Sep 8 2017
Learning a new language and using it to communicate with other people are two different things. Sure, you may know the grammar rules to perfection, but when it’s time to speak the language, you may find yourself at a loss for words.
Even when you’ve reached a certain intermediate or proficient level, you can still hit a learning plateau, which makes it difficult to progress. So, what can you do? You could hire a teacher or enroll in a class, but, let’s be honest, who’s got time for that?
Or you can try some of the tips below and improve your second language from virtually anywhere.
You can find anything on the internet nowadays. Skype, for example, is an excellent way to connect with a native speaker and ask him or her to help you improve your skills.
Do you want to learn basic words of a subculture’s lingo? You’ll find it online. Do you need a Chinese teacher to help you with language aspects you don’t understand? You’ll also find it online. There are countless platforms, such as Preply, that are made to help you improve your skills, whether written or oral.
The internet is full of treasures like this and you can find numerous learning opportunities and the tools you need to improve your knowledge
Travel Somewhere You’ll Be Forced to Speak the Language
What better way of improving your skills than putting yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to speak a different language? Pack your bags and travel somewhere remote where you know it’s going to be a bit more challenging to find people that speak English. That way, you’ll get out of your comfort zone and will be forced to speak with the locals in their native tongue.
Incorporate the Language into Your Daily Life
One of the best and easiest ways to take your second language to the next level is, no doubt, to incorporate it into your everyday life. What does that mean? Well, try to think of new ways you can use the language in the tasks you regularly perform.
Start by breaking down what you do on a normal day and then try to see which tasks you can use to improve your language. Listen to foreign radio or podcasts while you’re on the go. Read the morning paper from a country that speaks the language. Watch foreign movies or TV shows with subtitles. Go to a traditional restaurant and ask for a menu in their native tongue. The list can go on forever, depending on your daily habits, so get creative!
Make a Friend that Speaks the Language
Having someone (a relative, a friend, a roommate) that speaks the language you want to learn is priceless because you get to spend time with a walking dictionary. Textbooks and courses are great, but live communication is incredibly important because you can ask this person anything, and you can work on your pronunciation and oral skills. The best part? Besides improving your language, you also get to make a new friend, so it’s a double advantage.
Improving your second language will not be an easy job, but if you’re committed and genuinely like it, you’ll find that there are countless ways and opportunities to do it. Give it a shot, try our advice and watch as you get better and better.