Can you learn another language without living in another country?
People do it all of the time. If this sounds like a goal you’d like to achieve, here are some quick tips to help get you started:
1. Formal language courses are a great place to start! They can help you lay the foundations for the language, to include learning the alphabet/writing system, basic grammar structures, and essential vocabulary. They are especially helpful if you’re going from one language family into another language family where there are huge differences between the two, such as Italian to Japanese.
You will need more than formal language courses, though.
2. Outside of class, surround yourself in an immersion-like environment. This means watching movies in-language, downloading podcasts in-language, changing your cellphone settings and browser settings – everything you can think of!
Many years ago one of my Arabic teachers told me that the secret to his success with English was that he spent all summer, every summer, watching the old Western movies at the theater. It worked!
3. Get into a routine with your language and stick with the routine. This is probably one of the most important strategies you can have as a language learner. Keep track of what you’re doing to help you learn on your electronic or physical calendar.
4. Find opportunities to use your language skills. Seek out other learners you can partner with to practice. Choose the second language option on automated phone menus. Elect to read webpages in your second language when there’s an option to do so…be creative!
The Compass Language Learning eCourse is a great way to get you started developing the strategies and habits you need to be a successful language learner!