Learning some holiday phrases or wanting to speak the language fluently, learning a language has many advantages.
|How can I learn a foreign language?|
There are several advantages to learning a new language which you may not be aware of!
- Firstly, learning a new language improves your memory. Your brain is like a muscle, it improves when it is exercised! People who speak more than one language are better at remembering things.
- It can make you more cultured. You increase your world view and it helps you appreciate and understand music, films, literature and art from different countries and cultures.
- Your English skills will improve too. Learning a new language will help you become a better communicator and writer of your own!
- If you are on your holidays, locals will appreciate the fact you’ve made the effort to try and communicate with them in their language!
Did you know that there are an estimated 7,000 languages in the world? But don’t worry, you don’t have to learn them all! The most commonly spoken languages, according to UNESCO, are Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, German and French.
All languages present different challenges but the closer a language is to your own the easier it will be to learn.
According to BBC Languages, for a native English speaker, Dutch is the easiest language to pick up, whilst Arabic, Japanese and Cantonese can be difficult to learn!
You can get a guide to some of the most popular languages by visiting the BBC Languages Guide page.
Learning a new language can be a challenge at first but don’t let that put you off, the more effort you put in the better you’ll be!
- Practising little but often works better. Learning 10 minutes a day will help you learn better than if you practice once a week for an hour!
- Remember that you aren’t going to be fluent in the language overnight. Be patient, the more you learn the better you’ll get.
- Why not learn with a friend? Having a learner partner will keep you motivated and will be more fun!
- Listen to language learning cds or podcasts when you are out and about. You can see a selection of language podcasts in the Apple iTunes store.
- Write words and phrases on post-it notes and stick them up around the house for you to read.