How To Study Languages

Written by  Joshua K. Hartshorne August 13, 2009

Immersion

Anyone who has ever learned a foreign language would agree that immersion is, by far the best way to accelerate your language learning.

Multiple language exchange partners

I have language-exchange partners. They practice Chinese with me in exchange for practicing English with them. This not only helps me learn non-textbook speech, but is an easy way to make friends in a foreign country.

Flashcards and vocabulary lists

A set of small index cards with words or phrases of your new language on one side, and English on the other to drill for speed; vocabulary lists for review. Memorize sentences, not just individual words.

Learn songs and poems

This helps both with pronunciation and learning new words. It also means I can go with my Chinese friends to karaoke.

Read books

A good place to start is reading favorite English books in foreign-language translations.

Watch favorite English movies dubbed into foreign language

This way I can practice my listening comprehension without trying to understand what is going on.

Write every day

I keep a journal in my new language and write letters to my Chinese speaking friends.

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