Hello again!

Learning new languages is something that I am passionate about since I first started learning French my first year of Secondary school. However, fluency doesn't just happen overnight or within a year.

Language learning takes time, patience, commitment and inspiration. With this article, I hope to inspire others who are interested in learning new languages by sharing a few tips that has helped me on my journey.

First- Sticky Notes

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You read right! Sticky notes are a great way to learn new vocabulary and help your brain to become familiar with the words. Sometimes just writing down vocab from class or online can become overwhelming at times. What I do; if im learning new words for objects in a different language, I write them on a sticky note and stick them on those objects in my room or around the house. That way, every time I see those objects I'll remember that (example) bed in french is le lit .If not, just stick them in your room along with other vocab and it's translation.

Tip # 2- Think In The Language

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Next I suggest thinking in that language. Translating sentences directly from your native language into the language you're learning can never work. This is because the translation does not happen literally as the grammar structures, sentence structures, etc. can be different from the structures of your native language. Therefore, by thinking in the language, your brain becomes familiar with it, making it easier to learn and remember all that you've learnt. It's also crucially helpful for having conversations instead of directly translating what you're about to say because you are able to be more fluent and better understand how the language works. Learning a language is much more than memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules.

Tip # 3- Practice Makes Perfect!

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Learning a new language can make it easy to give up- it takes lots of time, energy and patience, it takes commitment. Practicing a language everyday is so critical. It helps you to learn the language faster and to become familiar with it. Sometimes we may have busy schedules and it can be impossible to make time for a new language, but it doesn't take all day, just a minute. A simple minute makes a huge difference if you use it to look over some new vocabulary, listen to a podcast or read a paragraph of your favourite book in that language. Looking over what you did the previous day also helps. Anything that relates to the language, do it a minute or a couple everyday and trust me, it leads to perfection:)

Tip # 4- Movies, Books, Music

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Next I suggest watching movies and tv shows, reading books and listening to music in the language you're learning, which I find very important. For movies and tv shows, it improves your speaking skills. It helps you to hear the way people of that language speak, the intonation of their voices, how they pronounce their words and also allows you to hear their accent. This is important because for example, if you travel to a country where the language you're learning is their mother tongue, you'll realise that they dont speak the way you learnt at school or at home. There are dialects, slangs, different accents, etc. to every language. Therefore, watching movies and tv shows in that language helps you to become familiar with all these features, making it easier to communicate if you ever travel to that country. Also, get creative with it, first watch the movie with subtitles in your native language, then with subtitles in the language you're learning and last, without the subtitles in order to track your progress. Repeating after the actors as they speak helps with pronunciation as well.
Reading books, magazines, newspapers, blogs in that language is another way for you to add new words to your vocabulary list, improve your pronunciation and help you learn the language faster. Firstly, if you're a beginner, start off with children's books because they have easier vocabulary, sentence structures, etc. If you're at a more advanced level, I suggest reading the translated version of the books that you've already read or original books in that language if you prefer. Make sure to write down words you don't know and read aloud to help with pronunciation- read with the accent, proper enunciation, intonation, the works!
If you're a music lover, music in the language you're learning can make language learning more fun and interesting and is very helpful. Like movies and tv shows, you can familiarise yourself with the way people of that language speak and allows you to further learn the language. However, dont just listen to the songs, try learning them (atleast one), listen to the translated version of songs you already know and listen to see if you understand any words or sentences. Dont forget vocabulary!

Tip # 5- The Internet

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Take advantage of the internet! It's filled with online sites and programs to help with language learning, there's free apps and I also suggest following people on social media that speaks the language you're learning. For example, I follow youtubers. Following social media accounts help with pronunciation, vocabulary and getting better at the language overall. Also if you use free apps like Duolingo, I don't suggest using it only, mainly because it mostly teaches vocabulary and you need to know more than just vocabulary to learn a language. However, it is a great app (in my opinion) with many great features to improve your language learning.

Last- Know The Culture

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Knowing the culture of the language you're learning is essential to say the least. This is because you are able to learn and understand the way people speak and their expressions. Knowing the cultural background helps you to engage with the language an also gives you inspiration and makes language learning easier. For example, if you're learning English, by learning its cultural background you'll understand that football means something different in the US than in the UK. It can also make language learning fun because it gives a new perspective on the language.

Thanks for reading!
I hope you enjoyed and that these tips help you as much as they helped me. Feel free to ask any questions if you have any, I'll make sure to answer:)

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