Are you still trying to learn Spanish? Are those Mandarin classes you were all up for proving to be more difficult that you thought? Learning a new language can be a tough challenge that takes a lot of patience – but it is so worth it.
Boost your CV, develop a new passion and gain a new skill by starting with these simple steps.
1. Keep going and stay motivated
You’ll have long periods where nothing made sense, and you can’t see any progress or success. Don’t be too hard on yourself because it takes a long time for you to get past this stage, so you need to stay persistent and patient. The longer you stick with it, the more it will begin to make sense.
2. Immerse yourself in the culture and language
If it’s possible, one of the best ways of learning a language is to completely immerse yourself in the language and culture for as long as possible. Jump at any opportunity to visit a country which speaks the language you’re learning. If you are constantly overhearing and engaging with the language you will pick it up much faster. But if that’s not possible, watch plenty of foreign films because the combination of listening to the language and reading the English subtitles will really help – and you’ll enjoy the process.
3. Make the most of apps and tools
Find an app which lets you create and study from flashcards to gradually build up your vocabulary, and helps you practice your pronunciation and writing. For European languages try Duolingo, and if you’re really pushing the boat out and learning Chinese try Nicku which lets you draw the characters on screen to help you practice.
Also try downloading free podcasts in the language you are trying to learn so you can get used to the sounds and pronunciation. There are so many tools to work with if you are committed to learning any language.
4. Make the most of your new skill
Employers generally like to see that you’re interested in things outside of what you’re typically involved in with your work, as it shows you have a variety of interests and skills. Learning a difficult language also shows you’ve got mental agility and a strong work ethic to develop this skill.Taking the time to learn a language shows you’ve gone above and beyond a basic interest. Don’t be afraid to talk up your ability and be proud of your achievements.