Lesson Transcript

I’m not going to sugarcoat anything here. It is difficult to learn a new language.
If you’re new to a language it’s going to take consistent and concentrated effort to start using the language fluently. However this fact shouldn’t discourage you. While learning a new language is hard, it’s far from impossible. In this video we outline five practical tips you can use to take some of the edge off of learning.
In this video we outline five tips you can use to jumpstart your language learning.
Follow these pointers to learn your target language in a way that is efficient and effective!
Number 1, Limit your native language use when practicing
The idea here is that when you practice with native speakers you do your best to refrain from using your native language. This is generally harder the less you know, but if you can manage to stick to this rule, you’ll reap some huge rewards. If you commit to a no native language practice session it’s not going to be easy. Most likely there will be some frustrating if not painstakingly difficult moments where you either have trouble understanding the person you’re talking to, or you can’t say what you want to say.
It’s precisely in these moments that your language learning muscles are built up to capacity.
The process really isn’t all that different from working out in the gym. Just replace the physical burn of lifting weights for the mental burn of thinking in a new language. In the end if there’s no pain there’s no gain!
Obviously this 'no native language' rule doesn’t have to be written in stone.
There are times when it’s more beneficial to break out of the target language box and have something explained to you in your native language. However this should definitely be the exception rather than the standard.
Number 2, Have set times to practice speaking throughout the week
Now that we discussed a good way to practice speaking, let’s delve a bit into when to speak.
One of the best commitments you can keep while learning a new language is to set aside specific times to practice speaking the language on a weekly basis. Ideally these speaking sessions are on set days at specific times and form part of your weekly routine. If you don’t make it a point to set aside specific practice times you run the risk of your language practice falling through the cracks of your busy schedule. I recommend writing down your practice times and hanging it somewhere you can always see it. You could also input the times into your phone and set an alarm.
The point is to remind yourself of your commitment everyday so that it doesn’t fall by the wayside.
Number 3, Get picky about vocabulary
Whether you practice with a podcast, a friend at a coffee shop, or a teacher you’re going to run into a flood of new and unfamiliar vocabulary.
Despite your best efforts it’s unlikely that you will be able to pin down every new word or phrase you hear and study it later. Thus you should pick and choose which new words you focus on. The defining quality of each new word you learn should be its practicality. The more useful a word or phrase is to you in a conversation, the more important it is that you learn it.
Don’t feel like you have to cram the entirety of your target language into 1 week of study. Take it one step at a time: a few practical words here, some more there. Before you know it you’ll see your vocabulary improve.
Number 4, Write and practice short monologues
This tip can be a lot of fun. Begin by selecting a topic you enjoy discussing. Then simply write out a short monologue or “speech” on the subject in your target language.
The first thing you’ll notice while doing this will likely be the holes in your grammar and vocabulary. But when you try to write out your thoughts in a foreign language you might inevitably hit roadblocks. You might not be able to think of a word or know how to formulate a specific idea or opinion yet.
This can be great because these holes are the exact areas where you should focus your studies. You can bring up these problem areas in your next lesson or browse through your favorite language course or textbook in order to find the answer. The constant process of finding these language holes and filling them is what keeps you moving along the path to fluency.
Once you finish your short text, it’s a great idea to practice reciting it or even memorizing it. The memorization will help you internalize the new grammar and vocabulary you learned. Reciting it will get your tongue and mouth get used to the sounds.
Number 5, Keep an up to date list on what you want to learn
Throughout your studies you should always have a sort of language “shopping-list”. As you practice and study you will most likely come across things you’d like to be able to say but don’t know how to yet, especially if you follow our previous tip.
Write this wishlist down.
It’s one thing to learn the vocabulary you pick up via a course or podcast (both of which are great!), it’s a bit different when your vocabulary gets personal. Learn the words that matter to you either because they’re practical or because you simply find them interesting. The more relevant the vocabulary the more likely you are to retain it.
Some people might tell you it's impossible to learn a new language for whatever reason. "But it’s important to remember that the way you study and engage with a language greatly affects how quickly or effectively you learn it.
For more ways to jumpstart your language learning check out our complete language learning program. Sign up for your free lifetime account by clicking on the link in the description. Get tons of resources to stay engaged with your target language. And if you enjoyed these tips, hit the "like" button, share the video with anyone who's trying to learn a new language, and subscribe to our channel. We release new videos every week! I'll see you next time. Bye!