1. Throw yourself in at the deep end
Many people will look you in the eye and tell you with utter conviction that the only way to learn is to move to the country of your target language. This isn’t strictly true, but it obviously makes immersion more likely. You still have to seek out opportunities for the lengthy and laborious
conversations. Define your new environment early on and in the language you want to learn.
2. Speaking with natives for one hour is more useful than studying for weeks at school
When you’re just starting out, equip yourself with questions. As you stumble through your first exchanges, you may sometimes perceive yourself as an eye-rollingly tedious
conversation partner. Remember that people love to talk about themselves. Expand the range of questions you ask when you meet people and prepare your own answers.
3. Blur the lines between your free time and your learning time
There’s a great Eddie Izzard sketch where he pokes fun at the morose inactivity of British film when compared with the bombastic sensationalism of Hollywood. Different countries tell stories differently, and they often have a whole cast of acting royalty that is barely known beyond their borders.
4.Travel as much as you possibly can
If you travel, you will enjoy the enormous utility of languages first-hand. Your languages will facilitate your movements, ensure a richer diversity of more authentic experiences, and may well even reduce the cost of your trip.
5. Take control of your own class
How would you like to learn? How do you think you learn best? Do you know the answers to these questions? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Remember that the most important question is how you like to learn, not how you learn best. If you enjoy the learning process, you’ll stick to it, and even if it takes a little longer, who cares? You’re enjoying it, after all. So relocate your class to a park, listen to music in your new language while walking to work, or best of all, meet up with a friend who’s a native speaker or also learning, and immerse yourself in the simple pleasures of coffee and conversation, just like the protagonists
of our video.