The main problem when someone immigrates to a country, which has an official language other than their own, is to learn the language of their adoptive country. But learning a language is not necessarily restricted to people who live abroad, it is also something very useful for traveling as well as a good intellectual exercise and an excellent way to open our mind.
I have often heard people finding false excuses for not learning a language and even though I have to admit that it’s not the most obvious things to learn, it is not something impossible especially when we learn it in a fun way. Because I am as everyone else, I do not like to spend hours on an English grammar book or other languages. Because I always had bad grades in languages at school but mostly because I’m tired of hearing people saying: Learning English, this is not for me I’m too old! English is too hard! I do not have time! It is useless to speak another language ! and so on and so forth.
I wanted to show you today with a minimum of good will that you can learn English or any other language at any age.
Here are my tips.
Start with the basics:
Unfortunately for learning the basics of a language you have to learn the spelling and grammar rules. So you can use the old method, which consists of using a good book that summarizes all the rules and to which you can refer in case of doubt. Do not take a too hard one and prefer one with corrected exercises. Or you can choose the funnier way by using websites such as BBC and Memorize
Learning a language is not only about knowing the grammar rules but it is also about developing a varied list of words to express yourself in any situations.
For this you have two options:
-The first one is to read a vocabulary book with a list of word in your native language and their translation into the language that you are learning. It is the most annoying things to do.
-Or you have the second option, which is to learn vocabulary by using websites such as Busuu, Babbel, Duolingo. These websites allow you to improve your level in any language in a funny way in less than 15 minutes every day. Most of them are free and for a small fee you will get access to all their lessons and exercises. In my case, it is Busuu that I chose. It is just because I like their design and it is the one that I am use to.
I love to use this website because it allows me to write in English and to be corrected by native speakers. In addition to learning vocabulary, I can practice my pronunciation and my reading comprehension.
It’s nice to know a language but if I do not practice it?
We do not all have the opportunity to go to live abroad or to speak a second language every day and the problem is that we lose everything we learned. To solve this problem here are some simple solutions:
– Put your Facebook, Twitter, mailbox, telephone and computer in the language that you are learning. So without even realising it, you will practice the language everyday.
– Try to watch the films in original version and use subtitles in the language that you are learning.
– If you enjoy writing and receiving letters why not having a penfriend. The website Student of the world will allow you to communicate with people from all around the world. You can exchange with them by email or by letter it is up to you.
– If you enjoy reading why not to read any of your favourite international authors in their native language. If you have a Kindle, Amazon offers a multitude of free books in any languages with dictionaries to help you to translate very easily from one language to the other.
– You can also subscribe to magazines in your learning language. Most of the magazines now deliver worldwide.
– If you like going out you will find bilingual pub in which you can speak another language around a drink in most of the European cities. Meetup website is also a good way to meet foreigner in your city.
Unfortunately learning a language is a long process that requires using different sources of information to master it. It takes time, a lot of effort and can be sometimes depressing but at the end it is not the level that matter but more the fact that you are trying to speak to someone else in her/his native language.
Good luck to all language learners.