Language training is no longer just the concern of liberal arts professors or diplomats. It is of interest to millions of people around the world. Whether you are a student, world traveler, business road warrior or someone who doesn’t stray too far from your perch in suburbia, the ability to speak a second or third language has never been more useful or more important.
Individuals strive to learn a second language for a number of different reasons. Some people are driven to learn the language of the foreign country they are traveling to; others choose to learn a language for academic or personal reasons. Whatever the reason may be, research shows that the most natural way to learn and master a language is by practicing with native speakers.
Unfortunately not everyone has the luxury of traveling to a foreign country to converse with native speakers; however, Internet technology allows language learners from all over the globe to connect at the touch of a button. Today, language learners can connect online to practice their language of choice. It’s like traveling the world every time you log on.
If you are serious about learning a foreign language – Livemocha, the world’s largest online language learning community, has some tips to help you achieve your goals:
- Don’t just memorize words; learn entire phrases at a time.
Memorize new words in the context of a useful sentence. It’s easier to recall a complete phrase, such as “I like eating French fries with ketchup”, than to remember each word in isolation.
- Devote at least one hour a week to your study time
A minimum of an hour is all it takes every time you study your new language. Although we’re convinced you’ll be hooked and spend twice as much time getting to know new people and culture.
- Stick with it and be consistent
Learning a language is difficult. The more you practice, the easier it gets. Set time aside for yourself when it’s convenient and fits into your schedule. If you make it a regular routine, it will be easier to commit to.
· Have fun!
When learning a foreign language, you are not only studying the phonetics, but you are also learning about a new culture so make sure to enjoy your experience.
Posted by +Pat Wyman, author and founder of HowToLearn.com