Is it possible to study more than one language at the same time? Yes, it is. The main skill when it comes to studying more than one language is organization. It is not about being “smarter”. In fact, none of that counts, except for the individual's ability to organize his own time. The best and most effective solution is to study a little bit every day. Studying 2 languages simultaneously, you have to know how to manage your time very well to cope with studying a little each day. If you only have one free hour to study every day and you study English and Spanish, for example, you would need to dedicate half an hour to each. Here are 7 essential tips to help you learn two languages at the same time:
1. Learn Different Languages
At first, learning two similar languages at the same time may seem like a good idea. The truth, however, is that it is never always a good idea to study two mutually languages at the same time. When learning two languages simultaneously, the first order of the day is to do everything you can to minimize what the “confusion factor”, which is the chance to mix words and grammar of the two languages. “If you choose two languages that have little in common paradoxically, you will have a broader perspective and make your life easier at the same time”, says Ken E. Estep, tutor at Study demic and Bestaustralianwriters.
2. Set a Priority language
If you set a “priority” language, you can aim for two languages at once, but know you’ll at least come away with one new language under your multilingual belt. Setting a priority language is an effective way of minimizing the confusion factor.
3. Identify the Two Languages Separately
A large part of minimizing the confusion factor comes down to providing the two languages that you are learning clear identities in your mind. In the end, perhaps the best way to do this is by immersion. The more you use a particular language in real-life situations, the more you internalize it as something with an identity in itself.
4. Practice Both Languages by Translating Between Them
One of the best reasons for studying two languages simultaneously is that it opens up new, more efficient learning strategies. You can practice translation by cutting out the English intermediate: just translate between the two new languages you are learning. In addition to offering you the chance to work in both languages at the same time, this exercise helps you "think about the languages you are learning, instead of constantly returning to your usual language”, says Shawn Jellison, lifestyle writer at Bestbritishessays and Australianreviewer.
Take some of your flashcards for both languages and mix them together so you’re quizzing yourself on both languages at once. This technique makes your brain quickly switch between the different languages you are learning, a skill that will make you a more effective two-in-one learner.
6. Learn the Same Topics in Both Languages
Do some of the same topics in both languages at the same time. Why bother doing this? The answer comes from a psychological effect known as "priming". Priming has to do with how the things you think about now affect the things you will think about in the future.
Take note of how things are going and adjust your language learning roadmap accordingly. The more adaptable you are, the easier it is to learn languages. Ultimately, only you can judge how well your learning strategies are working for you.
Learning multiple languages at the same time is not for everyone. It is mentally draining and can cause overload. But if you pay attention to these 7 tips you will be on your way to achieving your goals. People often avoid doubling language learning because, by approaching language learning two in one, in the same way that they approach language learning one at a time. They conclude that the challenges of studying two languages simultaneously outweigh the benefits. As a result, there is less information available about learning two languages at the same time, simply because fewer people have done so, which means that you are in an excellent position to discover interesting new language learning techniques along the way.
Molly Crockett is a marketing blogger for Bigassignments and Academized. She focuses on how businesses can protect themselves from industry, advancement and legal threats. She is always seeking ways to help develop writing and research skills in young people and contributes to the online writing service Topcanadianwriters. She’s currently doing her PhD in Marketing and teaching herself to speak Italian, which she finds very useful when in business trips. In her spare time she likes to scuba dive, visit museums and listening to business podcasts.