Agency.
In today’s global economy, a knowledge of Japanese or Chinese can be a great asset for any business career. A great place to start is with this free absolute beginner course in Casual Japanese Conversation, created by Yuichi Hagio. For a more comprehensive course, check out Christopher Bell’s Elementary Japanese Course, which gives a thorough grounding in the basics of this challenging, yet fascinating language. If you prefer learning Chinese, then consider taking this Elementary Class for Chinese Pronunciation, which offers a good phonetic training for standard modern Chinese. For a fun way to test the waters, you can also try out this free course in learning oral Chinese.
Whatever language you decide to learn, the important thing is to have fun and take it at a pace that’s slow enough for you to enjoy, yet steady enough for you to consistently retain your previous lessons. By committing yourself to learning a little bit every day, you’ll soon find that you’ve progressed more rapidly than you thought possible.