Top 5 Ways to Learn a Language

As a teacher with over a decade of experience teaching, students always ask me the best way to learn English. Below are the top methods to learn a language, in my opinion.

5. Learn from a program with some audio format

It is important to hear the language spoken. While reading books about the language may help, any program that features some kind of audio will help you to know how to pronounce a word properly. Listening to audio tapes, playing online games with a listening comprehension component, etc., will immensely help beginners to grasp a better understanding of how the language sounds and should be pronounced.

4. Watch TV or Movies

This is a fun way to spend time. This exposes you to native accents even if you otherwise can not locally hear native speakers in your target language. If you do not know a word, visual cues can still help you understand what is happening. You might also wish to turn on subtitles—not in your native language (no cheating!) but in the language you are learning. When you do not understand a conversation as it is spoken, you can read along for better comprehension.

3. Listen to music

Listening to music is enjoyable so it makes the time spent go by faster. Unlike TV or movies, there are no visual cues when listening to music. You must rely on the words. It is also harder to understand lyrics; even native speakers frequently misinterpret song lyrics! However, listening to music in a foreign language is incredibly helpful to comprehension, and can be a fun, low-key way to practice your foreign language skills.

2. Practice with the most experienced non-native

While conversing with a native speaker is best, any actual conversation practice is better than none at all. If you are learning in a classroom setting, pair up with the best student in the class. Attend local events for language learners to find a practice partner, or visit the free Practice Groups on Verbling to converse with other students.

1. Practice with a native speaker

Having lived abroad, I know that there is a huge difference between students that learned English from a native speaker and those that learned from a native-speaking teacher. The only way to become fluent is to learn from someone that is.

While these are not the only ways to learn or even support your language learning, they are some of the best! Plus, most of them can be a lot of fun, so why not?
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