In part 1, we took a look at language acquisition basics and a few ways to get the language-learning ball rolling. In part 2, we’ll take another look at some even more language hacks to help you check your multi-lingual goals off your bucket list.
1. Assign One Room in Your House to [Insert Foreign Language] Only
This trick makes language learning fun and interesting. Choose a room that you’re in often enough but not all the time as to avoid over-frustration. Declare that room a foreign language-only zone. Try your best to avoid thinking and speaking in your native tongue in that room and encourage your roommates to do the same. In order to help yourself, place sticky notes around the room to jog your memory and help you remember words in the target language.
2. Talk to Yourself in the Shower
Sounds crazy, huh? Though unorthodox, it turns out to be a great place to practice your newly acquired vernacular because it gives you the chance to speak aloud, while also providing the privacy to make mistakes and sound silly without feeling embarrassment, a fear that deters many language learners from speaking more often. If unsure about what to say, choose a topic you’ve recently learned, such as ordering in a restaurant or shopping and assign yourself both roles. Give it a try and make sure to take mental notes of where you stumble and review those areas later.
3. Download a Trivia App in the Language You Want to Learn
Trivia apps are a great way to keep abreast of current social, political, sports and entertainment news in your target country while also practicing your reading and comprehension skills. Plain Vanilla Games is currently in the process of localizing their hit app, QuizUp, to accommodate users in non-English speaking parts of the world. Other useful apps include AlMwajaha for those with Arabic aspirations and QuizDuell for the German enthusiasts out there. If news trivia seems overwhelming, try searching for trivia apps created for kids.
Traditional methods of learning – taking classes or signing up for a private tutor- work, but they can sometimes be both costly and boring, often taking the fun out of language learning. If you’ve found that you’ve hit a proverbial wall in your linguistic journey, or are looking to supplement a traditional method, try some of the tips above to re-inspire yourself. Good luck!
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