11 tips for those learning a foreign language by yourself

Learning English will never lose its relevance, and learning it can not only textbooks, but also more fun methods. For example, a subscription in Instagram will help to bring you closer to native-level faster than a textbook. About it writes “Lifehacker”.

11 советов для тех, кто учит иностранный язык самостоятельно

Photo: Shutterstock

1. Match card expressions

Know all about cards — this method is the most popular in the language learning process. You simply cut out squares of cardboard and write on one side the word, on the other — translation.

Tokens start to be remembered still in the process of making cards, but for effect, of course, you also need to teach them consciously, alternating directions and stages. But from words to phrases go not all. Proverbs, expressions, speech patterns, conversational phrases — write on the cards anything that seems relevant, and memorize on the same principle as the word.

Repeating cards over and over again, you put the material into long term memory through active remembering. And when it comes to live communication, you will not need to connect words in a phrase, the phrase itself will fly off the tongue.

2. Mix words

“Language is a creative process,” — said in his speech at TEDx new Zealand psychologist, linguist and educator Chris Lonsdale. Start small: make a phrase. Knowing 10 nouns, 10 verbs and 10 adjectives you can think of 1 000 combinations thereof. You can work on the principle of anagrams, when the set of letters should make as many words.

Identify a set of words, which will include different parts of speech, and write down on a piece of paper all the possible combinations, what comes into your head. Then deselect those that are not used in spontaneous speech.

Check whether there is in nature a mixture, using dictionaries. For example, Longman Dictionary leads to each word column Collocations, which captures the most frequently used language combinations. This practice will help to develop spoken language, and fix in memory the familiar elements.

3. Use the recipe

Reason even your native language we start to learn from ABC. No, we do not encourage you to scribble hooks and sticks, but to fill a couple of sheets of the same word — perhaps. It is especially useful to do this if the alphabet of the language you learn, for example, the hieroglyphics or the alphabet, unusual your eye.

This method works at the level of rote memory and easy to recall the learned word, reproducing it on paper. And mechanical memory connected to the optic, and get a cool tandem, with which to forget what was written a hundred times, will be difficult.

4. Subscribe to native speakers in Instagram

To find native speakers of the target language in your favorite social network is easy, if you use hashtags in the desired language and location. You need not choose those who post are not burdened with a sense of self, and the guys who care about the text content is not less than about processing photos.

Adding bloggers from the country of the target language to his subscription, you will not just enjoy the content, but also to get acquainted with spoken language and adjusting to a new linguistic environment, just flipping through the tape.

Here are some examples of English accounts for any taste and color:

  • Passion Passport account, which has absorbed hundreds of inspiring images from all over the world, which are accompanied by not less inspiring stories of their authors.
  • Alex Zouaghi — blogger from London, with love tells about his beloved city, and even in two languages (those who teach French, for the record).
  • Account Fox Juniper, whose owner describes features of living with wild animals and their relationships with one another.
  • Sharmili — beauty blogger from new York with detailed reviews and texts on the theme of cosmetics.
  • Humans of New York is an interesting project telling the stories of people living in new York.

5. Use visual memory

Standard columns of words, their meanings and pronunciation help to fix information visually. Create a table of tokens, and translation and transcription on a certain subject and remember them first in the order in which he discharged. Then swap and alternate bars:

  • remove the column with the translation and restore the values in spelling and pronunciation;
  • leave only the transcription and try to remember it the word itself and Russian-language equivalent;
  • shuffle lines of each column and find the corresponding translation, connecting with straight lines the word with the desired value.

Easier and more efficient way to do it by hand on paper. This scheme connects visual perception, and the alternation of columns and lines helps to move the material from short-term to long-term visual memory that has greater capacity and accuracy, according to the candidate of psychological Sciences, head of laboratory for cognitive studies, HSE Igor Utochkin.

If the paper is outdated for you, you can use a simple table in Word or Excel. Although print will still have — so it will be easier to work with compound words and remembering columns.

6. Stick the stickers

Another fairly common method, which should not be neglected — adhesive paper with words. If you are just beginning to learn the language, putting stickers on everything that comes their way. Write while they are not random words, and the name of the object to which glue. So, approaching the outlet, or mixer, you will each time to see what it is.

If you are already familiar with all household items, write on the stickers more complex tokens that you need. Select word of the day and leave napominalka about it occurring on all surfaces. Memorizing it, change a new one.

7. Invent the language Parallels the rhyme

Not necessarily trying to rhyme the word with direct meaning — use associations. Simple rhymes, associations like “dog-leash” are easy to remember and not give a chance to get confused.

If you know some foreign language and decided to learn one, can benefit from this advantage. Find words with the same meaning in different linguasphere and draw Parallels between them: the sound, the writing. This works especially well if you learn languages from the same language group.

8. See symbols to improve pronunciation

Of course, the usual pictures speak won’t help you, but detailed illustration of the peculiarities of articulation the pronunciation of a sound — is even easier to training. Each language has its own nuances and peculiarities of setting of the vocal apparatus. In order to get as close to the pronunciation of native speakers, study these pictures and practice.

9. Change language in phone

A great way to meet new words — do it “out of despair”. Inconvenience will occur only the first time until I deal with all the technical terms that you might encounter. And then, and look, and think in your new language will begin.

10. Listen to the background

While you don’t even need to understand what you hear. Surround yourself with foreign language speech everywhere: turn on the radio or news programs, while cooking and cleaning. This will allow you to remember the intonation, pace of speech and peculiarities of pronunciation.

11. Learn from your mistakes

Starting to speak a new language, it is impossible to do without speech errors. There is nothing terrible, but you should not ignore them. If you made a reservation and noticed an error, correct it, repeating the sentence in the correct form. According to bachelor in French and romance Philology, acting teacher-linguist Alison Lonesome, it will help to avoid similar shortcomings in the future and consolidate the grammar in memory.

Learn the language as you are comfortable. But in order for the process to be conducted faster and more efficiently dilute the learning simple action, accessible to everyone in everyday life:

  1. Learn basic phrases, using flash cards.
  2. Get used to phrases with anagrams.
  3. Prescribed words.
  4. Search for Instagram in a meaningful foreign language accounts.
  5. Play with columns and rows to memorize words.
  6. Glue useful stickers.
  7. Rhyme words.
  8. Learn the features of pronunciation — the position of the lips and other speech organs.
  9. Surround yourself with the language everywhere, even in the phone.
  10. Listen to foreign language background.
  11. Correct mistakes immediately.



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