Speaking in Tongues – Tips for Learning a Foreign Language
In a multicultural country like Canada, it is quite common to hear people speak a language other than Canadian English–whether you are at school or just on the street. As such, we are exposed to how beautiful languages from different countries are, and the thought of studying a foreign language might have popped into our mind a few times.
Establish your reason.
Being impressed by people who speak say French or Nihongo is usual for most people. After all, these languages are wonderful indeed. However, if your reason for taking a stab at learning a different language is to impress people as well, then you may have to rethink your intentions. It should be a worthwhile reason such as you wish to stay in France for the whole summer or you want to be closer to your Japanese friends.
Be prepared for hard work.
Think that learning a new language is like memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements? Think again. Remember, the process to become fluent in a language other than you are accustomed to takes time and effort—it does not happen overnight, and it certainly does not happen like magic. Sometimes, it takes a lot of modules for you to get to the basic level even. While it does take a lot of hard work, perseverance, and patience to be fluent in a foreign language, keep in mind that the rewards are great.
Immerse yourself in that culture.
Perhaps you have heard people say that there is a big difference between a traveler and a tourist. A traveler immerses themselves in the country’s culture, while a tourist just observes and focus on the must-sees. When you are learning a foreign language, don’t be a tourist. Make sure you act as a traveler and immerse yourself in that country’s culture. If you are learning Greek, for example, keep an eye for related events like Greek food festivals and film festivals. Of course, if you do get an opportunity to travel to Greece, then that’s even better.
Watch foreign language films.
Speaking of film festivals, it is extremely helpful to watch the films of the language you are studying. For instance, you wish to become more fluent in Spanish. You will find a plethora of films that are in that language at the public library or DVD store. Doing so will teach your ears to become accustomed to the sounds. Once you are confident in your learning skills, you can even watch the films even without the subtitles.
Practice, practice, practice.
No one studies a new language to keep it to themselves. Thus, don’t hesitate to try your hand at actually writing and speaking it. If you are learning Portuguese and you have Portuguese classmates, by all means, speak what you have learned in front of them. For sure, they will be more than charmed by your efforts to learn their native language and will be truly happy to help you out. Don’t be scared of making mistakes, even when it comes to pronunciation. As they say, these mistakes are opportunities for you to learn.
Now that you have read these suggestions, you will be most likely ready to take on the challenge of studying a foreign language. Know these tips by heart and have a go at it. Good luck.