Many believe that learning a foreign language is a titanic challenge, reserved to few chosen ones … Actually, it’s the exact opposite! Learning a foreign language is far from impossible, but it certainly requires the right approach and methodology.
How to Learn a new Language in 1 month!
In this article, through the experience gained studying Foreign Languages at University, I will explain, step by step, all you need to do to learn a new language effectively and efficiently in order to communicate in a few weeks!
Let’s start with the first tip which is:
1 – Learn the basic vocabulary
It is useless to study the grammar if you don’t even understand the meaning of the words used in thebook examples.
Learning basic words such as “hello”,”child”, “boy”, “eating” and others is key to starting to learn a new language. To star learning the basic vocabulary, my advice is, unless you’re dealing with children, to use a bilingual approach, that is, to learn new words through translation.
To get started you can compile a list of 50/100/150 basic words in your language and, with a dictionary, like WordReference, translate them into the language you would like to learn: once you have done this, you can start memorizing them!
You can also use one of the many apps that you find online to create flashcards.
2 – Basic conjugation of verbs
Once you’ve mastered the basic vocabulary, you’ll surely know even the most used verbs in the language you want to learn, but that’s not enough!
In order to be able to communicate right away, it is essential that you at least learn how to conjugate the most important verbs in the most common and indispensable tenses, namely: present, past and future.
That’s right: to communicate (which does not mean to speak fluently) you just need to know 3 tenses! Of course, you can find the verbs conjugation you need by looking it up in Google.
There are thousands of sites that offer verb conjugations in any language: just type the verb of which you want to know conjugation and that’s it!
3 – Basic grammar
At this point, you should already be able to communicate, but, of course, in a completely ungrammatical way.
Alas, step 3 involves learning the much-hated grammar!
Don’t panic, to speak well enough, you just need to study a few basic rules, such as: gender and number (i.e., how to form male/female and singular/plural), comparative (majority, minority and equality) and prepositions.
These are the 3 grammatical themes you need to speak a language: only after having learned them properly, you can delve into learning more complex structures and rules!
4 – Listening
The fourth step to learn a foreign language is, without a doubt, my favorite, and one of the most useful, that is, listening!
It is very important to listen to as much material as possible in the language you want to learn and to do so will not be difficult at all: you can listen to the radio, using, for example, your smartphone when you are walking around or preparing to go out or watch television, movies, TV shows in the target language.
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5 – Talking
This can certainly be considered the most difficult part of learning a foreign language.
In fact, speaking a new language does not only require the knowledge of words, conjugations and grammatical structures different from those of your own native language, but also implies having to accustom your vocal apparatus to produce new sounds: you must strive to imitate and reproduce many sounds that you have never produced before.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, many find it difficult to speak a foreign language mainly because of their shyness and fear of making mistakes. To this regard, my boyfriend and I have made a video dedicated to the problem of shyness and how to overcome and defeat it!
However, you will get better at it with practice: find someone to talk to, preferably a native speaker, but not necessarily, and enjoy yourself, without fear.
By making mistakes you will improve so much! If you can’t find anyone to practice with where you live, you could always use free apps like HelloTalk and Tandem that allow you to meet and talk to lots of people who want to learn your language and are willing to teach you theirs! Easy, right?
6 – Reading
Last but not least, you have to read! Read books, newspapers, comics, whatever’s fine, as long as you read. Reading is a very powerful tool when it comes to languages.
In fact, it allows you to improve your vocabulary and knowledge of grammatical structures and rhetorical figures!
For example, you could do what I did to learn English, that is, select and read blogs or newspapers that deal with topics of interest to you. In my case, I read mostly fashion and technology blogs in English, but, often, to keep me updated with the latest news, I also read the BBC through their free app!
Now don’t waste your time and start learning your new language now! But wait, before you start, write in the comments which languages you have already learned and what new languages you would like to learn!
See you soon and wish you so much luck with your study!