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5 Tips for Learning a Language

24th December 2015

We often hear people say that they would like to improve their language skills but it is sometimes hard to find the time. We all know that the best way to learn a language is to live and study in the country but it’s not always possible.

Whether you do this alongside more formal language study or just for fun, we’ve come up with 5 tips to help you improve your language skills. These are not suitable for complete beginners but if you’ve got some knowledge of the target language, this should help!

1. Read more in the target language 
This is a great way to broaden your vocabulary and familiarise yourself with the spelling of complicated words. Don’t worry if there are words you don’t understand, you’ll still be able to get the gist. Write down a few of these new words and make it your goal to use them, this will help you remember them.


2. Write an article or a short story
Take 10 or 15 new words and write them at the top of the page. These can be words you have discovered through reading new texts or words which have a common theme such as travel, the workplace or politics. Now write an article or a short story using all of these words. You can be as imaginative as you like as long as you are writing in full sentences and paying attention to grammar rules.


3. Listen to Podcasts 
You can download them on your Smartphone and listen on the move. It’s not only a great way to improve your listening skills but you can also learn something along the way. Why not download podcasts from a few different countries where the language is spoken? This way you can familiarise yourself with different regional accents.  


4. Use Post-it Notes
There are some words that no matter how hard we try, we just can’t remember them. For example, if you were to go around your kitchen, would you remember the word for all of the appliances and utensils? One tip for committing them to memory is by putting post it notes next to everything from the light switch to the chopping board to the whisk. Keep them there for a week or two and see how much you remember. you


5. Keep a video diary
Even if it is just for you, this is a great way to improve your English. You’ll be able to play it back and listen to yourself, which is very helpful for improving your accent, intonation and word stress. It is also a great way to document how your language improves over a period of time. You can talk about what you have done that day, how you feel or what you think about a film you just watched. If you’re confident enough, why not share some of the content online? You might be the next YouTube sensation!  


Language learning opportunities are all around us, we just need to know how to make things work in our favour. If you have any other language learning tips that have helped you in the past, let us know in the comments section below.