9 FAST WAYS TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE AS NIGERIAN STUDENTS
One of the best ways to expand our reach of communication is by learning a second language.
Language learning broadens our communication channels and creates chances for us to expand our mind and our thinking to different levels. Whether you are learning French, Spanish, German, Russian, or Swahili, the same principles apply.
When learning a language, you force your brain to think differently and to translate thoughts and ideas to a different plane. This process will make you much more aware of the language you use and improve your communication abilities, thus increasing your linguistic and verbal intelligence.
People can increase their language abilities at any age. By writing and speaking effectively, we are able to express ourselves more fully.
Learning another language is actually not an easy task. However, people who are willing to give it all it takes can learn a second language. Below are 9 fast ways to learn a foreign language as a Nigerians students on how to be effective at learning and coming out excellently
1. Be interested: until you become interested in what you are studying, you cannot be driven to succeed. Interest in the language makes learning it much easier. Take time to find materials that will aid your learning. Be sure that you are motivated to study the language and you have a good reason to learn it. If your main aim of studying a foreign language is to impress single language speakers, you may soon lose interest.
2. Dedicate your time: Acquiring a new language depends mostly on the time available for the leaner to practice. Use almost all your free moment to practice and create time also for exclusively studying the language. If you are a complete beginner, an intensive full immersion course will take you to the basic intermediate level in about ten weeks. I would say a 6 to 12 week intensive, full-immersion course should do. Ensure that you take all aspect of the language as important during practice -grammar, listening, writing, speaking and reading skills.
3. Study everyday: learning language is cumulative and putting it off till weekend won’t help you. Like mathematics and logic, take time to study and practice it every day.
Practice what you are being taught, watch foreign TV, listen to foreign radio, join language club etc. If you’re trying to keep up with the news and don’t feel like you have enough time to keep track of current events and your homework, mix the two together.
Try to find a free online newspaper in your language of choice (Arabic has Al-Jazeera, French has Le Monde, etc.)
Find a particular column or read the headlines about whatever you’re interested in. It’s an excellent way to pick up more specialized but useful vocabulary, especially if you’re going abroad and want to take classes in a foreign language.
4. Attend and participate in class:
the best place to participate is class. Make time out to attend your classes and do not just attend, ensure you participate. Get to know your classmates, so you will feel you are among friends.
Visit your instructor during office hours to get acquainted: explain your goals and fears about the course to your instructor.
5. Develop a good attitude: set personal goals for what you want to learn. Do not strive to be perfect rather, strive to be the best at it. You are permitted to make mistakes but learn from your mistakes. Review a simplified English grammar text.
Compare new grammatical structures in your foreign language to their English equivalents.
6. Use tutoring services: if there is need for help, form study groups in class and do not hesitate to ask for help. Listen while a friend dictates to you and write what you hear. Check for accuracy. Practice with a foreign student who wants your help to learn English or with another class member.
7. Pay attention to details and memorize irregular verbs. Vocabulary is the most essential element of communication. The more words you know, the more you can say and understand.
The absolute best way to learn vocabulary is through the use of flash cards that you make yourself. Purchase a set of 3 x 5 index cards and cut them in half. (This makes them small enough to carry everywhere.) Write a vocabulary word on the front and its English definition on the back.
As you learn more information about each word (e.g. plural forms of nouns, principle parts of verbs), you can add these to the cards.
There are many ways you can use flash cards as a learning tool. To help you learn and remember noun genders, for example, you can color code the nouns by gender, either by using colored cards or colored ink.
When studying, organize words in meaningful groups (e.g., by noun gender, in thematic categories, regular verbs vs. irregular verbs). Shuffle the cards or groups, so that you use the stack(s) in a different order each time.
Use the cards in both directions: first look at the foreign language words and try to recall the English definition. Then shuffle and look at the English definitions and attempt to remember the foreign language words. Flash cards offer many possibilities. Take advantage!
8. Talk to yourself: consistently practice forming the words from your thought, then speak out loud.
Talk to yourself in the language!
If you do not know a word or phrase, write down the English equivalent and look it up in your foreign language dictionary. Talking to yourself might sound really weird, but speaking to yourself in a language is a great way to practice. It helps you keep new words and phrases in your mind.
9. Find or travel to native speakers: If you know people who speak in the language you are learning, begin talking to them in that language. Family, friends, professors, campus staff, the nice waiter at your favorite restaurant, your great-aunt from Germany, international students, your teachers from high school, whoever.
Even if it’s just a short exchange. Most people who know another language will be forgiving of mistakes and speak slower to help you understand.
It’s useful not just to practice your own speaking skills but also to listen to a real accent and the ineffable authenticating speech patterns you can’t pick up from a textbook.
Find time to take a trip to a country where your language is spoken. nothing will excite you so much than learning the language from persons who are its first and original speakers.
Do not forget to make your learning experience fun by choosing to enjoy it.
Use your new language in creative ways!
Do whatever you love doing most in the language and think of any fun ways to practice your new language.
Putting the aforementioned steps to practice will help you study effectively. You will be able to overcome, anxiety and learn the grammar and skill necessary for success in your foreign language classes.