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When you are learning a new foreign language all you want to do is speed up the process. The best way to do this is by using the language frequently throughout your normal day.

Once you have a basic grasp of the language, learning by using becomes the best method by which to develop your knowledge and progress quickly.

1. Speak to Someone Who Speaks the Language

Whether it is someone who sells you the paper in the morning, a neighbor who likes a five-minute chat, or the girl in the copy room, find someone you can have a conversation with about anything and everything whenever you meet up.

Foreign language speakers have great respect for people who try to speak their language and will usually be really patient in helping others to get it right. To build a relationship with someone who speaks it and that you have access to most days.

If you can talk to someone about what you saw on TV or read in the paper every single day, not only build a friendship, but your vocabulary will grow too.

2. Read a Foreign Newspaper/magazine

Every language will have magazines or newspapers aimed at different levels of speakers. You may even want to read children’s comics, to begin with. Imagine reading your favorite superhero comics in Spanish, act like a child, and read them over and over again, reinforcing that new vocabulary.

If you’ve seen a news story on television in English and then read about it in Spanish, you’ll already have the backbone to the story so piecing together new words for your vocabulary by reading a newspaper article becomes a rapid learning method.

3. Listen to Foreign Radio

In the same way that comics, magazines, and newspapers will be language structured so that most people can read them, hearing a language spoken will wire your brain as to how the language should sound.

Hearing the words with routine regularity will mean that your accent will improve as will your vocabulary as you familiarize yourself with the radio presenters’ morning, afternoon, or evening routine. You may eventually develop the courage to call into the show and share your views.

4. Watch Foreign TV

Television not only enhances the vocabulary you already have and build upon it, but it also enriches your understanding of cultural nuance and innuendo including the use of body language. Remember that hand signals in one language and culture may be perfectly acceptable and yet if used while speaking another language, the person on the other end may consider you to be exceptionally vulgar.

Another way to learn nuance and how things may be said differently is to watch a dubbed version of a show you have already seen or already watch that was produced in your native language.

5. Make Language Labels for the Home

It may seem childish to have the word refrigerator stuck on its door, but you’d be surprised at how fast you’ll absorb a language by having a few small labels strategically placed all over your home. The word for the mirror at the bottom of your bathroom mirror, the word for a dog on the front of the dog bowl, or remote control on the bottom of the remote control. This can get more interesting as you look around your home for vocabulary opportunities.

Get a key hook that displays the word for keys in whichever language you happen to be learning.

6. Visit the Language-speaking Country on Vacation

After you’ve been learning a language for a while, why not throw yourself in the deep end and go on vacation where you will have to speak the language to get by. This process is called Language Immersion. Whereas in any city in the world you will be able to find someone that speaks English, going a few miles out into the countryside you will have to use the local lingo and this could become a fun experience.

Locals in villages and towns love outsiders because they bring in money to the local economy, so they will do everything possible to help you with your language as long as you’re going to buy your beer locally and rent a room at the local hotel.

Not only will it make the vacation a better experience, but it will also improve your language dramatically within a week or two. Start your language learning experience as soon as you’re on the plane as you listen to the flight attendant.

These few tips will get you up and running and with daily use of the language, you will soon be speaking it with confidence.


Written By
Eldon Mirjah is the creator of Gritty Spanish, a course that’s entirely based on informal learning – where students get to grips with the language through urban stories – featuring the eccentric, the bizarre and the real-life. This is a form of learning that is defined by storytelling.

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