Do you dream of visiting another country or becoming a language translator, but the language barrier deters you? Why not learn the language? The benefits are profound. Studies indicate that learning a second language can improve your memory, brain function, and concentration and open more opportunities.
Learning a foreign language is not hard, and anyone with a strong desire can learn a second language fast. If you are a total beginner and looking for ways to teach yourself a foreign language, you’ve come to the right place.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to teach yourself a foreign language as a beginner.
Step 1: Figure out Why You Want to Learn the Second Language
There are many reasons why you can learn a foreign language. It could be because you want to understand the people and their culture for easier relations. Studies indicate that people who speak more than one language reason better.
Learning a second language can help boost your academic achievement. For example, students from non-English speaking countries can learn English to study in institutions located in English-speaking countries. Also, research illustrated that children who spoke a foreign language scored better in academics.
Knowledge of foreign languages is also associated with career, social, security, and professional advantages.
Step 2: Gather All the Necessary Tools for Learning
After figuring out why you want to learn the second language, search for all the information and tools required for learning the language. Great examples include;
- The Internet: Internet sources such as Google search and YouTube are among the many sources you can learn a second language. You can practice everyday conversations and listening skills via YouTube. Google search results can help identify popular websites teaching the foreign language. Ensure you search using the right keywords.
- Physical Books and Digital eBooks: Many authors have written interesting books that teach people various languages. Start by buying beginner-level ones and upgrading to advanced levels as you progress with your learning.
- Software Applications: Thanks to technological advancements, software developers have created practical language teaching applications to use on your mobile phone or smart device. Visit the Google play store or Apple app store to download and install the app that teaches your preferred foreign language.
Step 3: Come Up with a Study Plan
Now that you know why you want to study a second language and have acquired all the study tools and material you need, the next step is to create an actionable study plan.
Set some time each day to study your preferred second language.
You can write your study plan on paper or print it and display it somewhere you can see it. Then stick to the study plan. Commitment and discipline is the key to success in anything you plan to do.
Step 4: Identify Your Area of Interest
Studying a new language is much easier when focusing on what you love. For example, if you love the Japanese culture and want to learn the language, study it focusing more on the topics covering their culture.
It would be boring when learning the language through topics like politics. Focus on what attracts you to the language. You can learn the rest later after you learn the basics.
Step 5: Start the Learning Process
With everything set, it’s time to start learning. Start by learning a word, phrase, or a few more each day. Avoid cramming as it may erase from your mind fast. Understanding the pronunciation and meaning of the word is what matters.
The best way to study a new language word or phrase is by practicing writing and speaking it as many times as possible. Also, try to use the word or phrase funnily various times a day during conversations. Your brain will make such memories stick when you repeatedly speak the words or phrases.
When you learn the phrase or word, pick a new one the following day and do the same. Ensure you use most of the phrases and words learned every week. After several weeks, you’ll have learned several phrases and words you can’t forget.
Then start constructing sentences using the words you have learned. Where possible, try writing stories or articles using the foreign language. If you have a friend speaking the foreign language, you can request them to assess your proficiency.
Start 6: Keep Practicing
Keep practicing what you have learned as you get deeper beyond the basics. There are various excellent ways of practicing a new language. For example;
- Set Your Mind: Your mindset is crucial in learning a new language. Accept that you want to learn a second language first. Then embrace it by speaking using the new language. You could talk to yourself to avoid embarrassment as a beginner, but you can engage any native you know when you learn some words and phrases. They could correct and motivate you.
- Join Meet-Up Groups: Joining a local group that speaks the second language would work like magic. The members could be learners like you or natives. You could motivate each other and help solve problems you encounter while learning the language.
- Certification: After learning the basics, take tests to gauge your progress. The final test will indicate your proficiency level. Most apps provide a means to test and gauge your proficiency level.
Step 7: Form a Habit of Using the Language
After learning the language, let it not stop there. Form a habit of writing and speaking in the foreign language often, if not all the time. You will gradually become better at it. Keep reading content and watch videos created in that language. Eventually, you will be proficient in writing and speaking.
As illustrated above, learning a second language is not rocket science. It also comes with several benefits, as discussed above. There are many reasons for learning a foreign language. Whichever reason may drive you to learn one, it’s worth the hustle.
Remember, the more you practice writing and speaking using your preferred foreign language, the more you will improve your proficiency. Eventually, you may write or speak like a native within a short period.
If you want to go beyond being just a beginner at this or any other skill, and work toward developing a real mastery, then you are going to need a deeper and more powerful strategy. What you need is a way to hack your brain so you can develop a winning mindset.
A winning mindset is a state of mind that allows you to enter a flow state at will. You do this by programming your subconscious mind.
Believe it or not, most of what you do throughout an average day is NOT freely chosen by your normal waking consciousness even though it may seem that way. The truth is that most of what you do on a day-to-day basis is done on autopilot. An example of this would be when you’re driving your car and as you do so you get bored and begin daydreaming. Before you know it, you find yourself several miles further down the road with absolutely NO memory of having driven those last several miles.
So, who exactly was driving while your waking consciousness was in la-la land, and how exactly did you manage to avoid an accident? Your subconscious mind was in control. You already spent years programming your subconscious with how to deal with a broad range of possible driving scenarios and thus it had no trouble taking the wheel while your waking consciousness took a little break. In other words, you were able to take effective actions without having to THINK about them.
The same way you programmed your subconscious to drive, you can also program it to automatically take successful actions toward mastering any other skill you decide that you want to learn. CLICK HERE to learn a proven, step-by-step formula to help you attain mastery at any skill you choose and achieve everything in life.
If you would like to enroll in a language class or take 1-2-1 sessions with an experienced tutor, we have a wide range of language courses and classes in the following languages:
If you are looking for language certification, we can also help with English IELTS and Cambridge First Certificate, French DELF and Spanish DELE preparation.
What are we waiting for? Let’s learn that second language today!