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Secrets of learning a language - quickly

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20150302-secrets-to-learning-a-language

bbc.com

Secrets of learning a language - quickly
Picture this: You want to apply for a dream assignment abroad. There's just one problem. You need foreign language skills that you don't have - and time is not on your side. It might sound like an impossible task, but according to language experts, you can learn basic communication skills in weeks and master the basics of a foreign language in several months.

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Learning A New Language Fast

Learning A New Language Fast

Though it may not seem plausible, basic communication of a new foreign language can be mastered in weeks. Learning a non-native language can be sped up by compiling a script for responding to queries from strangers, and then organically working oneself up from there. Phrasebooks and online tools/apps are useful in this early stage.

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Learning Full Speed

A will to start and self-confidence is necessary as is having the courage to speak, and not being afraid of making mistakes. The key is to immerse yourself and put your whole being to the task.

Total immersion necessitates activities like listening to the radio station of the language you are learning, reading and speaking to people.

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Total Immersion

It is a good idea to master the basic skills first and focus on the grammar later, while asking for feedback and correcting yourself, learning on-the-fly.

Invest not only your head but your heart in the learning process. Practice makes perfect.

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Learning a new language: knowing the most used words

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Learning cognates

Cognates are “true friends” of words you recognize from your native language that mean the same thing in another language.

For instance:

  • Words like Action, nation, precipitation, solution, frustration, and thousands of other -tion words are spelled exactly the same in French, and you can quickly get used to the different pronunciation. Change that -tion to a -ción and you have the same words in Spanish. Italian is -zione and Portuguese is -ção.
  • Many languages also have words that share a common (Greek/Latin or other) root.
  • Even languages as different as Japanese can have heaps of very familiar vocabulary.

Interact in your new language daily

  • To hear the language consistently spoken, you can check out TuneIn.com for a vast selection of live-streamed radio from your country of choice.
  • To watch the language consistently, see what’s trending on Youtube in that country right now.
  • To read the language consistently, you can find cool blogs and other popular sites on Alexa’s ranking of top sites per country.

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The decline in language learning

There are three possible reasons why the ability to learn a language decreases at 18.

  • Social changes: At 18, late teens typically graduate high school and may no longer have the time, opportunity or learning environment to study a second language.
  • Interference: The rules of a first language may interfere with the ability to learn a second language.
  • Continuing brain development: Changes in the brain that continue during the late teens and early 20s may make learning harder.

Learning a new language

There are many examples of people who pick up a language later in life. Our ability to learn new vocabulary appears to remain constant, but most of us will not be able to master grammar like a native speaker.

Listen

The more you expose yourself to the new language, the sooner you will become familiar with its sounds and structures. Familiarity, in turn, will speed understanding.

Copy

Repeating the sounds (out loud or in your head) will give you a feel for the language. Memorize not just words, but sentences and even songs to get the rhythm and intonation of the language.

Read

Read words, sentences, children’s books, newspaper articles. Read as far and near as you can, whether out loud to an audience or quietly to yourself.

Seeing the language in print helps you understand word structures. It also anchors the new sounds, and helps them get imprinted in your mind.