The following tips aim to help you learn a foreign language a lot easier, without even having to leave the comfort of your own home.
We live in a melting pot. We are surrounded by different nations, people and cultures and yet we find it very difficult to learn a foreign language. Is the ability to speak a foreign language really only limited to the most eloquent and studious of people? How well do we remember the foreign languages we learned back at school? Traveling abroad is great but how often can we afford to do it? What other ways are there to study a foreign language?
Form a circle of foreign friends, bilingual, if possible. Ask them to speak their language slowly in front of you. Encourage them to make a lot of examples, use their body language or even draw what they want to say, without resorting to translating everything for you all the time. That way you will be able to pick up some basic words and easy phrases a lot easier, while you will feel the need to be alert at all times. Being alert is necessary when learning a foreign language.
Go to your local newsstand or bookstore. Start with easy learners and books for foreigners and evolve progressively. Get some good dictionaries. It’s important that you don’t hurry to change levels, as this will discourage you. Visit some of the online bookstores, like Borders, BN, and Amazon, where you can find a lot of books in their original language.
Get satellite television
It’s important that you hear the foreign language as much as you can and in its correct pronunciation. Record some of your favorite programs and watch them again and again. Try to pick up some words, which may sound familiar to you, and with the help of your dictionary try to form short sentences. Compare them with what is being heard on TV.
I can never put too much emphasis on the importance of interacting with other people. Luckily, for those who don’t have the luxury of traveling abroad or meeting foreign people, there are online chat rooms, on the net, where natives go to interact with their “compatriots”. One example is Enlaces de chat Espanoles which offers various chat services for Spanish speakers. Here you can find another very famous chat room in France for French speakers who want to meet other people for friendship and more. Similarly, it is worth checking the websites of all major TV channels as the majority of them offer chat services for the diaspora living abroad. Use Google to find chat rooms in your preferred language and you might be surprised by what you are going to come up with. Students of the World is another very interesting site for foreign language students who want to make new friends from all over the world.
Listen to online radio and TV
Radio Locator is a very interesting site for those who want to listen to radio from the four corners of the world. Listen to everything from cultural programs in Paraguay to Australian folk songs to Italian language programs. Similarly, you can watch online TV from around the world on Media Hopper
Pronunciation is equally important when it comes to learning a foreign language correctly. Fortunately, there are some good audio-visual TV programs which can assist you with this, as well as various language kits sold in the market. But you can also do that online. When it comes to picking up a foreign language via the Internet, aim to find websites where you can download audio files to help you study the language in its correct pronunciation. One website with such resources is Livemocha. The BBC has also got a site dedicated to audio and video courses in various languages.