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How to Learn a Language More Efficiently

Ariana Parizadeh, Staff Writer

Learning a new language can be challenging, demanding, and even frustrating. Since most students pick up a new language during high school, it is more difficult than learning a new language from infancy due to the fact that as we get older, our brains become less receptive to new information. However, there are several habits that you can implement into your routine that only take about 10 to 20 minutes out of your day and will gradually help you excel in the language you are taking.

First and foremost, attempting to memorize all vocabulary through flashcards and nothing else is not efficient. Learning a language isn’t entirely about memorization. Instead of relying on flashcards, use other sources like mobile apps and games for extra practice. A tremendously popular app you can use is Duolingo. The app teaches 28 different languages including Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese. It also allows you to take a placement test so you don’t have to start from scratch. In order to test your abilities, use Quizlet to take practice tests and play games. Both resources are accessible on mobile devices as well as PC, and are completely free to use.

The best way to learn a language is to speak it. For as little as five minutes a day, practice having conversations with a classmate or someone who is also taking the same language, but at a higher level than you. Even better, practice with someone who is a native to that language, and try your best to not use a single word of English. Make sure to challenge yourself and use new vocabulary when speaking. This will also greatly benefit your grammar.

Be consistent—if you don’t practice frequently, you won’t improve. Always set a specific time so that you can practice every day. Doing so will ensure you won’t to cram in all of the vocabulary the night before a test. The final tip is to have fun with it and treat it as something that you enjoy doing—as you get better, having fun will come to you naturally.

Overall, if you follow these tips, you are sure to see improvement within two to three weeks and have a much easier time studying for finals. Learning a language is essential for when you seek job opportunities in an field that predominantly consists of immigrants. Having the ability to communicate with individuals of different ethnic backgrounds who aren’t as fluent in English is a useful skill that will benefit you in the future.

Graphic courtesy of VECTOR.COM

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How to Learn a Language More Efficiently