Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

The dos and don'ts of learning a new language

by : 
AmyA

People decide to learn another language for many different reasons. Some decide to learn another language because they would like to live in another country. Others decide to learn a language because of their job. Some people have to study a language at school and others might decide to learn a language just for fun! 

I’ve been learning French for just over two years. I decided to learn it because I wanted to learn something new and because I love French culture. Learning French has been a fun and exciting journey but it’s also been challenging. I’ve learnt a lot about the challenges faced whilst learning a new language and have put together some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to help advise other language learners.

DO …
enjoy it
Learning a new language can be a hard and repetitive process that requires a lot of motivation. Try different activities and to make your language learning as much fun as possible. Why not try watching your favourite TV series in that language or listening to music in that language?

write down your mistakes
A person correcting you is a good thing and it will help you improve. I like to write the mistakes that I make in a small pocket book. I also write new vocabulary that I’ve learnt too. 

DON’T ...
set unrealistic expectations
If you have recently started learning another language it may be unrealistic to expect to be fluent within a couple of months. Wanting to become fluent is a great goal, but be aware that it could take a while. The same thing goes for accents. It’s very difficult to have a native accent. The most important thing is that you’re clear and people can understand you. Take your time and celebrate the progress that you’ve made so far.

be scared
When I first started speaking French I wasn’t confident. I worried about my accent, pronunciation, grammar and didn’t make the most of speaking opportunities. Looking back it seems silly and now I’m more than happy to speak French. My advice is don’t be scared or overthink it, just be confident and speak.

Discussion

Have you got any language learning tips? What do you like to do when you’re learning a new language?