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Don’t Panic! Here’s How to Learn a Language with Ease

Don’t Panic! Here’s How to Learn a Language with Ease

Don’t Panic! Here’s How to Learn a Language with Ease

How to Learn a Language from Home 

While many of us dream of spending a year in Costa Rica learning Spanish; some of us don’t have the luxury to learn a language abroad. Luckily; you don’t have to fly out of the country to learn a new language. In fact; you don’t even need to leave your house. 

Traveling abroad; traditional in-person classes—those methods of learning are very pricey; especially for those on a budget. If you’re after a cheap learning alternative; then the way to go is to learn from home. Regardless of whether you spend most of your time at home or have a busy work schedule; learning from home is often the most convenient option for students. 

Admittedly; learning from home brings about its own sets of struggles. Check out these tips to stay on top of your language goals. 

1. Mix and match learning strategies. 

When you’re learning from home; it becomes easier to lose momentum in your studies. You’re surrounded by distractions; and let’s face it; it’s tough having to study after a long day of working and running errands. All you want to do when you get home is shut off your brain and relax. 

If you find it difficult squeezing in a daily home study session; the problem might be in the way you’re studying. The brain gets bored after a while when you only rely on one study technique. Even if you’re an analytical learner who enjoys textbooks; you might only retain so much information when the study method begins to feel repetitive. 

The best thing you can do to keep your momentum is to mix things up. Employ a few study techniques to find out what combination personally works best for you. Maybe you enjoy having conversations in language chat rooms but still need a traditional reference; such as a textbook; to understand grammar points. Whatever the case; there is a multitude of learning techniques that you can experiment with. 

2. Make use of foreign language media. 

When you think of how to learn a language fluently; your initial thoughts are probably geared towards traditional mediums; such as textbooks. What if I told you it was possible to learn your target one via the likes of Netflix and Spotify? 

Perhaps one of the best things about learning at home is making use of entertainment sources; such as television and movie streaming apps; online radio stations and more. Instead of watching the latest reality show on Netflix; why not watch a movie in your target language? You can also pick a title you’ve already watched and change the audio settings to your language of choice. Either way; Netflix is an awesome way to have fun while learning new vocabulary and expressions from the comfort of your couch. 

Another way to promote language immersion at home is by simply playing foreign radio stations; podcasts or foreign content in the background while doing chores. It’s an unconventional way to study for sure; but you have to be creative and efficient when learning a language at home. 

3. Put sticky notes and labels on everything. 

Flashcards are great and all; but one of the real secrets of how to learn a language at home is putting sticky notes on everything. Having labels on everyday objects; such as the stairs; closet and pantry staples; is super helpful since it’s basically having household items automatically translated for you. Additionally; it saves you the trouble of manually looking “fridge” and “bed” up in a dictionary. The more often you see these translations; the more likely these words will stick in your memory. 

Your home is going to look strange; that’s for sure. You just have to embrace the weirdness factor. After all; it’s all for the benefit of learning a new language! 

4. Practice speaking in the mirror. 

Communication is key when picking up a language; but mustering up the confidence to talk to native speakers is a whole different ball game. To help you get over the fear of speaking in a foreign language; try watching yourself talk. Speaking in a foreign language is not just about the words but also your facial expressions and body language. 

It’s the same concept of practicing speeches in the mirror; the more you see yourself moving your mouth and the rest of your body; the more comfortable and natural you’ll feel as you’re speaking in a new language. 

You can also build your foreign language confidence by recording yourself on your phone and playing it back to see how you can improve the way you communicate. 

5. Find a language partner or a tutor online. 

If you thought learning from home meant you had to learn sans a tutor; you thought wrong! The thing about independent language learning is that you need feedback. Without assistance from native or fluent speakers; you won’t be able to truly test your language skills. 

Can’t afford a tutor? Then opt for a partner that you can chat with online. That way; both of you benefit from the language and cultural exchange. You also learn how to type in another language in the process; which is a challenge on its own when it concerns character-based languages such as Korean; Japanese and Mandarin. 

While moving to a new country sounds exciting; it can be stressful finding new friends among the locals. When learning a foreign language at home; befriending a native speaker of your chosen language through websites or apps is much less frightening; as the precedent of cultural exchange has already been set. 

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