5 Tips to Learning a New Language

Is learning a new language one of your New Year’s resolutions?  Are you planning a trip abroad in the future?  There are many reasons to learn a new language, but that first step may seem daunting and overwhelming.  Here are five helpful tips to get you started!

  1. Set Realistic Goals – Try to learn 50 words or be able to count up to 100. Setting realistic goals for yourself will help encourage new goals and not feel as overwhelming.
  2. Connect - Find someone in your area that speaks the language that you are trying to learn and find time to practice speaking that language.  If connecting with an individual is difficult, try engaging in an environment, such as going to an Italian restaurant and ordering the food in Italian.
  3. Stay Dedicated – Practice, practice, practice.  Study the new language every day and keep an open mind to learn more and more each day.
  4. Make Mistakes – We tend to be self-conscious when we are trying something new and afraid to speak in a different language because someone will laugh or become offended.  Remember most people will appreciate the effort.
  5. Observe – Watch movies or TV shows to see how individuals in that culture interact with each other.  See what gestures, facial expressions etc. are used during different moods, such as being overjoyed and upset.