In the time I've spent studying languages, I've come to realize that there are several basic things you should be doing to maximize your language learning progress. They're the most fundamental but yet some people miss out on knowing these.
So without further ado, here are the 7 most basic language learning tips you need to know.
1. Study Every Single Day
You need to be studying every day if possible. It doesn't have to be for an large amount of time. Just try to get 20-30 minutes for the day. Studying every day will keep you consistent and help you to remember everything you’re learning.
If you’re a really, really, busy person. Try do smaller bites of time here and there. 5 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon, etc. Just try and squeeze in around 20-30 minutes.
Pronunciation is one of the three major parts of learning a language and the only way to really get better is to repeat mimic the sounds.
You’ll feel awkward at first (and might look awkward), but it’s all part of the process of getting better pronunciation.
Sub-Tip: If you can’t find someone who wants to listen to you speak another language or are too afraid at first, then try talking to your dog, cat, or any pet. They won’t mind.
Read everything you can in the language. Blogs, news websites like Yahoo, books, anything with text. Reading may not help with speaking as much, but it helps tremendously build vocabulary. I highly recommend software like learning with texts (free) for reading any content you find.
4. Read Aloud
Expanding on just general reading -- whenever you’re reading text, make sure to read it aloud instead of in your head. This goes along with talking and helps you practice your pronunciation more. It also helps you get more experience with speaking the language.
5. Watch Movies/Television
Find some good movies or TV shows in the language. There’s plenty out there that I’m sure you will even enjoy watching. You could watch news too instead of just shows. Media is a fantastic way to get used to the sounds and rate of speech of the natives. It also further helps with your pronunciation.
Sub-Tip: If you’re watching movies, try to put subtitles on if they have them. Don’t rely on the subtitles unless you’re just starting out. Use them only when you hear words you don’t know.
6. Listen to Music
Ever heard a catchy song in another language? There’s plenty of good music out there to listen to. Listening to music will help with your listening skills, get you used to the sounds, and somewhat help with pronouncing words.
I find most of my music from YouTube. Just go and search for [language you're learning] + [genre] or [music] and you should be able to find something you like.
7. Don’t Worry About Messing Up
The last tip I can give is a very important one. Don’t worry about making mistakes! If you want to improve, you’re going to have to practice speaking and writing with native speakers. It’s the only way.
If you’re too worried about making mistakes, then you’ll never make progress.
People won’t scold you for a silly grammatical error or mispronounced word. 99% of the time they’ll be glad you’re trying to learn in the first place.
These are the most basic things you should do when learning a language. Do them and you will see great success and strides in your journey. I promise!
Do you have any other helpful tips that you want to share? We would all like to hear it!