Tips for Learning a Language


I've always been a bit obsessed with the idea of learning a new language. Not just because it's a useful skill but because it's fun! Now that I'm not at university I find myself craving something productive to do, I love learning new things and now is as good a time as any to brush up on my French skills. I never really enjoyed French lessons at school because I wasn't very good at it. But being at home and being able to do things my own way at my own pace has made such a difference! So I've decided to compile a list of a few things that have helped me along the way and might help you too!

Basics | You're going to find the process of learning a new language a lot easier if you nail the basics first. Think of it the same way you were taught to read and write in primary school. You have to start with simple concepts, ideas, words and sentences before moving onto more complex work.

Dictionary | This is tip that my GCSE French teacher gave me - carry a pocket size dictionary in your bag wherever you go. This way, if you come across a word or phrase that you don't know how to say in French, you can quickly look it up. The other useful thing about most language dictionaries is that they have a grammar section at the back which will come in handy when you're learning how to conjugate verbs and the like!

Repetition | There's a great app called Duolingo that gradually builds up your vocabulary and language skills. You can set yourself a daily target and set notification reminders so you don't miss a day. The tasks only take a couple of minutes each so it's easy to get in a daily practice without it being too much of a burden. I've found that the repetition of these tasks helps the vocabulary stick with me. 

Read | I've challenged myself to read a Harry Potter book in French and it has been such a huge help in building my vocabulary. It's taking me forever to read because I have to keep stopping and looking up words but my understanding of the vocabulary and grammar has improved massively! 

4. Immerse yourself | In this technological age, it's so easy to immerse yourself in a language without actually having to immerse yourself. There are thousands of websites, podcasts and apps that can help you learn a new language quickly and effectively. You can listen to conversations in other languages, read news articles and watch videos. I use an app called Euronews that lets you watch news snippets in another language and provides the transcript underneath so you can follow along.

I'm really enjoying getting a better grasp of the French language. Let me know if you have any other tips or tricks, I'd love to hear them!