How to effectively learn a foreign language if you are already an adult
Many people think that learning foreign languages is possible only in childhood and adolescence. But in adulthood, it is more than real to master it, writes Life hacker.
Why is it important to learn foreign languages
- For brain development
When people learn a foreign language, their brains are actively working. The more you think in a foreign language and learn the names of objects, the more your brain develops.
Swedish scientists have conducted an experiment whose brain will work better: scouts who need to learn different languages, or medical students who need to immerse themselves in learning. Scouts studied Russian, Arabic and Persian for 3 months, and physicians studied as usual. At the end of the term, it turned out that the scouts of the brain became much thicker than scouts from the control group. So learn foreign languages and become smarter.
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- In order to prevent disease
With age, the brain starts to work worse, but not for those who learn a foreign language. During the learning process, new neural connections are formed in the brain, which contributes to the normalization of cognitive abilities. Learning languages has been shown to delay the development of Alzheimer's disease and dementia by 5 years.
- To broaden your horizons
By learning a language, you get acquainted with the history and lifestyle of people who speak it. Communication with native speakers will increase your knowledge base.
- To become more sociable
If you want to master a foreign language completely, you need to talk a lot on it both with native speakers and with other practitioners. Regular conversations and new acquaintances will make you a more sociable and interesting person.
- For career advancement
Most companies work with foreigners and mostly communicate with them in English, knowledge of which will be a plus for you. But knowledge of other languages, such as Chinese, Arabic or Spanish, is beginning to be appreciated more and more. By the way, if you work in an international company, knowing the language will give you the opportunity to transfer to a branch of the same company in another country.
- For the sake of comfortable travel
Knowledge of the language is very useful where there is no way to connect to the Internet to use an online translator. And the locals are pleased when they are addressed in their native language.
- To increase self-esteem
Anyone can abandon their studies, and if you learn the language, then you will have another reason to be proud. And also knowledge of a rare language, say Finnish or Esperanto, will make you an interesting conversationalist and the center of attention at any party.
How to find your effective learning method
Someone better perceives information by ear, someone needs to watch a training video, for someone it is important to know the grammar basics, and for someone it is easiest to learn in the process of communication.
With whom to do
Find out what suits you best: tutoring, lessons at a foreign language school, or self-study.
Tutoring is the most effective, but also the most expensive way, well suited for beginners.
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Self-study does not require such an expense and gives you a lot of freedom. You can practice when it suits you. But there are also problems: if you are a beginner, then you will not always be able to understand all the intricacies of the language and it will be difficult to find materials for training. Plus, you can run out of motivation pretty quickly.
Classes at a language school are cheaper than a tutor and are suitable for amateurs to work in a team. In addition to group lessons, there are also individual lessons with a teacher and spiking clubs, where you simply communicate in the target language, intensive courses or master classes led by a native speaker. Classroom learning creates healthy competition, which has a positive effect on motivation.
How to choose a textbook
When choosing a textbook or educational material should be based on personal characteristics of the perception of information.
If you are visual and remember images better, choose textbooks in which there are many illustrations, watch the instructional video on YouTube, and purchase a visual dictionary. If it’s easier to hear information by ear, listen to podcasts in a foreign language, watch TV shows or movies with subtitles.
How often to do
If you are working with a tutor, he will create a schedule for you himself. The school also has a clear timetable.
If you study on your own, then daily classes of 15-20 minutes are considered the most effective. You can add one-hour lessons several times a week: during long sessions, you will learn new topics, and in short ones, you will repeat the material you have covered. This way the information will be remembered faster.
You can also study a foreign language using a smartphone. Try to spend your time productively.
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Tips for quickly learning a foreign language:
- The best way is to move at least for a short while to the country you are studying.
- Watch movies and TV shows
First, with subtitles in your language, and with a sufficient level of assimilation, switch to subtitles in the language you are learning. So you will still remember the correct spelling of words. The next level is viewing in the original. Choose films or TV shows you already know, the plot of which you know. In addition to serials, you can watch television programs.
- Chat with native speakers
In this case, you will constantly hear the correct pronunciation. When traveling, do not hesitate to reach out to others. You can also find yourself a pen pal.
- Subscribe to native speakers
If you are still embarrassed to start direct communication with a foreigner, subscribe to him on Instagram. Most of them share information about their city and country, about traditions and peculiarities of mentality. So you can better "pump" the spoken language.
- Change the language on your phone
You can do the same with social networks - this way you will constantly be in the environment of the target language and learn new words.
- Think in the language you are learning
If you cannot communicate with a teacher or native speaker, talking to yourself is very helpful. Use your imagination and make up dialogues in your head.
- Go to conversation clubs
Spiking clubs exist in most cities and are often free to visit. They can be either at language schools or organized by enthusiasts. Usually meetings are held once or twice a week, and the topic is decided in advance, so you will have the opportunity to prepare.
- Take part in marathons
Within a certain time, from two weeks to six months, the organizers of the marathon send you materials and assignments for study and implementation. Coaches and educators will track your progress, correct mistakes, and motivate.
Take note of at least one of the above methods, and your life will change for the better.
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