8 tips to learn a new language, this is our special gift of October. Learning a new language is a great adventure, but it is not easy… not at all! We know something about it. After an initial excitement (it lasts few month… sigh, sigh…), everyone has experienced difficult moments with grammar, vocabulary, phrasal verbs, etc. After years abroad, we have been able to develop some techniques to learn and practice our beloved foreign languages. Are you ready to discover them?
There is nothing more useful than being able to speak a foreign language. No matter where, you can always communicate, express your needs, meet new friends, and embrace other cultures. We are biased, but there is nothing as satisfying as discovering new worlds through the language. The proof is in the pudding!
Imagine living in a shared flat in Valencia. Isn’t it amazing being able to talk with all your flatmates and exercise Spanish? You can share amazing moments, help each other, become real friends…
The best way to learn a language and practice it? Live in the country of the selected language, of course! This would be the perfect start, but it is not always possible to move abroad just to improve your language skills. Nonetheless, with methods and strategies, you will manage your favourite language! There is not a right method to learn Spanish, English, Italian or any other language. Nonetheless, several tricks will make this linguistic adventure easier. Here the ultimate helpValencia’s tips to easily learn a foreign language.
- Move abroad
Find a cheap flight, plan your stay and go! This is our tip number 1. It does not matter how many hours you will study, there is nothing as effective as moving abroad. You can go to work, to study, to have a break from your normal life. You can babysit for a while as Au Pair, you can study in a prestigious university as Erasmus student or you can begin an internship abroad with the Erasmus plus-Traineeship. There are so many ways to spend a period abroad that would be boring to list them all!
- Live in a shared flat
It does not matter if you live in your home country or abroad. Shared flats are a good housing solution for students and young workers. In this global society, it is always easier to have international flat mates and, needless to say, they are perfect to practice a foreign language. By choosing to live in a shared flat, you will have the great chance to train your language every day. Therefore, we offer our clients this housing solution: this is the best way to get the most of an experience abroad.
Believe us, this will be an unforgettable experience!
- Look for a tandem partner
You must have heard about tandem partners several times. A person offers you its language and you offer him/her yours. You can meet in a bar or eat something together, go for a walk, have a coffee at home, etc. It’s not a lesson, it’s a friendship: you meet and know a person and you learn a language. The rules? Rule number one: you speak half a language and half the other. Rule number two: the level has to be the same (more or less).
- Watch movies or TV series
Movies with subtitles, TV series, Youtube… They are all valuable tools to improve your language skills. Don’t worry if you don’t understand every single sentence or entire scenes. Give yourself the time to get used to the sounds and to the new language and, after a while, you will understand everything of your favourite TV series.
- Practice regularly
This is the first and most important rule when you have to learn and practice a new language at home. It doesn’t have to be something boring, nor a full immersion of one day per week. Half an hour each day is more than enough (unless you want to get a certificate). Some ideas?
- Flashcards. This is our favourite method to learn nouns, adjectives and verbs. You write the word on a side and the translation on the other one. How does it work? You choose a random card in the deck and make an effort to translate it or to remember what it means. You learn by playing!
- Grammar exercises. Just a couple of exercise to understand how to use verbs, nouns, sentences, connectors.
- Apps. They will allow you to study wherever you are. Do you have to spend 30 minutes on the bus? You can take your phone, log in and start a new lesson on Duolingo, for example.
- Use post-it notes
They work perfectly with idioms or collocations and with those words that you cannot remember. How does it work? All you have to do is to put them in place you look at many times each day and read them every time you can. After a while that you see and read them, they will be part of your lexicon. The proof is in the pudding! Yes, we have learned this expression in that way and now we are proud to use it as much as possible ahahahah
Remember: if you don’t use the idioms, you forget them!
- Read a lot
The second trick to learn quickly a language is the reading. Read everything, from the advertisement to novels, from simplified books to comics and blogs. Everything can help you improve your lexical skills, even the menu in a restaurant is a great source of new words and phrases! Read always, read a lot.
- Listen to the radio
If you can listen to the radio, nothing can stop you! We are not exaggerating, it is the hardest practice ever. Actually, you do not have any image that can help you understand a context, they talk very quickly and the voices may overlap. After the phone call, this is the best way to understand your level of Spanish, English, Italian, German, etc.
Those tips worked for us, but, as mentioned before, everyone has his/her own method. A key point is that you understand the importance of learning a new language. Once you are motivated enough, it is all downhill (this is the second phrase we have learned with the post it method ahahahah).
Are you planning to follow our tip number 1? helpValencia offers you cosy rooms in some of the most central neighbourhoods of the city. They are all shared flats and this, as already mentioned, is perfect to practice languages. By choosing this kind of accommodation, you will have the chance to live in an international environment and this will be the best experience ever!
Well, these were our tricks, do you know more? Let us know