This week’s Top 5 answers the question that every language learner wants to know- how do you achieve fluency in a foreign language? There are no magic shortcuts, but simply studying from your textbook every week probably won’t get you the results you’re looking for. The following tips will get you out of the textbook and push your language learning to the next level.
Consume Media- The most fluent language speakers I’ve encountered are consumers of media in the target language. Whether its tv shows, movies, or music, regularly listening to the language will attune your ears to the sounds of the language and allow you to better understand native speakers and speak with more natural intonation.
Experience the Culture- Plunging into the culture is a great way to begin speaking more of the language that you study. If you enjoy food, drink, dance, or other hobbies of a specific region of the world, it helps connect you to the language in a whole new way. You’ll find yourself picking up new vocabulary and be able to converse with the natives on a deeper level.
Follow Your Interests- Turn your hobby into a learning opportunity. Whether it’s art, music, sports, or anything else, learn the vocabulary of your interests and develop the confidence to talk about it in the language that you study.
Chat with Natives- If you are in the country of the language you’re learning, this is easy! Walk outside and chat with people at the convenient store, chat with your cab driver, or simply order food at a restaurant using the language. Fortunately, even if you aren’t living in a country that speaks the language you’re studying, the internet makes it easy to converse with natives through online social networks for language learning.
Immerse Yourself in the Language- This one really sums up the best ways to learn a language. And you don’t have to live in a country that speaks the language to do this. All of these things revolve around finding ways to incorporate language learning through things that you can enjoy. Find things that interest you and find people that speak the language that you’re learning and talk about those things. Watch movies or listen to music that you enjoy. Speak as much as you can, and don’t worry about making mistakes. Creating an environment that revolves around the language you’re studying is the best way to truly emerge as a fluent speaker.