Thinking in the foreign language that you wish to learn may not work for everyone. But there are plenty of other strategies that new language learners can employ in order to learn a new language not in years but in a few month’s time. There is no secret formula, and no matter how high your IQ is you cannot be a polyglot in minutes, despite some popular claims. But there are techniques that have worked for many people who now enjoy the distinction and the benefits of knowing a second (and third) language.
Listen at every opportunity
Acquiring an ear for the language is one of the best approaches for beginners who wish to learn. Experts suggest that listening to the language that one wishes to learn as often as possible before even trying to speak it is quite helpful. There are many available opportunities to listen to recordings such as when one is waiting for an elevator or standing in line. Listening to recorded lessons in YouTube and other sites is also a good activity to engage in while on the road rather than spend it frustrated due to severe traffic. Aside from audio lessons, there are Internet podcasts and televised programs that you may readily access.
Remember phrases, not words
Learning about the vocabulary of a foreign language is more effective when the approach is learning phrases and sentences that mean something, rather than memorizing new words off dictionary pages. And in remembering these phrases, it is better to associate them with specific situations. For example, it would be easier to remember how to say “I don’t have money” in French (“Je ne pas d’argent”) if you imagine discovering that you left your wallet when you’re about to pay for dinner. In learning one sentence, you’ve already learned the French for “I,” “money” and how to express something in the negative.
But in order to expand one’s vocabulary, a bilingual pocket dictionary is still pretty handy, or if you mind the paper bulk just download one onto your tablet or smartphone. There are also online dictionaries available.
Certain studies found that when children learn new words they do so at the rate of 10 per day. One of the fastest learning strategies discovered is to associate an object with only one word in a form of learning where words have no synonyms. This is apparently one reason why by the time a person is 18 years old one has a vocabulary of 60,000 words. This is not however the only strategy that young humans employ to learn words but this method is said to be one of the fastest. However, there is no evidence that this strategy is the most effective approach in learning hundreds of words such as required in learning a new language in a few months.
Make the time
Anyone who claims that it has taken five or ten years to learn a language is only saying that time was not devoted to the task at all. If a few hours a day were given to learning the language in those five years there’s no reason why a person should fail. Putting in hours of study is the only sure technique that works. Given enough time even languages perceived to be difficult will definitely be conquered.