Three tips for learning a language

In this video Sophia shares three tips for learning a language that have helped her. Watch and then try them for yourself! 


Watch the video and use the subtitles and the transcript to help you understand.


Welcome back! My name’s Sophia and this video is for the British Council’s LearnEnglish teens website and their YouTube channel.

In today’s video I wanted to share some useful tips for learning a new language. As a language student I completely understand that sometimes it can be difficult, especially if you’re teaching yourself a language from home by yourself and you’re not attending any classes. It can be discouraging and you can be a bit lost as to what to do. Whether you’re a complete beginner or you’re looking to improve your language foundation, I’m hoping that this video will be useful in encouraging you all on your language journeys.

So, I myself am learning French at home by myself. I don’t go to any classes or I don’t have any extra help besides the internet and some books that I have. So, a great website that I’m using at the moment to learn French vocabulary is called Memrise and the idea behind Memrise is really cool. Basically, each word is a seed that you plant and every day you need to water the seed so that it grows into a beautiful flower and once it’s grown big enough then it moves into the greenhouse or your long-term memory. And, the website is really good, it’s free. All you need is an email account and you can set yourself daily goals, you can do timed activities and you can just keep checking your progress, as well as interacting with other people who are studying the same language as you. You can send them friend requests and you can send them messages. So it’s a great website and of course it’s free, which is what language should be about.

Listening to music and watching TV dramas in your target language is a great way to improve your listening and also speaking skills because you’re listening to people speaking in their native tongue and you’re also learning the correct accent, so YouTube, of course, is a great platform for this. There are hundreds of songs, hundreds of videos that you can watch, of course, again, for free. If you’re watching this video you’re already doing this. You’re already engaging with your target language, which is great. What I personally like to do is to find YouTubers who talk about things that I’m interested in. So, if you are interested in make-up or fashion, for example, why not try and find a YouTuber who does make-up tutorials or fashion videos in your target language, so that way, you’re watching something that you enjoy but you’re also learning a language at the same time. Isn’t that great?

My last tip is to try and read in your target language. Of course, when you’re learning any language there are four skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing. So, reading, erm, in your target language will help with your reading and writing skills. Make sure you’re reading material which is suited to your level. If you’re a beginner and you’re reading intermediate material – intermediate books, magazines – that can be very discouraging because it can make you feel like you don’t know anything, which isn’t true. You’re just not reading for your level. So, the British Council has a great website, which of course will be linked below in the description bar, and there are so many different topics to choose from. Again, if you’re interested in travelling, in food, in books, whatever it may be, find something that interests you and is targeted to your level. Choose a topic that you’re interested in and there is lots of extra reading to be done.

So, guys, that’s the end of this video. I hope these tips have been useful and perhaps even encouraged you to start learning a new language. Who knows? Please comment below. Let me know what your language-learning tips are, because as ever I’m also always looking to receive some advice and some help. I hope you have a great day and good luck with your language learning. See you in the next one! Bye, guys!


What are your tips for learning a language? Please share them here! 

Average: 3 (4 votes)
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Submitted by Freshka on Tue, 07/05/2022 - 13:02

Hello, I'm also learning English by myself. To be honest not at all, because I attend B1/B2 classes in my high school, but I try to do lots of work at home. At school, I have forty-five minutes per day, so it is not enough time to improve as much as I want. Tips which mention Sophio are great. I have a few tips. I will share it with you. The first one which is very helpful is listening to podcasts suitable for your level of English. For sure, I use a transcript during my listening. I often listen to it more than one time. The next tip is to record a video where you say something to the camera and no one hears you. It is very funny and you can improve your speaking skills by yourself. The last one is reading. In today's world, we have a lot of resources to develop our knowledge. We can find a lot of books related to our level of English. I recommend reading one book every week! The book should not be very long and has a lot of pages because can discourage you. I hope that these tips will be helpful for you all! Thanks, Sophia for your video. I improve my language skills. 3
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Submitted by Kostantinus on Wed, 03/31/2021 - 07:02

As Sophia said there are loads of great materials for learning languages in the internet. It's just need your time, will and wish. I also don't take any language courses, but just use this amazing website and some podcasts. I also practise my spoken English with my friends. Me and my girlfriend are going to take the IELTS exam for studying abroad. We help and fix each other especially in our writings.

Submitted by AnaCarol on Wed, 07/22/2020 - 15:09

1- watch series and listen to songs in English 2- train pronunciation and writing through an application 3- talk to others in English to train 4- read books, magazines
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