How to Master Another Language

Learning a Language Tips French Spanish Teaching

Hey Owlets,

I’ve always had an interest in other languages - when I was younger a learnt to speak some Spanish, then as I grew up I started speaking French, which has become my favourite language. I was talking to one of you on Twitter a few days ago and you mentioned that you would love to know if I had any tips for learning a language, so I’ve put together a few that have helped me along the way.

Little and Often:

My first tip is to study little and often. The temptation is always there to try and cram in as much as you possibly can when you find the time to study, but whenever I do this I usually forget most of it afterwards so it’s wasted. Instead, do something like 20 minutes a day and focus on something specific to learn, like numbers, the weather, how to order. That way you can spend the time really making sure that the information has been absorbed.

Watch TV With Subtitles:

One thing I always like doing is watching TV with subtitles on. When I first started learning French, I used to watch English programmes with French subtitles - it’s not as passive as just watching TV but it really helps. When you improve, switch to watching TV in your chosen language with English subtitles, and eventually you can watch French TV with French subtitles. It doesn’t matter if you don’t completely understand what you’re watching. Look for words to get the general theme of the programme, and it’ll be enough to connect the dots. It also helps you learn more obscure words that you would never normally pick up.

Learning a Language Tips French Spanish Teaching

Make It Fun:

If you want to learn a language I presume it’s something you’ve chosen to do, so there’s no point making yourself miserable doing it. Finding ways to make it fun will help you learn more because it doesn’t feel like work. I know they’re meant for children but I love finding language-learning games. I’ve recently got obsessed with as it teaches you a lot more than passively reading something would, and the advanced section is really helpful. Something simple like Hangman forces you to learn where the accents go, so without realising, you’ve learnt something that you probably wouldn’t have learnt otherwise, because if you're like me you might be able to speak the language but your writing skill is that of a 5 year old.

Work Languages into Everyday Life:

It sounds strange but it really helps. As I’ve grown up, Dad and I have always had this strange game where he might want something but he’ll ask for it in either French or Spanish and I have to remember what it is to work out what he wants. It sounds strange but it really helps. Small things such as counting in the language you’re learning, trying to remember the word for what you want as you’re moving around the house or challenging yourself to think of something in a different language really helps implement it into everyday life, which keeps it in your memory.

Learning a Language Tips French Spanish Teaching

Use it or Lose it:

I’ve learnt this one the hard way. When I started learning French, I neglected my Spanish and now I really struggle to hold a conversation in Spanish because I stopped using it. Even if you only use it once in a while it’s better than nothing. Try to practice what you already know at least once a week, as well as learning something new - otherwise it’s too easy to forget the basics when you’re trying to learn more advanced phrases.

Hopefully these tips help you as you try to learn - the biggest tip I have is just not to give up, even if it’s getting difficult. What language do you want to learn? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. For more tips check out my friend's post on how to learn a language for travellers.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

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