Many of us are looking forward to a new year and have decided to make improving our language skills our new year’s resolution. But how many times have you made resolutions and not kept them? If one of your new year’s resolutions is to improve your language skills, you are not alone. The busuu.com team, who between us have many years of language learning experience, have compiled a list of language learning tips that have proved effective for us and hopefully ensure that this is one resolution that won’t be abandoned.
Over the coming months we aim to help you in your language learning by writing a series of blog entries on Language Learning. By understanding how you learn best and what your needs and goals are, you can become a more effective language learner.
1: Building the foundation: Understanding
Listen to as much material as you can in your new language.
- It is vital to train your ear to listen to and eventually understand what is being expressed. At the beginning, this may be frustrating as you will probably find that you don’t understand everything, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and your new language won’t be learnt in a day either.
- Finding material to listen to is so much easier nowadays thanks to the Internet. There are so many resources available from great free language learning websites like busuu.com, to podcasts, to radio stations, to video sharing websites such as YouTube, where you can find endless material in your desired language. Take a look at the BBC website for English news and podcasts, the Deutschewelle website for German podcasts, Radio France website for some great French podcasts and for Spanish, take a look at the RTVE website.
- Watch films and TV series in the original version. It may be tiring at first but it is hugely effective when it comes to training your ear. You could also leave the TV on in the background while doing the housework or listen to a podcast while travelling to work.
Not all these methods for understanding will work for you but you must be patient and find the ones that do. So good luck and stay tuned for more language learning tips from the busuu.com team in the very near future.