The Fastest Way to Learn a Second Language

  • Constant practice

Practice makes perfect. The more time you take to learn something, the easier it gets. There is a reason why Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule is so popular. As long as you use your practice time smartly, you’ll start to understand a new language in only a few months. Don’t stop there though! Continue through the years to discipline yourself and practice your new language so you can become fluent. The more you slack off on practicing a new language, the easier it is to forget what you’ve learned. Try to find a certain time of the day to practice. Use online games, videos, or flashcards. Create a habit so you’re consistant. (DinoLingo provides 25,000 learning activities, so kids can continue to practice without too many repeating lessons.)

  • Visiting the country where the language is spoken

My high school Spanish teacher would always tell us stories about her time studying abroad in Costa Rica. She said that’s where she started truly understanding the language, because she had no other choice but to use it. Plus, she heard all the words and grammar used in context by native speakers. When you’re immersed in the culture, you’ll have an easier time picking up the local language.

  • Studying

Don’t learn a language and ignore its culture. Languages are closely linked to the cultures that use them. You can understand a language so much more when you know the history, politics, and what is important to the community.

  • Integrating it into daily life

Similarly to visiting the countries where a language is spoken, you can also pick up on it easier when you use it every day. Practice with friends who know the language or find a pen pal overseas. If your family knows the language you are learning, speak it at the dinner table. Join a club or community group in your area with other people who are learning it. Find creative ways to use the language each day.

  • Watch TV or Movies

Many United States immigrants confess that they learned English through pop culture. Whether it was a sitcom or John Cusack movies, they could watch the actions of the actor and slowly pick up on the language. The same could be said for any language. Find popular videos and enjoy!

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