To learn foreign languages, there are no secrets or magic formulas: it only takes determination and an effective learning method. That’s all. But it may be useful to have a small guide to help define not the right way to learn because there is no single way but the best behaviours to adapt to learn foreign languages without too much effort, quickly and having fun. This is why we have identified the golden rules to keep in mind if you decide to learn a new language. There is the best website for that.
Focus on words and their meaning
When you decide to learn foreign languages, the vocabulary is fundamental. It must be your priority. How can you build a sentence, a conversation, or give voice to an idea without vocabulary? Impossible but learning a list of words without rhyme or reason, words that have no relationship between them, is a senseless strategy. It is important to make sense of the vocabulary you learn.
Then start by memorizing the words you need most in your learning, which make the most sense. That is, the words you will probably use more and that you must learn quickly. Nothing complicated, because these are the words you often find in the so-called frequency lists. As the name implies, they are lists of words used more often, based on a theme or topic.
For example, you are going to spend a weekend in Italy and want to learn the vocabulary related to booking a hotel, to find a nice place to sleep. It is useless to learn ALL the vocabulary; we agree no? You can focus your study on a frequency unit related to the hotels, so the words you need to make a reservation.
How to find it? You can do online research and have very little frequency lists based on the language or topic. Here is an example on Wikipedia. Furthermore, the word lists proposed by different apps, have been created precisely according to the user lists. So you only learn really useful words.
Learn words in their context to better understand their meaning. The more a word makes sense to you, the more easily you will store it in your memory. For this reason, it is useless to learn isolated words. It is better to learn foreign languages starting from groups of words or whole sentences. Thus the sentences create an image or an idea that is easier to remember and to pull out when needed.
Stay motivated and have fun
At the origin of all learning, there is always a desire. Even at school. You may have the impression of having taken language lessons at school just because you have to. But surely, in the end, you also had another motivation: to make your parents proud, make yourself proud, travel, meet people, it doesn’t matter. All the reasons are good for learning foreign languages. There is always a desire, a desire behind it.
Whatever the motivation, the goal is always to keep it alive and make sure that learning always has a motivating aspect. To achieve this, we have already given you some advice in another post: how to stay motivated in the long run. In order not to lose motivation, make your learning fun. Learning foreign languages does not mean having your nose on books. Language is a living thing and lively. You can learn it in many different ways.