10 Tips for Learning a Foreign Language Effectively
Translated by Αναστασία Τσιτσάνη
Based on the original article in Greek by Μαρία Παπακοσμά
Alex Rawlings, British writer, blogger and polyglot, has studied more than 15 foreign language and is fluent in many of them. So, he offers us his experiences and his precious tips concerning learning foreign languages.
Just the thought of saying something wrong is enough to discourage us from speaking due to stress. This was also the case for Alex, who believes that making mistakes is actually a great way of learning a language. So, the moment someone corrects us, our mistake sticks in our mind and, thus, it is less likely to make the same mistake again.
Nobody cares about your accent
As stated in his article, there was a period of time when Alex was obsessed with achieving the perfect accent. What nobody told him was that his accent would never be perfect and that it didn’t, actually, have to be perfect, too.
The fluency myth
There is no magical moment of awareness that you can speak a language fluently. Learning a language is a constant on-going process that improves the way in which you express yourself better, but there will always be moments of doubting yourself and times when you will feel insecure. You will always be better at your native language, unless of course you move out and go live at the country whose language you are learning.
Commitment and devotion
Constant progress during the process of learning a new language requires regular studying and dedication. He explains that he used to believe that the best way to learn a foreign language was through speaking it. In that way though, he got better at what he already knew without enriching his knowledge with something new. Studying and practicing is, thus, the most effective combination.
Tests and exams are not the ultimate goal
The results of the exams might be low, but according to Alex Rawlings’s personal experience it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not capable of speaking the language correctly.
There is enough time, why are you in such a rush?
Opposing “one-week” language learning programs, the known blogger explains that learning a language should be, and essentially is, a long-running and fun process.
Read books in the language that you are learning
Reading books written in a foreign language is one of the best ways of learning new vocabulary. Moreover, the first time that you finish a book in a foreign language is one of the most rewarding experiences, advises us Alex.
Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has moments of self-doubt and everyone forgets a language when they don’t practice it.
Don’t listen to the haters
There are a lot of people that believe that learning a foreign language is a waste of time. Ignore them. On the contrary, learning a language is an extremely precious and exciting “adventure” that will put some color in your life and give more essence to it.
Language learning never ends
Life-long learning is a must also in language learning since improvement is always possible. In other words, it is a crucial and indivisible part of your life.