You know, guys, I love learning languages. So do many of you, I guess. With a constant improvement of my English and Kazakh, I am also learning Spanish and Korean at the moment. And I am so excited, because every time I am involved in a foreign language environment or just in a process of learning, I feel so relaxed and happy. I don’t know whether you feel the same way, but I really do!
As learning languages has become my everyday habit, there are things that I am constantly using to improve my knowledge. I have tried many different ways to make the learning process more effective and interesting since most of the time I learn languages by my own. Consequently, I found several ways that I would like to share with you. So, here they are:
- I think everyone will agree that when learning a new language you should, first of all, build a good vocabulary. For that reason, I use so-called “intellect-cards”, square pieces of paper with a word in the target language on one side, and with its translation to my native language on another side. I keep them separately by a language in different boxes and then use when I want to learn a new word or to remember them. I use colored highlighters to indicate nouns, verbs, and adjectives and add transcription if needed. These cards are absolutely helpful, that’s why I recommend you trying them!
- The second tip is using textbooks. Yes, they really help. Currently, I am using three Korean textbooks, a Spanish one, and Kazakh. I first realized a tremendous value of textbooks in learning languages after my preparation to IELTS a year ago. Thanks to Cambridge and Oxford textbooks I quickly improved my writing and reading skills as well as enhanced my vocabulary. Working with books, however, requires being permanent and studying regularly. You should also accomplish all the exercises for a better result. But when you enjoy the language this will not be a problem for you.
- Now let’s turn to the Internet and amazing opportunities that globalization brings to us. There is a website GoSpeaky.com, a social network for language learners that gather people from around the world. This platform empowers digital language learning for people who have one purpose – to learn languages. All you need is just to create an account and indicate the languages that you are native in and the languages that you are going to learn. Then people who are native in your target language but are willing to learn your native language will connect with you (or you can find them on your own) and then start a conversation. You can share your Skype account if you want to have live communication. But it is up to you. So, you help your partner to learn your language, and they, in turn, help you to improve the language that you want to learn. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
- The last but not least, YouTube channels, created specifically for language learners. There are many of them on the YouTube, they have a range of videos and they are absolutely free! Another benefit of watching such videos is that it’s similar to a real classroom setting and it’s like you have a real instructor. You need just to find free time, take a notebook and start learning. Spend some time and find the channels that suit you, subscribe and enjoy. Here are some of my favorite channels: Learn English with Let’s Talk – Free English Lessons for those who are learning English, Learn Spanish with SpanishPod101.com and Butterfly Spanish for Spanish learners, and Lena RukoTV for those of you who learn the Korean language.
So, here are my 4 tips for learning languages that I use and recommend for all of you. And of course, I have more ways to improve my language knowledge, but these are my favorite ways that are really helpful and allow me to stay fit and constantly enhance my language awareness. Hope you enjoyed reading this and found them useful.
Image credit: Assel Shmidt