Learning a new language will open up a ton of opportunities for you, either in the academic field or at work, and make your life a lot more interesting given the increased number of people you can talk to and socialize within their native tongue. Needless to say, it’s time to start learning that second language, and contrary to popular belief, it isn‘t as daunting as it sounds. In fact, you can master a new language right in the comforts of your home if you follow the language learning hacks below.
Find the system that works best for you
Linguist-at-heart Zoë Hooper already touched on this previously, noting how certain techniques, like using TV and music as learning resources and creating in her mind a sense of urgency to learn, help her learn the language easier. These same techniques can work for you, too, or they might not. If the latter’s the case, then some trial-and-error might be in order so you can determine the learning style that’s perfect for you. Whatever style that is, incorporating it in your study of language will speed up the learning process and make it fun and exciting at the same time.
Treat language learning as working from home
Another neat trick to consider is to treat language learning as if you were working from home. And just as distractions at home can compromise work productivity, they, too, can make language learning difficult. Having said that, you can counter distractions by applying writer James Gonzales’ productivity hacks for work-from-home professionals, including designating your own workspace and exploring your productivity periods.
In doing the former, you get some privacy and minimize distractions, thereby allowing you to focus on learning your chosen language. And in doing the latter, you’ll be able to maximize certain parts of your day when you’re most likely to retain whatever it is you want to learn (which could be 2−3 hours after waking up, right after lunchtime, during sundown, or even late at night).
Learn from a buddy
We at SPEAK believe that there’s a better way to learn a language, and that’s through a combination of small talk and socialization with others, engaging in fun activities and playing games, and using the new language in actual conversations. Ideally, all these should be done in-person; however, since staying at home is one of the best things we can do to help curb this pandemic, SPEAK offers this very combination online. It goes without saying then that you can still leverage this better way of learning a language even without leaving the comforts of your home.
Form learning habits
The last of copywriter Henry Cheng’s tips for learning a new language is to make learning a habit. Remember: The goal is mastery, and that can only happen through continuous learning. That means regularly revisiting your vocabulary and grammar lists, reading articles written in the language you want to master, and even learning about the culture of the native speakers of that language.
By turning learning into a habit, it then becomes something that you can’t live without. This means you’ll be committed to it long term, and this will, in turn, make learning a language a lot easier. And before you know it, you will have mastered the language you want to learn. Then, from there, it’s all about using this newly learned language as often as possible, so that you can continue to get better at it.
If you want to find out more about languages and how can you learn a new one, check out our articles: "6 tips on how to not forget a language" and "9 resources to learn a new language quickly".