5 Ways to Gain Fluency in a Second Language
One of the most incredible and awe-inspiring things about the world as a whole is just how many different languages there are across the globe. The majority of us are brought up speaking only our native language, but as our horizons broaden, the notion of picking up a foreign tongue is one that appeals to many. In this modern era, it has never been easier to learn a new language and become bilingual or even multi-lingual. Here are five ways to gain fluency in a second language.
Download A Language App
One of the app world’s greatest innovations are the programmes that enable learning a language from the most basic levels up. Whether you are interested in French, Spanish, Japanese or anything else, apps like Babbel make it possible to start at the bottom as a complete beginner and work your way to expert. You can revise right out of your pocket at any time, sharpening your skill on the go. There are plenty of apps for learning to speak different languages, one of the best known is Babbel that is available for all systems, including iOS.
Read Foreign Language Books
Once you have reached a certain level of comprehension, the best advice is to throw yourself in at the deep end. Find some middle difficulty literature in your chosen language and try to work your way through it, identifying words and phrases where you can and eventually you will start to see patterns of language forming and making sense. Don’t feel silly about starting even as low down the rung as children’s books. Reading a book of any level in a foreign language is impressive in itself.
Watch Subtitled Films
Similarly, find some well-reviewed films in your chosen language and watch them with subtitles along the bottom. Being able to match their words to your reading can be a great way to cement phrases into your mind, as well as helping you enormously with pronunciation. As your skills progress and you become more confident in your understanding of the language, you can start to experiment with turning off the subtitles entirely to see if you can still keep a grasp of what is being said.
Practice Your Writing
Don’t forget to strengthen your writing skills as you strengthen your comprehension and speaking. Being able to put down on paper the foreign sentences that you can speak aloud is an important part of achieving a more well-rounded understanding. Oftentimes, mastering the written etiquette of a language can help to shape your memory of how to form sentences in your mind when speaking. So doing simple writing exercises is highly recommended.
There is only so much you can learn and master from the comfort of your own home. The ultimate aid in learning another language is to immerse yourself in a location where you have little choice but to try to communicate with its native speakers. Visiting the country of your chosen language is important because not only can you get an idea of the natural rhythm of the language, but you also find out the more natural words and turns of phrase that usually aren’t included in official learning guides and apps.
Ultimately, with the world more interconnected today than it has ever been before, many believe that it is essential to have a grasp of at least one language other than your own. The potential advantages, both personally and professionally, are too good to turn down.