I believe that we should better ourselves wherever possible. In the last week, I have started to relearn the German language, which I previously studied at GCSE level. Drawing on my recent personal experiences, in this article I ask: how can you learn a new language?
Study with professionals
In my opinion, the best way to learn a new language is to study with those who teach it professionally. As fluent speakers, writers and readers of the language you want to learn, these professionals can use their expertise to ensure you excel throughout your course of study.
With digital technology, its never been easier to find the right foreign language class. I live in Leeds and by doing a quick Google search, I recently found out that Leeds Beckett university offers language classes. It provides part-time courses in French, German, Italian and Spanish at £55 per head, so attendees can even fit them around their hectic schedules. Research your chosen course provider extensively to ensure they have the qualifications and reputation for excellence needed to teach foreign languages effectively.
Try the app
But what if you don’t have the time to attend regular classes, or you don’t want to pay to learn a foreign language/ Modern technology comes to the rescue again! There are now a number of free foreign language teaching apps that you can download straight to your phone, allowing you to study the language of your choice at your own convenience.
I recently downloaded the free Duolingo App, which is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and desktop. Billing itself as “the world’s most popular language learning platform,” Duolingo offers courses in a wide range of languages. With Duolingo you do various sessions which last a few minutes each, allowing you to gradually become fluent. Sessions include speaking, listening, translation, and multiple choice challenges.
What’s so amazing about Duolingo is that it turns learning a foreign language into a game. It allows you to compete with friends, so you have the motivation needed to be the best. Duolingo also boasts a range of other features, such as in-lesson grading and personalised lesson plans which ensure you receive the support you require to excel. Furthermore, it has a ‘streak counter’ which keeps track of how many days in a row you’ve spent learning your chosen language.
Watch the videos
I also think that you need to observe a native speaker to truly learn a new language. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that you need to fly off to another country. Go to YouTube and you’re sure to find a video tutorials for your chosen language. I, for instance, have started watching the Easy German channel. This channel features a range of clips which show native speakers communicating in German, accompanied with captions in English so you can follow what they’re are saying. The clips cover a range of social and cultural topics to keep learning German fun and engaging!
Use online tools
Thanks to the rapid rise of digital technology, learning a new language has never been easier. If you have a laptop or even a smartphone, you can find local language courses where you can learn from the best or tools such as apps and video tutorials which make studying a foreign language incredibly convenient. Auf Wiedersehen, meine Freunde!