In this economy, knowing more than one language pays off. In fact, according to Salary.com, being bilingual can earn you up to 20% more than if you only spoke one language. Learning a language isn’t just for interpreters and translators: whether it’s French, Spanish, or German, speaking another language is a fantastic asset for an increasingly globalized world and can open up not only domestic but also international employment opportunities.
So, how can you start to learn a language? It may not be as difficult as it seems.
Determine Your Learning Style
Will you learn a language best with classes or a private teacher? Or are you more of a self-starter who would rather study on their own? The most important determiner as to whether or not you will learn a language is your method of study, so knowing what works for you is key.
For those looking to learn in a class, start with community programs in your neighbourhood. For those who want to learn one-on-one with a teacher, there are a multitude of services available online that connect teachers to language learners. Going the self-study route? Hook yourself up with a Language Coach to map your best course of action!
That’s a scary word, isn’t it? Immersion. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to move to a country or region that speaks the language you want to learn, although that would be nice, wouldn’t it?
Instead, you should strive to create an immersion environment at home. Use immersive software such as Babbel or a language-specific program such as AfrikaansPod101. Label objects with Post-It Notes in your house in your target language. Listen to radio and watch TV shows in your target language (with subtitles, of course!). Listen to music in your target language and meet a few native speakers. While it may be daunting at first, you can train your brain to get used to the language and even start to think in it!
Make the Most of Down Time
When it comes to language learning, your smartphone is your best friend. No, really: there are apps for literally everything, and language learning is no different. Download a few apps such as Duolingo or Memrise, and maybe even a dictionary such as WordReference.
But don’t stop there: actually use your apps to practice during your down time. Whether waiting in a doctor’s office, commuting by transit, or sitting on the Golden Throne, use your down time to squeeze in a couple minutes of foreign language practice here and there. It really does add up.
Ready to take the plunge?
A Language Coach can help you determine how to best learn a language. Whether you are just starting out or you have studied a language before only to find yourself discouraged, unmotivated, and unable to speak or understand, a Language Coach will help you figure out how you learn best and create a detailed, practical study regimen to help you achieve your goal. Send me a message today, and let’s get you fluent in that foreign language!