14 Helpful Tips To Mastering A Language
By Tobi Gbadamosi
There are many people who aspire to learn a language by themselves. However, having tried several times with books, online sites and apps, audio and video formats etc., they still find it difficult to learn by themselves. Below are useful tips on how I was able to learn six languages by myself without necessarily having to travel to the target country.
1. Have a strong purpose and passion
You need to choose a language that you have a strong purpose for, because strong purpose gives birth to passion or strong desire. Strong desire is the driving tool or bulldozer that pushes through any hurdle or challenge along the way of your learning. For where there is a purpose, there is passion, and where there is passion, anything is possible. The problem with so many people is that they want to speak a language without a genuine reason and when that happens, any little discouragement along the way(of course , expect that!), thwy will suddenly back off.Therefore, decide why you want to learn the language, be it German: it could be you want to have a family reunion or French:, because it is romantic or Mandarin Chinese for business purposes or Spanish because you are a footballer and you will like to play in La Liga. Whatever the purpose is, ther will be your passion to compulsorily learn it. Postponement becomes minimized , when there is a purpose.
2. Spend at least 30 minutes practicing daily
Allocate at least 30 minutes everyday to practicing your preferred language.If your desire is to speak that language, you must create the time to learn and practice and you must practice daily. Nothing goes for free not even in Freetown. If you desire to speak, you’ve got to spend time practicing.The more time you allocate, the better and faster you assimilate. You can really master a language that you are not been frequent with.
3. Start with useful phrases
The reason why we chose to start with useful phrases on every of our language lesson is for use to be to start speaking from the get go. Don’t wait till you know everything before you start speaking. As you learn a anew word, vocabulary, phrase, implement straight into speaking. It is not the abundance of words that you know, that make a good speaker but the few ones you speak regularly. Consequently as you practice daily, make us of it immediately. Find situations to exercise your new vocabs. Here at tobidam.com, we have decided to start every language with useful phrases and expressions which means you can speak from the get go. Those who wait to know everything before they start speaking find out that they never speak. One of the ways to speaking quickly is using the few ones you know already. What this also does for you is that, it gives dome daily boost and motivation that you are progressing; which also means if you have to have more to speak, you have to learn and practice on a daily basis.
Make it also a daily routine and before knowing it, it becomes a habit.
4. Don’t be in a haste
The mistake that many new learners have is over- ambition and over-excitement. They want to learn everything at a time. As the popular saying goes: “Rome was not built in a day.” Be patient, don’t rush it. The best way to improve on a language is to learn one step at a time. Language learning is a a life long process, there is no graduation. Though according to language reference classification you may get to mastery level, but even at fluency or mastering, you don’t stop learning because like any other skill, once you stop improving you start declining. So, relax go fast, but don’t rush it.
5. Always be speaking
Language is learnt to be spoken and not to be kept. You retain it by using via speaking or teaching. If you can’t easily find who to practice with whether offline or online, speak to yourself. You may be wondering what you would teach since you have only learnt few things. Yeah, those few phrases and vocabularies not matter how small, teach someone.
6. Have a notebook and dictionary
Get a notebook and a dictionary in your target language. Create new words and phrases apart from those found on this website for daily practice. Make it a habit to jot down phrases, words and vocabularies that you just discovered in your notebook. I practiced this method myself.a nd it really helped me a lot. There was a time when I had over 500 phrases and vocabularies for daily practice and revision. It helped so much because I could always open my notebook like a text book and cram like 10 expressions per day. That improved my vocabularies for I always add new words and expressions from books, dictionaries etc to it daily.
7. Practice the law of substitution
The law of substitution as it applies to learning a language is substituting what you have already learnt for your already known language. For example, if you have just just learnt, “Excusez-moi” in French which means “Excuse me”. Substitute the French expression regularly for the alredy known English part even when speaking in English regardless of whether your listeners understand or not. This will help create a consciousness and even curiosity from others.Tel them the meaning if you are asked and hence you will be further improved by doing so.
8. Let others know that you are learning
Inform others that you are learning a language so that they can ask you questions and monitor your progress. Feedbacks are necessary in every new goal or activity. Have a friend or a close person that can check on your progress and give you a thumb up as you improve on your learning. Such a person, preferably someone who has a knowledge of your preferred language, that will serve like a mirror.
9. Look for any means to daily practice
Learn to think, act, pray or perform your daily activities in your target language. Any time you find yourself idle, whether in the bus, rest rooms, traffic, or anywhere you have a free period; use that opportunity to practice. Whatever you regularly do, convert it to your target language e.g. Prayers, songs, phone settings, social media etc. This will help create a consciousness for the language in your mind.
10. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
Be open to making mistakes, I mean a lot! You won’t be perfect the first week, month or for some not even a year. The lessons here at tobidam.com are easy to learn and are designed to yield fast results , but still take your time. You are not competing with anyone. You are not in it for show off but for mastery. The essence of making mistakes is that , it opens your subconscious mind to express itself. If you are too cautious and conscious of making mistakes, you will never attain fluency! At the beginning, you may have to be mixing your known language with your target language but never mind.
11. Expose yourself to helpful content
Be exposed to things related to your target language like movies, music, programs, newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites etc. This will help improve your listening and reading skills. As of writing this article, I am currently listening to RTL 102.5, an Italian radio station. So, even though I am actively writing this post, I am still also practicing my listening skills in Italian. Regularly surround yourself with these helpful contents, so that when you are not actively learning grammatical, you can assess how far you have gone by your ability to do well with any of the content you choose to expose yourself to. Always do this, and your skill will rapidly improve.
12. Move along with people of the same purpose.
Camp around friends and people who know and understand your target language. Go to places where you can find people who are learning like you or are even better than you. You can even join a Facebook group that pertain to your target language, or even visit language exchange sites where you could meet a native or learned speaker to practice with. Find a language group in your locality. Join them from time to time. Deliberately search for language friends. I still remembered how I used to practice French language with my francophones friend during my learning years. We would chat and discuss sometimes till late hours of the night.
13. Write regularly
Always practice writing in your target language in order to improve your writing skills. When learning something new, write about it. Regularly write. Set a goal for yourself from a page to two, three pages etc. The art of writing in your target language helps to impress what you have written in your subconscious mind and hence you can hardly forget what you have written. Writing also helps you recollect all the information that has been stored into your brain. Daily choose a topic to write about, it could about yourself, you family, school, whatever. Just write something and you will be amazed at the results.
14. Visit this site regularly
If you diligently practice all these aforementioned tips, the final tip is to regularly isit this site. The aim of this website is to help people who would like to learn a language by themselves without travelling abroad or going to a language school. This site was designed with that in mind. So, you are in the right place. Keep visiting this site, new lessons and articles are daily added to this site to further help you. If you continue doing sp, in no time you will learn and master your desired language yourself. Goodluck!