Learning languages: Tips and methods by subject
The added value of language learning is truly impressive. Not only does it open up unimagined career prospects in a globalized world, but it also allows you to connect more deeply with people from different cultures. Mastering a new language opens the door to intercultural communication and creates a deeper understanding of other people's ways of thinking and living.
Learning a new language is a long process that requires a lot of time, diligence and commitment. To help you keep a cool head while learning a language, we provide you with useful tips that can help you learn the language.
Learning a language depends first and foremost on your motivation. Be aware that you are embarking on a long process when learning a new language. Don't let this discourage you and always find new motivation.
Here are some useful tips for your language learning process that will help you motivate yourself, learn from mistakes and succeed in learning a new language:
It doesn't matter how old you are or what your background is, anyone can learn languages!
Also discover the culture of the language you are learning. This motivates and links cultures
Learn continuously and in shorter sections! That way you won't give up.
Don't always learn the same way, use different methods and means to learn languages.
Speak, read, listen and write your target language as often as you can.
Whether it's a language trip or a vacation. Visit the country of your target language and use it.
Develop a learning strategy that fits your learning type and is appropriate for your level.
Orient yourself to your language level. This way you avoid unnecessary overload while learning.
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Each area of language learning has its own challenges to overcome. Below you will find some tips and methods for language learning in the main areas of language learning.
It can be argued that vocabulary training is the most important learning area in language learning. Without vocabulary and word vocabulary, it is not possible to use grammar, form sentences, or communicate in the target language. For this reason, vocabulary training should be an important part of any language learning strategy. We'll give you a few quick tips to help you learn vocabulary better.
Learn vocabulary in context (mnemonic): Learning vocabulary in context by mnemonic devices or logical shortcuts is an extremely effective way to efficiently increase vocabulary and strengthen long-term memory. Unlike simply memorizing lists of words, learning in context allows you to understand and remember words in context.
Also learn phrases: Learning whole phrases is an extremely important complement to vocabulary learning, as it helps you master the language naturally and make connections between words. You will learn idioms of your target language and how to use the vocabulary in usage.
Spaced Repetition: With the help of the Spaced Repetition learning method you can learn a lot of new vocabulary in a short time. Take a look at our article on Spaced Repetition and learn more about this very effective method of learning languages.
When learning vocabulary, it is important to get into the habit of permanently learning new words in the target language. This way you build up a huge vocabulary bit by bit.
After vocabulary training, grammar is certainly the next most important learning area in language learning. While learning vocabulary builds up a basic framework for the language, grammar serves to give structure and form to the basic framework. Grammar is what makes a language really understandable.
Mastering Grammar Basics: Mastering the basics of grammar is crucial to speaking and understanding a language correctly. A solid grammar foundation will allow you to express yourself accurately and understand the structure of sentences in the target language.
Learn by topic: Learning grammar by topic is an excellent strategy to systematically build and deepen your language skills. This method allows you to focus on specific aspects of grammar and develop a deep understanding of each area before moving on to the next.
Being able to apply rules as well: Applying grammar rules in practice is an essential step to truly mastering them and being able to use the language fluently and correctly. Simply memorizing rules is not enough to learn a language effectively.
Grammar is one of the biggest hurdles for many people when learning languages and can lead to giving up on learning languages. To prevent this from happening to you, you should be aware that you will not understand everything in grammar overnight. You will make small steps with each learning unit and over time you will understand the grammar of your target language better and better. So don't be demotivated if you can't follow every grammar lesson right away.
Start speaking your target language right away. That's the only way you'll get better at speaking!
Listen to and understand music, podcast, audio books or movies and series in your target language.
Whether it's magazines, books, or titles. Read your target language whenever you encounter it.
Practice writing words, sentences, and a wide variety of text types.
Good language learning methods are the foundation. Practice with a good mix of different methods. This way you will never get bored while learning languages and you will also learn all areas of language learning evenly and intensively. In the following, we will introduce you to some methods that you can use to improve your language skills. These methods will help you to speak, listen, write and read better.
With Spaced Repetition you can learn a lot of new vocabulary in a sustainable way and thus quickly and effectively acquire a listening vocabulary. With Spaced Repetition you repeat vocabulary within a given period of time. Each time you repeat the vocabulary and know it again, it moves to the next phase. You do this until the vocabulary becomes a permanent part of your vocabulary.
When shadowing, you watch a movie in your target language, listen to a podcast, or watch an interview and simultaneously repeat the spoken word. You don't have to understand in detail what is being said. The important thing with this method of language learning is to develop a feeling for the target language and to be able to pronounce it more naturally in the long term.
The Birkenbihl Method is a language learning method developed by German linguist Vera F. Birkenbihl. Based on brain research, this method of language learning was developed and states that languages are best learned in a natural and intuitive way. The main goal in language learning is to remove inhibitions in using the language and to learn the language actively and completely without fear of making mistakes. Check out the key points of the Birkenbihl method.
Associative language learning: Learning language with pictures and situations
Passive phase: Learning language by listening and reading, without active speaking.
Active phase: Learning language by writing and speaking
Vocabulary and phrases: Expressions and phrases instead of isolated vocabulary.
Mini-grammar: Dividing grammar into small simple units
Listening Comprehension: Big focus is on listening and understanding the language
Some studies have shown that the principles of this method can be effective in building language learners' confidence and improving their communication skills. However, as with any language learning method, effectiveness may vary from person to person.
Learning languages seems at first to be a very timid task. But this is not the case at all. With a little patience and diligence, you will soon master your target language. Use the language learning tips we have mentioned and learn your new language using the language learning methods we have mentioned.
For your success, you should always work on your target language and keep yourself motivated. If you want to learn a language quickly and with a lot of fun, we also recommend a stay abroad. On a language trip, during a high school stay or simply in an online language course you learn languages effectively, meet people and have a lot of fun while learning languages!