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Top 5 Tips to Help Absorb a Foreign Language

Helpful for those studying a foreign language in school, as well as those hoping to pick it up on their own.

Whether your school requires a foreign language as part of its curriculum, or whether you've decided to study a language on your own, the learning process can be difficult because it's so unlike other subjects you've studied before. All of a sudden, you have to make room in your brain for a brand new alphabet, a different grammatical structure, and thousands of new words. However, there are several techniques available to help the new language sink in and be absorbed.

1. Try to familiarize yourself with the culture

Believe it or not, learning about the culture in which your new language is spoken can do a great deal to improve your comprehension of the language. You might find that the a different cultural mentality is reflected in its words and phrases. Learn about social roles, holidays, customs, and food where your language is spoken. At the very least, you'll have more to discuss when you practice the language with a native speaker!

2. Expose yourself to media in that language

It can be extremely helpful to listen to music with lyrics in your new language if only to hear a perfect example of the accent. Furthermore, TV shows, radio programs, and movies are excellent resources that provide examples of all the lessons you're learning in class. You may even find that tuning into the radio or playing an audiobook can help you pick up on new vocabulary, the subtleties of grammar, and the correct pronunciation of difficult words. Even if you don't understand everything, or even any of it at all, you'll be amazed at how much your brain can absorb subconsciously.

3. Look up exchange programs and clubs at home

Many schools and communities offer exchange programs where you can practice the language you're studying with a native speaker who wants to practice his English. These programs are often free of cost since they are mutually beneficial. Similarly, most high schools and colleges have extracurricular clubs whose sole purpose is to provide an atmosphere in which to practice the language.

4. Try to meet people who speak that language

If you know a native speaker, let him or her know that you'd like to spend more time speaking in your new language. More often than not, native speakers are happy to help fix mistakes and provide ways to improve your speaking abilities. Try going out to international restaurants where your new language is spoken, and tell the waiter you want to practice.Direct conversation will always improve your accent, vocabulary, comprehension, and of course your grades!

5. Travel

If you have the opportunity, nothing improves one's speaking ability than traveling to a country where that language is spoken. Check to see if your school offers any study abroad programs; sometimes there are shorter sessions over winter and summer that would allow you to visit the country for a few weeks. Also, there are many volunteer groups which travel across the world to build homes, teach English, or other volunteer activities. Immersion experiences are the best method for reaching fluency in your new language.

Article Source: Top 5 Tips to Help Absorb a Foreign Language

Autor: Lily Faden

Dodano: 2010-10-04
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