1. Have a reason to learn: If you don’t have a reason to learn, you won’t be motivated to learn, study, are practice.
2. Practice: As it was state before on this site, in “Only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect: The Key Factor to Language Learning,” constant and continual practice is one of the most important things in learning a new language.
3. Embrace mistakes: They are going to happen, perfect conventions, prefect language use, perfection is impossible. Think about how you use your own language, is it perfect, do you use flawless grammar? No. Don’t expect to be perfect in another language.
4. Immerse yourself in your new language: Watch the news, read children’s books, listen to music, etc. in your new language.
5. Chose either grammar or phrases first: You should learn both but when first starting off you should make a choice. It depends on what your goals are. If you want to read and write technical papers, grammar is probably the best place to start. If, on the other hand, you want to talk to people from the countries that speak the language or watch a soap opera in it, phrases are probably the best place to start.
6. Dip your toes in, then dive in: No one (few people, that is) blindly jump into a pool they don’t know the temperature of, they dip their toes in, then dive in. Do the same with the language you are learning, unless it is for school or a job, first dip your toes into the language. You might find that the language you want to learn is unappealing to you when you get a little taste of the language. If you like the language, dive in.
7. Don’t lie to yourself: As, physicist, Richard P. Feynman once said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” If you tell yourself that you can’t learn a language, a lie, you won’t be able to learn that language. If you say to yourself, ‘Why, I can’t learn a new language, I’m too old,’ you will never learn. As to the too old part, a study by University of Haifa, Israel, found that under control conditions old people are better at learning a new language than younger people. Don’t lie to yourself.
8. Have fun: If learning your target language bores you, you will never be motivated to learn. Play games, chat with pals, do something that makes learn the language fun (or interesting).
9. Do what you want: If you want to write, write. If you want to read, read. If you want to listen to music, listen to music. If you want to shout at your neighbors, shout at your neighbors. If you want to chat, chat. You probably get the point. Whatever it is you want to do in your target language do that.
10. Don’t let others dictate: You are your own boss, unless you are in a school class, you are your own judge. Don’t let others tell you which language to learn (all languages are useful), how you should learn them, or anything else. Of course, listening to others, especially native speakers, is important in learning a new language, but don’t let others dictate for you. You know what works best for you.
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The Estate of Richard Feynman (2015). The Official Site of Richard Feynman. Retrieved from http://www.richardfeynman.com/
Ferriss, T. (2015). 12 Rules for Learning Foreign Languages in Record Time – The Only Post You’ll Ever Need. Retrieved from http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/03/21/how-to-learn-a-foreign-language-2/
Heckner, R. (2014). “Only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect: The Key Factor in Language Learning.” Cogitationum: Language, History, Science, Philosophy, and Other Thoughts. Retrieved from: https://rhecknerlanguageblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/only-perfect-practice-makes-perfect-the-key-factor-to-language-learning/
Jordan, J. E. (2014). 10 Tips and Tricks to Pick Up Any Language. Retrieved from: http://www.babbel.com/magazine/10-tips-from-an-expert.
de Lange, C. (2011). “Age No Excuse for Failing to Learn a New Language.” New Scientist: Life. Retrieved from http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128224.000-age-no-excuse-for-failing-to-learn-a-new-language.html#.VO5Tqk33-iw
Wyner, G. (2014). Fluent Forever. New York: Random House, LLC.