We have an AMAZING lesson for you this week, Naturals!
The beauty of studying a language is that there’s always something new you can learn! Who doesn’t want to learn a language faster, better, more easily, with more fluency, and in less time? Definitely not us! 😄 And we’re pretty sure not you, either.
We’re not calling anyone out for being lazy (we’re all guilty of it sometimes!), but these amazing hacks will help you be that much more awesome at learning English and becoming fluent. Are you ready? Let’s go!
- Start with pronunciation: If you have bad pronunciation, even if you have good grammar, people won’t understand you. In order to communicate fluently, you need to work on your pronunciation first!
- Focus on one dialect: Whether a regional or standard dialect, focus on this to be able to mimic the accent well. Work on your pronunciation and intonation.
- Specific vocabulary: Vocabulary and pronunciation definitely go together, because we practice pronunciation of specific vocabulary words.
- Learn cognates: Learn similar words, or cognates, in your native language and in English, and that have similar meanings (for example, car 🚗 in English and carro 🚗 in Spanish). Make sure you are careful about false cognates, which are words that sound the same, but mean very different things (for example, embarrassed 😳 in English and embarazada 🤰 in Spanish)!
- Think in new language: Don’t translate! Translation makes you mind do things that native speakers don’t do. Learn words through context — its use, or the situation — not through translation.
- Repetition: It takes time, but repetition can really speed up the learning process when you make an effort to consume the language every day (books, news, movies, music, etc.).
- Use mnemonics: You can expand your vocabulary and remember a lot more words faster by using a mnemonic device. This means to make a connection between a word and another word/concept/sound that you already know.
- Follow your curiosity: Become passionate, obsessed even, with the language you are learning! 💘 In order to do this, you have to follow your own interests, whether it be music, movies, or anything else you can think of. Immerse yourself!
- Fluency and motivation: Don’t try to force yourself to learn the same way a teacher in a traditional class would. Follow your curiosity. Unless you have to study for a test, just follow what makes you interested to learn. For example, if you are interested in sports, try reading sports news in English.
- Connect with native speakers: A great way to improve both your fluency and motivation is to connect with native speakers of the language you are studying, especially when you have a shared interest (music, art, sports — anything!).
- Talk to yourself: Hear us out! It’s not weird! It is SO important to speak the language, but not everyone has another person they can speak with. In the meantime, speak to yourself about your plans for the day while you’re getting ready in the morning, for example.
- Create self-immersion: It’s great if you can go and visit the country where they speak the language you’re learning, but we understand that not everyone can do that! (If it were that easy, we’d probably never stay anywhere for long! 🎒✈️). Staying current with pop culture on social media and on tools like Spotify, you can stay informed on what people are currently talking about.
- Create in a new language: More than just having a conversation, it’s important to open up your creativity and try new things, like writing a poem or song, a short story, or even leaving a comment on a social media post. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but we need to create in order to master the language.
- Copy and paste vocabulary: When you listen to native speakers having a conversation in the language that you are learning, notice phrases that you find interesting, and copy those to use them (or “paste” them) into your own conversations.
- Think in new language: Learn to think in the language you are learning without translating. The person you speak to the most in your life isn’t a friend or family member, it’s YOU! Thinking to yourself in English will help you learn to get used to speaking it.
- Get out of your comfort zone: Create a challenge for yourself every day to learn at least one new word. Then, use it the next time you’re able to!
- Visit a country: When you’re surrounded by native speakers of the language you are studying, you will improve because you will be constantly exposed to how they use the language on a daily basis.
- Be culturally adept: Understand how people communicate according to the culture of the language you are learning.
- Make mistakes: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! When you make them, identify them, learn from them, and do your best not to repeat them.
- Learn as an adult: It’s a myth that children can learn a language faster!
- Create smart goals: These are specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely goals.
- Don’t wait: Don’t wait for anyone to give you an assignment. Make your own!
- Affective filter: In order to learn and become fluent in a language, you need to be relaxed. Lowering your affective filter means to lower your stress.
- Pretend you are someone else: If you are usually a shy person, this can be super helpful! You can pretend to be anyone: someone you admire, a celebrity, or a superhero. It doesn’t matter, as long as you pick someone who is confident speaking the language!
- Be patient: Be patient with yourself! Learning a new language isn’t just about the destination — it’s also about the journey! It’s an evolving process, and your journey can be endless if you choose to never stop learning!
If you’ve stuck with us for this entire lesson, we know you’re not lazy! You’re dedicated and you’re awesome!!
Be sure to check out our video lesson below for more! 😉