Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

6 Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

Student drawing - GamesforLanguage.com Make learning another language fun and not a chore! Here are six common-sense tips:

1. Find a fun entry into language learning 

Learning a new language should be a fun adventure, not a chore. It should also be affordable.

What you want is a good basic course that is well-structured and thoughtfully crafted.

If you like games, we obviously recommend our programs as a fun (and affordable) way to get started - but there's lots of good material around the Internet.

2. Practice regularly

As with any skill that you are trying to learn, progress and mastery come with regular practice. A good daily routine is 15-20 minutes a day.

3. Repeat words and phrases often and record your own voice 

Start right away with learning “real” language. You want to be practicing phrases and sentences that are part of a conversations that you would encounter.

At first you'll feel that you are way in over your head, but you'll be surprised how quickly you improve.

4. Find a favorite singer and listen to songs.

Better still, sing along when you can. In her wonderful article "Language Learning Tip: Use Music to Learn a Foreign Language" Susanna Zaraysky explains:

“The neurological links between language and music are vast but the basic thing to remember is that music activates more parts of the brain than language does, on both the right and left sides of the brain. So if you remember something to a tune, you are more likely to recall the information than if you just read it or heard it spoken..” 

5. Start reading fun things

For example, follow Twitter posts in the language you want to learn. Or find online news texts, etc.

Reading, any kind of reading, has a huge, positive impact on second language learning. (Google now has an instant translation service for any text. The translation may be horrible, but you'll get the gist of the meaning.)

6. Reinforce your learning with things you enjoy

Watch a movie from time to time, look at YouTube videos, or news videos in your new language.

Find a language-exchange partner on a social networking site and start conversing via Chat or Skype.

These tips are not just for beginners, but they work really well when you're a beginner with a plan. Just go for it!!