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5 Tips to Help You Learn a New Language - Kara Masterson

Learning a new language can be one of the most rewarding, interesting and useful things you can do in life. However, many people never begin learning the language they've always wanted to speak because learning a new language seems like an insurmountable challenge. Luckily, there are some simple ways to make the process easier. Here are five simple tips to help you learn a new language.

1. Make Use of Native Teachers Online

The modern wonder of the internet has made learning a new language easier than ever before. Live video and audio communication around the world has led to many websites springing up that can connect those wishing to learn a new language with teachers who speak it as a first language. For example, an English speaker wishing to learn Russian can connect with teachers who speak Russian with English as a second language. These sites usually charge for the services of their teachers, but the amounts are modest and well worth it.

2. Focus on Key Vocabulary

Learning to be completely fluent in a language can take years, but students can achieve reasonable proficiency in just a few months by focusing only on the most common elements of a language. For example, students should treat greetings and basic inquiries with more importance than the finer points of discussing high art in their new language. Since well over half of the conversation in a language will take place using only about 20 percent of its vocabulary, narrowing your studies to the most common words will help you to achieve proficiency much more quickly.


Study smart and focus on key vocabulary

3. Quiz Yourself Throughout the Day

Learning a language requires you to implement it in your day to day activities. As you go throughout your day, you can quiz yourself on the vocabulary of the language you are trying to learn so that it becomes permanently fixed in your memory. You can even try to translate phrases and words you hear into your second language in your head.


Quiz yourself with new words

4. Use Your New Language in Conversation

Learning vocabulary and grammar is all well and good, but it will not replace real life practice. Try to find someone else who speaks the language you are trying to learn so that you can practice conversing in it. If you can't find someone you know, the internet is also a good option for this.


Improve your language skills by practicing conversations 

5. Test for a Certification

Once you have become fluent or close to fluent in your new language, you can test for a recognition that you speak the language. For example, those learning English as a second language frequently take the TOEFL Testing course. This will not only give you an incentive to learn properly, but will be a valuable career tool. There are also so many resources out there for you to help you do well on tests like this. BestMyTest is a great resource to help you get all of the help you need.


Learning a new language opens doors all around the world


While learning a new language takes time and dedication, these tips will help to make it easier. Above all else, remain consistent in your studies. With time and effort, proficiency and fluency will eventually come.

Article contributed by Kara Masterson, a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.