The 5 Best French Canadian TV Shows to Master Your Language Skills
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So you are thinking about learning to speak a second language, that’s great! There are many advantages to learning a language. Not only are you opening your horizons by broadening your understanding of other people and cultures, it increases your brain power too!
While you might love the idea of being about to speak to people and make yourself understood in a language that is not your native tongue, you might find the idea of going back to a classroom tedious.
If you weren’t a good student in the first place, or just have a lifestyle where it will be difficult to schedule time for lessons, you might be wondering if you can learn a language by yourself.
It is possible to learn languages on your own. You just need to have the determination and the discipline to sit down and study vocabulary, grammar, and even pronunciation rules of your chosen second-language.
Here are 4 easy ways that you can learn a language on your own.
The best way to facilitate rapid language learning is to make sure that you set aside time to learn. You can’t just wake up one day and say, “I will learn a new language today.”
Even the easiest language to learn requires you to put in some effort to build up a list of vocabulary words and learn specific grammar rules. The only way you are going to do that is if you commit to taking up a few lessons consistently.
For example, you can learn new words using flash cards, but you need to set aside specific times to study those flashcards if you want the information to stick in your mind.
The need for learners to devote time to language sessions is one reason why classes are so popular. Enrolling in a class makes you commit to learn a new language.
If you don’t feel like attending classes and would rather learn at home, one effective way to learn a language is to hire a native tutor. You can set up a language learning schedule with your tutor at your convenience and at the comfort of your own.
One of the best ways to get fluent is to have regular conversations with a native speaker. A tutor from JustLearn can help ensure that you are constantly practicing what you learn, so you’re just not learning new words or grammar rules but applying and understanding them.
Flash cards are especially helpful in language learning because they allow you to repeatedly be exposed to information, but still be challenged.
Going down a list of words can be boring after a while. Flash cards help you mix it up a little so you are not just reciting words, but actually thinking about them and challenging your memory.
Since flashcards are “random”, as you pick them out of a pile, every study session is a little bit different and challenging.
Flash cards are a good answer to how you can learn a language on your own for free as you can make them yourself. Just get a bunch of index cards and write down information you want to learn. For example, you can write the word in the front and the meaning in the back.
Making your own flash cards, instead of buying premade cards, could be the answer to how you can learn a language fast and fluently. Writing down information by hand is proven to help you retain that information better, so creating your own flashcards is a better way to learn.
Spaced Repetition is a learning technique that is based on the “spacing effect”. The spacing effect is a phenomenon by which information was found to be retained more effectively in a person’s long-term memory if they were repeatedly exposed to that information in intervals that were spaced apart.
Instead of cramming, where you repeatedly expose yourself to information again and again over a short period of time, in spaced repetition you expose yourself to information then take a break before studying it again.
For example, you have a vocabulary list of five words and their meaning. If you were to cram, you would study those words over and over, hour by hour for an entire day. With spaced repetition, you study that list, take a break, then go back to that list after an hour.
Spaced repetition basically calls for you to review information you are trying to learn at systematic intervals and these intervals get longer and longer. For example, you study the vocabulary list of five words, take a break and return after an hour. Then you take a break again, but make it four hours this time, ensuring that there’s a longer interval of time between your study sessions.
Usually, when it comes to learning language, the schedule for spaced repetition is every other day. So, for example, you study one group of words on Monday, you review them on Wednesday etc.
So how to learn a language at home using spaced repetition? There are two common methods, flash cards and spaced repetition software.
If you want to combine flash cards and spaced repetition, try the “Box Method”. Place all your flashcards in a box and draw one at a time. On your next session, if you correctly remembered what was on a card, place that card in a second box. On your third session, review the cards on the first and second box and place the ones you remember on the third box and so on.
You can also find spaced repetition apps either for free or for a small fee that will work on your computer or mobile device.
Memorizing vocabulary lists and practicing pronunciation and grammar are all effective, but you also need to develop your ability to use the language naturally. One of the best ways to do so is to listen to native speakers.
Make sure you experience the language you want to learn on a regular basis. Language teachers have always encouraged students to try and immerse themselves in the language they want to learn. To do so, they tell students to listen to music or watch television shows or movies in that language.
One particularly good language learning tool that began to emerge in the 2000s are podcasts. A podcast is basically an audio recording or series of audio recordings that someone makes about a specific topic. These podcast “episodes” are made available online for other people to stream or download.
A podcast is basically an offshoot of a radio program. The advantage of a podcast is that the listener doesn’t have to “tune in” at a specific time to listen to a podcast episode. Podcast episodes are available for listeners to download so that they can play it at their convenient.
If you are wondering how to learn a language by yourself by listening to podcasts, the answer is to find the right podcasts. Most podcasts cater to a certain set of learners according to the language level they already have. So, you can find podcasts for extreme beginners and podcasts for people who are already at an advanced level.
The beauty of a podcast is that you can listen to it anytime or anywhere. So conceivably, you can listen to a podcast to learn a language while you are sitting at home, or at a coffee shop, or even while taking a walk or going on a drive. As long as you have a mobile device and a few episodes downloaded you can have a language lesson.
So which of these four methods is the best way to learn? It actually depends on you. We recommend you try each to find out what works best for you.
It might also be a good idea to mix and match the methods. For example, you could use flashcards on a spaced repetition schedule and – on the days that you’re not studying the flashcards, listen to an episode of a podcast.
It is possible to learn languages on your own, but if you want to swiftly gain fluency, the best way to learn is to set aside some time to practice speaking and thinking in that language.
If you would prefer to learn at home, or on a more flexible schedule than signing up for group classes will allow, your best option is to sign up for a series of one-on-one lessons with a native language tutor. Then, to ensure that the lessons take root quicker, look at flash cards or listen to podcasts in between.
Flash card, podcasts, and 1-on-1 English lessons.
Yes, you can learn a language by yourself. Sometimes it's even easier to learn it on your own because you are free to choose your preferred method. Try to create a schedule and to stick to it.
Try to enjoy it and don't think of it as traditional studying. Choose your favorite resources and talk with native speakers as much as possible.
It takes around 400 hours to learn English
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