There is a common belief that language learning takes many years. Well, it is true when it comes to reaching a very high level of proficiency. However, if your goal is to use the language as a tool of communication, it doesn’t require years of studying.
In this article, I am going to show you how to become fluent within months.
Why do you need that language? How are you going to use it? What are you interests: reading specialized literature, listening to podcasts and interviews, watching movies, or speaking with foreigners during a trip? All of these? Well, not all at once, work on each one by one.
Make clear what you want to achieve first. Once you’ve done it, focus on the competence you want to develop.
If you want to develop all the competencies (reading, listening, writing, speaking), take into account that it will require more time and energy.
However, learning from different angles is a good way to consolidate your knowledge.
2. Be consistent
The best thing you can do to learn faster is to be in contact with your target language every single day. Remember that fluency is the result of every little effort you put into practicing the language DAILY.
If you don’t see any result, maybe not enough time has passed yet. Never quit, just keep going and you’ll soon begin to reap the benefits of being consistent.
A great way to avoid quitting on your language learning is to make it easy and fun. It’s way more efficient to learn a language regularly, rather than intensively. You’ll make more progress learning for 30 minutes a day during the week, then for 3 hours 2 times a week.
3. Make mistakes
I know it sounds contradictory, but we actually master anything by making mistakes. Don’t be afraid of it and don’t feel guilty, it’s a normal thing for anybody to do. Be positive about it, because the more mistakes you make, the faster you reach your goal which is to become fluent in a foreign language.
Of course, the analysis of mistakes is a necessary part of this process. Repeating mistakes over and over again is not going to make a big change. So get used to paying attention to corrections, but don’t be obsessed with it. Over time, the language will become natural for you. Just don’t be afraid of exceeding the limits by making mistakes.
4. Use it or lose it
Sounds obvious, isn’t it? Not many people do it, though. Learning is good, but it is worth nothing without using what you have learned. If your goal is to learn a language fast, don’t lose your time, don’t go into details. Start using the language from day 1. Try to read a short story, write a simple sentence, watch a youtube video with subtitles and try to say something.
From the very beginning, it might be complicated, but it will be a lot of fun. Just look at this from the positive side. You will also understand that the language you’re learning is actually a useful thing. It’s not about boring grammar classes, it’s about a certain lifestyle. And, of course, the more you’re doing so the easier it gets.
5. Fall in love with the language
Find something that you love about your target language and culture. It might be music, films, literature, their lifestyle etc. Also, it might be the sound of a language or a different writing system that attracts you. All of these will help you stay motivated to practice the language more and more. If you love what you’re doing you can reach extraordinary results.
For me, the best way to get motivated is to speak with native speakers. When I realize that I am able to communicate with foreigners in their own language I feel amazing!
Speaking with native speakers is a great way to learn a lot of things you’d never learn from the books. You start appreciating the time you’ve spent on learning a new language.
I hope these simple tips will help you to learn a language faster. I am going to delve more into details about each of the principles in the next articles. If you have something to add or want to share your experience, fell free to comment. There’s also a great article about how to fall in love with a language written by Italian polyglot Luca Lampariello. Check that out!