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Best Way to Learn a Foreign Language

by Jake Beus October 25th, 2012 More

The best way to learn a foreign language is to live where that language is spoken so that you are completely immersed in the language. That means that you speak and listen to your new language all day everyday. There is NO better way. When a language website or company tells you that they have the best way, understand that they’re saying that it’s the best way other than complete immersion.

Most people do not have the opportunity to be completely immersed in a new language by living in a foreign country. The good news is that there are other ways you can learn. Before I tell you about a few of those other ways, I’d like to tell you something important:  For MOST people, language acquisition does not come easy, it requires hard work and consistency. With that in mind, here are some other ways that you can learn a new language besides complete immersion:

  • Audio-based programs. There are a number of audio-based language programs out there and these can be convenient for an on-the-go lifestyle. Simply make sure that the foreign language you are listening to is from a native speaker. You want to avoid the ‘foreigner’ accent as much as possible.
  • Reading material. If you know how to read in the foreign language, it can be very helpful to read as much as possible to amplify your vocabulary. For me, reading aloud was very helpful in improving my pronunciation and flow.
  • Writing exercises. Reading and writing exercises will help you improve your grammar and flow.
  • Speaking. Speak in the foreign language as often as you can. Read aloud. Video chat with native speakers of the foreign language you are studying. As much as possible, have face-to-face conversations. Your efforts will be appreciated, and often you will be able to help the other person work on English.

I recommend adding all of these learning components into your language-learning method; however, focus on speaking. Involve as many senses as possible in the learning process. If you can hear it, say it, feel it and write it, then you will likely remember it. What’s your favorite way to learn a new language? Please answer by commenting below.

Language learning tips

  1. Virginia
    November 15th, 2012 at 22:25 | #1

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

  2. luis jara
    December 9th, 2012 at 13:26 | #2

    i think the best way to learn a foreign language is living where that laguage is spoken, like me, I´m originally from Chile but I´m working in Brazil since 1998 then I had to learn Portuguese, but not all people have this advantange them I recomend hard work because learning a new language is so much sacrifice

  3. language training
    January 10th, 2013 at 00:59 | #3

    Learning needs devotion always. same is the case with language learning. I agreed with you on the fact that immersion helps a lot in grasping new words easily but it is not always possible to live in that country or region of which you are learning language. Like I am learning French these days as I want to became a guide and I can not afford to live in France.

  4. Italy travel blog
    January 19th, 2013 at 18:54 | #4

    I agree, you have to use a combination of the techniques to learn your target language. Find the combination that works the best for you and stick with it on a daily basis. If you plan a trip to your destination of choice, then that will motivate you to learn a little bit prior to your trip. Don’t try to cram it all in at one time.
    Larry

  5. Learn a language
    February 9th, 2013 at 15:18 | #5

    I agree. To learn Spanish I decided to travel to Spain and then Panama to really get immersed into the language and it one of the best things I could have done to learn it. Living in a country is totally different from taking a class, you learn all day long everyday versus just a few short hours a week in a class.

    Wally

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  7. pimsleur approach
    April 16th, 2013 at 17:44 | #7

    I fully concur with your statements. When you are forced to learn a foreign language especially to write it, you can be put off by it. This happened to me when I was learning Mandarin. I just hated it.

  8. Mark Williams
    April 23rd, 2013 at 00:06 | #8

    I find audio programs very much suitable to learn foreign languages. You can listen them again and again and correct your language mistakes and also practice them in writing. It also help in pronouncing word correctly.

  9. vbestic
    May 7th, 2013 at 13:15 | #9

    One advice I can give to any language learner is to first start off with learning conversation.

    I think that results will be worse if you focus on grammar at start. Some languages have very hard grammar so it can lead to motivation loss.

    Good luck to everyone learning languages!

    P.S: This was a great post, thank you!

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