5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Second Language

by mareq22 on September 19, 2011

5 techniques that bring language into your life
Research has shown that the level of language “input” is an important factor in how well you learn your new language. On the other hand, setting aside daily dedicated study time can be difficult. One trick, therefore, is to make your second language a part of everyday life – so that learning becomes automatic and easy.
Here are some simple techniques to get everyday exposure to your new language and power boost your learning.

1. Write foreign words onto pieces of paper and stick them onto common household items – such as mirrors, doors, the fridge, a table, a chair etc. Whenever you see that item, say the word. This is a simple and effective way to build your vocabulary of everyday items. Once you have learned the basic words create new stickers with complete sentences such as “I see the fridge”; “I open the door”, “I turn on the light”. Say it every time as you complete the action so it all happens in context, every day.

2. Many car navigational systems have language options. Switch it to a foreign language speaker and learn directions and words to do with travelling. From the display you will know what the Sat-Nav is saying and will, therefore, receive information in context. I have my Sat-Nav switched to an Italian woman – it is actually quite fun.

3. At dinnertime, learn the words of all the foods, drinks, crockery and cutlery. Get into the habit of referring to the items in the foreign language. Next learn how to say simple sentences for example “Can I have the peas?” or, “Please pass me the ice cream”. Also learn how to offer something to someone with phrases like “Would you like the water.” Words spoken during the action puts them in a meaningful context. This is a powerful learning technique and will help you retain your knowledge.

4. Read foreign books and websites. If you have a young child read them their favourite stories in a foreign language. Older children and adults can read foreign books for themselves. Research has shown that this simple past time is actually one of the most effective ways to absorb a language.

5. Play foreign language games. Games are an ideal way to learn a language. They are interactive and fun and can substantially boost your rate of learning. Games which utilise Discovery Learning techniques and then place new words into a sentence work best because this replicates the way we learned our first language.
If you complete these five proven ways to boost your language, you will be surprised at how quickly you pick up language in a natural way.
Author: Andrew Finan

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