If you want to learn a foreign language as quickly and efficiently as possible and never forget it, there are some principles for good practice in language learning you should know about. You will find yourself speaking, listening, reading and writing the new language in no time.
1. Integrated Learning
Read, listen, speak and write about the same topic you’re learning. When you develop each one of these skills it supports the other skills. Employing the language you’re learning through a varied skill set enables you to adapt to it faster and enjoy your learning more. Since English is not written phonetically and English spelling is so random, it’s particularly important to listen to the text you’re reading and recognize the words with their unique spelling. Using new words in conversation helps you get used to their right pronunciation.
2. Extract New Key Words
Learn the main words important for understanding the subject you’re learning. Learn them before, during and after your learning session. Organize them in chunks by some method of organization.
3. Learn by Spaced Repetition
Memorize new words and rules in increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material.
4. Use all Senses
Most of us are visual learners, so use visuals as often as possible to learn new words or grammar rules. Using audio or conversation to listen to a new language is also very helpful in improving your learning effectiveness.
5. Get Exposure
Get extensive exposure to the language you’re learning, even at a very early stage of your learning. Rather than memorizing grammar rules or words without context, get exposed to speech and text you can immediately use.
6. Experience and Experiment like Children Do
Use the language for actual communication just like children acquire language by experiencing the world around them. When you don’t have the chance to use the foreign language for communication, imagine yourself using a new word in speech in a relevant context, while imagining the actual experience with your emotional and cognitive response attached to it.
7. Use Mnemonics
Use mnemonic tools and techniques to improve your learning pace and your retention, retrieval and reconstruction of learned words and grammatical structures.