Learning a new language is often a challenge that sounds intimidating. Studies show that a person is best equipped to learn a new language until the age of 18. If you want to be fluent in that second language, then learning has to happen before the age of 10. Learning becomes even more challenging after the age of 18.
Today’s world is getting more and more interconnected every day, and language proficiency is a powerful skill that allows one to engage with people from all over the world. It gives you the impetus to compete in a global economy and achieve a level of success that is otherwise hard to come by.
Getting yourself familiar with a foreign language vocabulary is one of the first steps to enlarge your world. Therefore, it's a good idea to invest in this skill. Learning foreign language vocabulary doesn't have to be torture. If you have some tricks up your sleeve to help make learning a foreign language a lot easier, then you'll find yourself actually enjoying the process. You'll learn faster, too.
Overcome Challenges First
Some of the biggest challenges to learning foreign languages are just mindsets. They are a set of beliefs that affect how you think, and, consequently, how you feel, and ultimately, how you act. Getting these mindsets out of the way will set you up for success in learning a foreign language.
- Lack of motivation. Motivation is always the driving force that gets you to start a new endeavor, in this case, learning a foreign language. Your motivation to learn is your "why." Why do you want to learn a foreign language? Is it because of a career opportunity, a relationship, or simply personal satisfaction? Be clear about your motivation. This will help you want to succeed and put in the extra effort.
- Doubting yourself. How many times have you said to yourself that learning a new thing is just so hard and you could just be wasting your time doing it? Never doubt your capacity to learn. Yes, you may be well over 18 years old already, but it doesn’t mean you can’t learn anymore. You’re just going to have to put in a little more effort into learning. And effort always pays off.
- Lack of time. This is one of the valid reasons for having a hard time learning foreign languages. Studying languages takes time, and you have to be willing to devote time and attention to developing your foreign language vocabulary skills. You don’t have to wait to have time for it, instead, you need to make time for it.
These are just a few of the challenges that stand between you and your foreign language vocabulary skills. Once you’ve learned to overcome and master these challenges, then you’re all set to learn a new language and master it in no time.
Tips and tricks to developing your foreign language vocabulary prowess
Now that you’ve identified the challenges that can hinder you from learning a foreign language, let’s now look at some ways to improve your foreign language vocabulary.
- Read, read, read. Reading is one way to master a foreign language. Read books in the language you are learning. Have a thesaurus and dictionary ready so you can check up on a word you are unfamiliar with.
- Use flashcards. Flashcards with the foreign language on one side, and the definition in your native language on the other side. Since learning a new language requires you to memorize lots of new words, the flashcards technique is very effective in memorization.
- Use visual cues. Aside from flashcards, a visual representation such as a drawing or a picture of the words you are studying is another great way to learn new words. As you see the words in your flashcards, draw the image on paper or in your mind. This will help reinforce the word in your memory.
- Play games in the language you are studying. Find some foreign language vocabulary word games in your phone’s app store and download them. Playing word games adds fun to the learning process.
- Practice using your foreign language vocabulary words by engaging in conversation with someone who knows the language. This way you build confidence in speaking, and the words are reinforced in your mind as you verbalize them.
- Have a word for the day. Assign a specific word for you to master each day. Write it down, recite it, state what it means, use it in a sentence by weaving it into a statement in your native language.
- Memorize phrases in a foreign language. Put together some of the words you know and write them in phrases. Familiarizing yourself with these phrases will help you construct a complete sentence later on.
Everyone has their own pace in learning a foreign language. Using these simple tricks will help you learn in a systematic way and deliver long-lasting results. Remind yourself daily of your goal in learning a foreign language. Keep track of your growing foreign language vocabulary by writing it down in a notebook. Use what you learn as often as possible, and don't be afraid to converse in a foreign language. Remember, practice makes progress.
Developing your foreign language vocabulary may take a lot of hard work and time, but the rewards are always worth it.