Top tips for learning a language

Learning a new language is great exercise for the brain. It’s handy when you travel. But it’s also a great way to meet new people and break down barriers between cultures. Here are some tips on making a language class work for you.

  1. Accept you’re a beginner. Making mistakes and not understanding things are part of the learning process.
  2. Study smart. You’ll learn and remember more by revising for ten minutes a day rather than doing a marathon of homework on the day of your class.
  3. Find a study buddy. Practising, revising and learning with others can help keep you motivated and increase the amount you learn.
  4. Get creative. Learn new words and test yourself any way that works. Use apps, flash cards, post-it notes, lists or audio recordings are all good ways of building vocab and confidence.
  5. Incorporate it into your daily routine. Listen to the news in your new language while you’re doing chores or revise vocabulary on your daily commute.
  6. Try out your language skills at every opportunity. Transferring language from mind to mouth helps reinforce learning and recall.
  7. Tune in. Look for chances to hear your new language spoken – in films, restaurants and shops. This will help you become familiar with its sounds, intonation and rhythms.
  8. Give yourself incentives. Look for rewards that will keep you motivated.
  9. See, hear, say and do. Research shows that we remember 20 per cent of what we read and 30 per cent of what we hear, but 90 per cent of what we see, hear, say and do. Practise by reading, writing, listening and speaking for best results.
  10. Enjoy your learning. Don’t let it become a chore and never compare yourself with other people because everyone learns differently
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