I don't have many talents or at least I haven't figured them out yet but one thing I'm quite good at is learning languages. I speak four foreign languages - all at different levels but I plan on improving all of them and getting to a C1 level with each of them. And then start new ones. There are so many languages I still want to learn, it's insane. People often ask me for language learning advice and I thought I'd share some tips here. Maybe someone will find them useful ღ

social media & internet: one thing that helped me a lot was social media. I met a lot of people from lots of different countries there and since most of them didn't speak my language I was forced to speak English. It was a really good practise and it improved my English so much. I read English blogs, I followed a lot of English speaking people on social media and started only posting in English as well. Because I also watch a lot of tv shows I followed a lot of other fangirls, read a lot of fanfiction and also wrote fanfiction. I never published my fanfictions but I wrote them to get my writing skills up and having to look up words to find synonyms was a good way to learn. I started reading wikipedia articles in English for practise and looked up song lyrics to read them while listening to the songs.

foreign friends: As I already mentioned I made a lot of friends from various different countries and talking to them (some of them I talk(ed) to daily) was one of the best ways to improve my English. I learned so many new words and got a lot of practise in writing which helped me for school a lot. And talking to them on the phone did help a lot with the spoken language as well. It's a great way to learn a language and way more fun than to study out of school books. I'm always happy when I meet people from other countries, especially native speakers of the other languages I learn. It's a great opportunity to form friendships, speak the language and learn about a different culture.

read: reading helps a lot. Be it a book or a magazine or a newspaper. When you read you learn a lot of new words. It can be frustrating in the beginning when you feel like you have to look up 80% of the words in the book but it gets better and some words appear multiple times and you can guess them from the context. I learned a lot of new words through reading books in English. I also made a vocabulary list of words I never could remember, no matter how often they appeared in the texts. I read books that I had already read in German before so I understood at least the context and later I tried unknown ones. I'm not gonna lie, it was hard at first but the more you read, the more you get into the language and you start to understand more and more words.

watch tv shows / movies: watching a show or movie in English is a great way to expand your vocabulary, especially when you watch doctor shows, detective shows or lawyer shows. Since shows are not made for learners but for natives, you also hear the language the way it is actually spoken by native speakers. It can be tough at first (accents, dialects, slang, fast speech..) but the more you listen to it, the easier it gets. I recommend to first watch something you already saw in your language and watch it with subtitles. Watch as many different movies you already know in English with English subtitles and when you feel like you can understand it without subtitles rewatch without them. The more you practise the easier it gets and the less you have to concentrate to understand. I started watching all the tv shows I watch in English and that is a very fun way to study. Plus, it really helps if you have to do listening comprehension tasks in school or university. It also helps to listen to the radio in the language or watch youtube videos (vlogs, documentaries, tutorials, lets plays, travel videos etc)

talk: talk as much as possible in the language. Doesn't matter to whom you talk as long as you talk. I started randomly speaking English with my mom and even though it probably drove her nuts, she replied in English to me because she knew how badly I wanted to become fluent in the language. My friends and I also made plans for days in which we were only speaking English with each other while shopping etc. It was quite a lot of fun and it helped us improve our language skills. Another thing I did was just stand in front of the mirror and talk. I imagined a huge crowd of people standing there and as weird as it sounds, it did help a lot. It improved my speaking skills and it also helped me overcome my fear of standing in front of people and talk to them. Doing presentations in front of the class was pure horror to me. In front of the mirror I often talked about tv show episodes or movies I had watched and did a little review and as strange as it sounds to talk to basically no one, it helped immensely. I also often studied in English. When I had to study for history class for example, I summed up and explained the topic in English which helped with both, English and history. With English because I practised speaking the language and with history because I had to think about the topic even more in order to translate it and explain it in a foreign language. I did that with a lot of school subjects and I don't regret it for a moment. It helped so much.

There are of course a lot more ways to improve/learn a language (such as websites like Duolingo, Babbel or Memrise) but those were five things that really helped me. I did all of these things and now I'm basically fluent. I still make mistakes sometimes and there are still words I don't know yet, but every single day I learn more words. When you look at my text messages, they are to 50% in English and it is like a second mother language to me now. I speak English just as much as I speak German. I'm not even kidding. I even dream and think in English a lot. My other languages still need time and practise but I keep being positive.

I hope I could help you with some tips and if you have any questions, feel free to send me a message ღ

Of course the tips work for any other language as well. Happy learning