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March 2020

Learn a New Language While You Remain at Home

Tips for studying a new language while you self-isolate

The world has undeniably changed in the past few months. Many of us across the world remain at home to halt the progression of the virus. For a lot of people, this is a huge adjustment that also brings about lots of free time spent indoors. It can also be a great time to start learning a new language.

There are many benefits to learning a new language. Aside from the obvious cognitive and linguistic benefits, language learning can also be a fun and stress-relieving escape activity. In this article, we’ll share some great tips to get you started on learning a new language properly, all from the comfort of your quarantine.

Choose the right language for you

Before you begin learning a new language, you need to first choose the right language to learn. This is a very subjective exercise that can differ from person to person depending on personal interests and work requirements. All things aside, however, the language you choose can also influence how much you need to study, as some languages are notably more difficult than others.

For example, Mandarin and Finnish are traditionally difficult languages for most students to learn. Some languages have more unique characters and grammatical structures to study. On the other hand, those who already speak a romance language like Italian or Spanish will undoubtedly find learning other romance languages much easier.

Regardless of how difficult a language may be, the most important consideration is personal interest. If you need to learn a new language for work or love, you’ll have all the motivation you need to work through the hardest of languages.

Find online sources to read

The biggest criticism against some language learning apps is that they are often not entirely effective alone if you’re hoping to gain a high level of fluency. Pairing your favorite app with your own extra-curricular reading is a good strategy for adding more learning to the course.

With reading comprehension comes an increased vocabulary and a better grasp of grammatical structures. But reading in a foreign language can also be frustrating. Be sure to choose material that is both appropriate to your skill level and that interests you. The online version of a newspaper is always a good starting point, as the language is modern and clean, and there are many subjects to choose from.

Converse online via chat

Conversing with others is one of the most rewarding parts of the language learning process. With restrictions on social gatherings, meeting to speak is less likely these days. Thankfully we have modern technologies like texting and video chat. For language learners, there are a few apps that foster online conversations.

Language Exchange, Tandem, and HelloTalk each pair language learners with native speakers of their target language. The native speakers, in turn, hope to learn your language. This allows both parties to teach and learn, fostering not only learning but potential friendships as well.

Set your own space and time

Spending so much time indoors can make anyone a little stir-crazy. As you set aside time for learning, create a special place where you can be relaxed while you study. This turns language study into a pleasurable experience, rather than a chore. Smart study is important to maintaining progress, and that includes setting smart study goals.

Stay positive

It may seem hard to stay positive in trying times, but remember why you’re studying a language in the first place. This inspiration should be your guide as you move forward on your linguistic journey. If you should lose your way, just remember your initial motivation to place you back on path.

What are your language study tips? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” telc English for more articles on language learning!