All of us have a different motivation for learning a new language. It could be to prepare for an upcoming business trip, student exchange, or vacation, or to ensure that we have more career and job opportunities globally. There are almost no cons to learn a new language. But how can we learn a language efficiently and effectively?
1 — Choose a language that you are passionate about
One of the difficulties of learning a new language is the huge amount of commitment that you need in order to master the language. The commitment includes financial resources (especially when you want to be certified as competent with the language), time, and the opportunity cost of spending these resources on learning a new language. With that, choosing a language that you are passionate about would make the learning process less a chore and more a hobby since you would be enjoying what you are doing and what you are learning. The experience would be worth every penny and time you put into learning the language.
2 — Tie in the learning of the language to your hobby (if possible)
That said, not everyone is privileged to be able to choose a language that they like to learn. You may be “nominated” by your company to learn the language so an opportunity to explore a new market and so on. In order to lower the barrier of learning, you could consider learning of the new language in conjunction with something you love doing. For instance, if you like to singing, why not find a song that is in the language that you are currently learning and try to sing in that language. If you like to watch movies, why not look for one that is in that language. Not only you are able to lower the inertia in learning the new language, but you can also accelerate your learning because of it (as it tends to expose you to more than what you are learning in classes).
3 — Make some friends who speak in that language
Learning without practising is almost equal to preparing to fail. This is especially true when learning a new language. The only way to improve is to speak, write, and use it in your everyday communication. It would be difficult when you don’t have anyone whom you can speak to in that language. If you are attending classes, just say “hi” to the person next to you and make friends so that you have someone whom you can talk to and, of course, practice with. It’s a “win-win” situation so why not? However, if you are self-learning the language, consider joining a community or society where you need to communicate using that particular language to others. It forces you to practice and learn as you go.
The above are some of the effective ways which you can learn a language effectively. However, there are many other creative and interesting way for you to do so. Remember how we learn a language since young? We were exposed to our parents, relatives and friends. And we just “copy” and “paste”. That works as well. If you have any interesting way of learning a language, share it with all of us so that we will all benefit from it.