HOW TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN FIVE SIMPLE STEPS
Monday 20 April 2020
Italian, English, German and Croatian are the languages most commonly spoken in our Group. Why not take advantage of this period and try to learn one (more) of them?
Turn on the TV, choose a movie or series, change the audio language by selecting the one you would like to learn, and set the subtitles in your own mother tongue. This will allow you to build mental bonds between the words heard in the new language and those in your native one. It may be useful to watch a movie that you have already seen in the past, in order to follow the plot and dialogue more easily. Alternatively, start watching cartoons: the simple language used in video content for children is an excellent starting point for learning a new language!
There is nothing better than an app on your smartphone to learn a new language while having fun and taking advantage of some downtime! Whether you surf on it in the evening on the sofa or while riding your exercise bike, every moment can be used and is important to maintain continuity to your learning path. There are many free apps, or you can pay for extra features, that allow you to search for the meaning of new words, take grammar tests and review vocabulary. The smart functions they have contribute to making the learning process simple and personalised for each user, thus you’ll be able to do it at your own pace.
How often have you sung your favorite song without understanding a single word of the lyrics? Those times are over: there are many websites where you can find song lyrics, so read the lyrics, grab your pen and try to translate them! This is really useful to understand and learn idiomatic expressions and “poetic licenses” very commonly used by artists. Often, on the same websites you can find translations of lyrics, so you can compare your notes and keep track of your progress.
So that you never get bored whilst learning a new language – especially the ones you don’t know quite as well – try sticking Post-it notes on the objects you use every day! Having the house covered with colourful pieces of paper displaying words and phrases in a foreign language will be fun for you and your children: you won’t have to keep going back to the dictionary when you can’t remember the translation of a word! Whenever you find yourself in front of a Post-it, get used to reading it out loud, and in no time at all you will have memorised so many new words.
What could be better than talking directly with a native speaker who comes from the country you are learning the language of? If you know foreign colleagues, organise video calls where you can practice and exchange advice. If they want to learn your language, all the better! You will have many opportunities to practice, and the calls will help you both to improve your skills in each other’s language but also speed up your progress!