How long do you think it would take you to achieve native level fluency in a new language? A long time, right? As much as I’d like to tell you that I have secrets that will allow you to reach a native level in less than a year…it just isn’t possible. It takes many years of dedication to truly master a language.
The Importance of Learning a Language
Our world is a much different place today than it was when we were kids. Many of the jobs we used to do we no longer do, while others are done by computer. We have to figure out how to get around a city without a map and decipher all the different symbols on every menu and signs. We live and breathe Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We can’t stand by and just watch our favorite shows without subtitles. If we want to keep up with the rest of the world, we have to learn another language. It’s not only important to learn another language but it’s essential to your job. Having a better grasp of another language will lead to many more job opportunities. Language isn’t the only benefit. Learning a language is a great stress-reducer.
Things to Consider Before Starting
People want to learn new languages for lots of reasons. For some, it’s to use it as an excuse to travel to exotic places, to build a resume, to find new jobs, or to be in a club that accepts people speaking other languages. Learning a language that isn’t useful is a waste of time. I cannot stress this enough. The majority of people that claim to be fluent in a language are not. That’s a lot of wasted time. Another reason people want to learn languages is because they think it’s a cool hobby, or that they will gain some cool points with friends and coworkers. Think about that statement. If your goal is to become friends with your coworkers, and if you only speak English, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Getting Started and Finding the Right Approach
Being truly fluent in a language is a true achievement. I get asked a lot about language learning courses. So in an attempt to solve the problem of finding a program that will give you the knowledge you need to speak the language I’ve created this FREE List of 7 Language Learning Courses for People Who Have No Language Learning Experience. Personally, I’ve learned to become fluent in a language. I spoke Spanish fluently, but after a while I decided to attend a language program. I paid the price and became truly fluent in Spanish in one year. I was determined to help others do the same. So the best way to teach yourself to speak a new language, is to start listening and speaking with native speakers.
Practicing Your Way to Fluency
One of the things that I found particularly difficult in acquiring fluency in a new language was learning how to practice it. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the “I’m tired of doing it my way” attitude. And, if you’re anything like me, you spent years training your brain how to get the right sounds out of your mouth without doing them incorrectly, but now that you’re working with other people, and making mistakes, your brain is struggling. So, for years I gave up. I believed it was never going to be possible, but I eventually realized that it was because I was giving up. If you’re too afraid to give up or you don’t really want to do it, you’re not going to be very successful. So, I challenged myself. How can I make a goal to learn a language quickly and “easily”?
Whether you decide to pursue a foreign language course to improve your brain or just want to try something new and fun, language learning will surely give you the best return on your investment. It’s not the fastest way to improve your mind and there’s no easy way to learn languages fast, but when it comes to learning language, slow and steady usually wins the race. Check out our Top 11 ways to learn a foreign language for those looking to speed up their learning process and other useful language learning resources. This post was inspired by Sounding Out! – A Language Learning Blog and further inspiration was contributed by Ani Ramirez.