Once Kofi Annan said in an interview that he could speak 6 major world languages and understand several others. It is easy to assume that the nature of his job exposes him to people of various languages all the time, but can you learn a language simply by association? Well, it’s not possible but polyglots, those who have managed to master multiple languages, have itemized language in the same way as collectors view stamps, fridge magnets, and antiques. It is not easy for some people to learn just one language leave alone five but the good news is that learning languages is possible for as many languages as you wish and at any age. So, what is the secret to achieving this feat easily? Prepare to put in a lot of effort in this task but even better develop the right set of effective habits, like the following;
If you could manage to perch on the walls of all the people who have learned additional languages as adults, what stands out is an almost similar routine. Language learning for these people is spontaneous because it is embedded in their main life routine. It will take some time before you embrace self-discipline in this quest but whether you choose to review lessons immediately you step out of bed, enter bed before you sleep or when driving home from work, try to stick to what works for you.
Learning a new language is exactly like learning a new skill; you have to allow yourself room for practice and be ready to learn from your own mistakes. The best way to exercise consistency is to learn a new word or phrase everyday then try to relate it to your life. In building your vocabulary, some words may be forgotten but do not be too harsh on yourself; just refer to your notes or app to refresh your mind. You might need to identify cues that will help you remember and apply the words you learn.
Your ultimate goal in language mastering is to be as fluent as native speakers but if you focus on this goal all the time, your motivation and even conscious efforts will diminish because you will not attain it. Why not start by aiming to learn five new words and their application each week? Soon you will be able to read a newspaper article in the language you are learning. When you achieve a set goal, do not forget to reward your effort but keep it related; for instance, a movie in the language you are learning will do.
You are learning a language which a lot of other people already speak well, so surround yourself with people you can learn from and who can correct you when you make errors in speech or writing. Try to attend events or join communities that speak the language you are learning.
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