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Ways to practice, whilst learning a new language?


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I personally find it difficult to practice speaking when just starting to learn a new language, as I feel quite self conscious "chatting" to myself. Therefore to counteract this problem, I translate and sing my favourite songs. I find this is an excellent method to help become more fluent.

Do you have any helpful "tips" to enhance your language learning ?.

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I personally find it difficult to practice speaking when just starting to learn a new language, as I feel quite self conscious "chatting" to myself. Therefore to counteract this problem, I translate and sing my favourite songs. I find this is an excellent method to help become more fluent.

Do you have any helpful "tips" to enhance your language learning ?.

That is an awesome idea! Unfortunately wouldn't work for me...(I'm deaf/hard of hearing)...and so learning to speak another language is a bit trickier for me.  I am trying to figure a way I could learn to speak some languages I tend to really like...but since most of those are dead languages it's a bit more of a tricksie deal trying to speak them.

Not sure how someone like me could go about learning to speak a language.  Any suggestions?

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I have the same problems as you. My speaking skills are terrible because I never get the chance to use them. I used to do internet karaoke and it helped with pronunciation, but not with my ability to speak properly (meaning I can't generate sentences on the spot).

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Well, this is a bit of a unclear question if you ask me, I feel like I don't really know what to answer.

As far as getting better at speaking, speaking is the one any only way you will get better at speaking. You can find several ways of finding people to talk to, but in the end: they way to become fluent in speech is just to speak. It's of course also possible to talk to yourself/read out loud and become fluent that way, as long as you make sure you are pronouncing thigns right (there might be mobile phone apps for this, or something... I don't know) - but I don't think it's as effective as talking to another person. Doesn't matter if that person is on the other side of the internet and you're having a chat over skype, or if you're talking eye-to-eye: the most important part is that you are actually talking.

Singing kareoke/singing along with songs in the language you are learning will of course help too, but I don't think it will actually help THAT much in becoming fluent. It might help a bit, and maybe even quite a lot if you do it a lot, but I still think you're going to need to speak to become fluent in speaking.

As far as anything else than speaknig goes, I'm a huge fan of flashcards.

Vocab? Flashcards.

Grammar? Flashcards.

New characters/letters/way of writing? Flashcards.

You get the point... No matter what it is about, I use flashcards. It's almost always a superb way to learn new things. True, it is a way of working on your route memory and simply learning by repetition, which many people are against simlpy because it's working on your route memory, but I actually find it to be more effective than any other method as far as everything goes. I've used it in the past for learning new words and rules in German/english, and I'm using it today to learn new japanese words/kanji/grammar/... . I usually read all the words and kanji out loud, and try to match my pronounciation as well as possible to how the natives say it (I have audio files in my flashcard program/Anki for the vocab. I do unfortunately not have this for the kanji, but I know how to pronounce all the hiragana/the sounds in the language, so it's not a very big problem for the most part. I sometimes google up a pronounciation if I am not quite certain of the pronounciation).

The reason for reading them out loud for me is mostly so that I know how it COULD sound being said by someone. I'm not personally trying to become fluent in speaking, but I am trying to be able to understand spoken japanese. And of course, it would probably not be too hard to understand speech as lnog as I know all the words... But it will definately make the process faster if I start recognizing how the words sound as soon as i learn them. After all, don't we all read out loud in our heads anyway, regardless of the language?

I could write more... But I think this is enough, for now. If you do want me to write some more... Tell me, and I can try to come up with some more things that I do/think about  :wacky:

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I'm very comfortable with practicing by myself, so I just try and do the pronunciations over and over and as often as I can until I get the hang of it and I can pronounce certain sounds with more ease as if it were second nature. I usually keep speaking foreign phrases even when I browse online or when I'm in the shower.

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I have the same problems as you. My speaking skills are terrible because I never get the chance to use them. I used to do internet karaoke and it helped with pronunciation, but not with my ability to speak properly (meaning I can't generate sentences on the spot).

This is a good idea. Also, try to watch some TV shows. That will help you a lot too with the accents.

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I first try to focus on learning the basics of the language in written form, learning enough vocabulary and how to form basic sentences, as well as memorizing basic phrases. Right after that I just jump in and start writing the language, via chat or exchanging mails with native speakers.  After that I usually start speaking it via Skype or any other chat service.

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Some of the strategies mentioned here are very good. For example a few people mentioned the TV which is brilliant not only for how to use words, but also for hearing things like intonation, pronunciation, phonology, syntax etc. I find that having the TV on in the background in the language I am trying to learn is very helpful since much of our learning happens on a subconscious level anyway. Merely having the language spoken in the background while you're doing other activities can also help to boost memory retention of particular words, for example. But in terms of actual practice, I agree that repetitively singing along to songs is a very practical way to gain true understanding of how to use a particular expression which eventually just sinks in. I would suggest however that you choose songs that you like and that evoke the right feelings in your heart since the feeling itself becomes a good driver for wanting to hear the song in the first place!

Yeiks, I hope others out there can relate to that and that I am not weird??       

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Same here, I have a lot of hard time perfecting my accent since I can't really fully utilize the new language that I'm using, sometimes when I practice and talk to myself in my chosen language of study, I tend to fall back into my native tongue and butcher the accents and words. But I think the best way to sharpen your language skills for both spoken and written is to always speak and practice the language your learning because it is true that practice makes perfect.

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When I'm learning and practicing a new language then I will usually listen to a song in the language. I will pick a song I like (If I don't have any then I will just simply search and download them from the Internet), get the lyrics from the Internet too then start practicing on the pronunciation along with the song.

I have tried learning Hebrew and that was exactly what I did but I gave up in the end because I had no one to communicate with in Hebrew so I can master the language  :wacky:

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I am also very comfortable when learning a new language, so I can't say we are on the same page. You have to comfortable and ready if you want to learn anything. I guess as far as tips are concerned, one tip that I have is too be patient and persistent.

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Practicing by yourself can be difficult, there are different methods and different ways to practice learning a new language, each method works for a person in different ways.

From my experience, I find that sitting down reading a book and some audio on learning the language, not effective but somewhat effective, it helps me understand and memorize words phrases and also grammar rules,  to some reading might get boring, to me not at the start but it will eventually if I carry on with that method.

Other people prefer to watch, visual learning seems to be very effective, and it has worked for me, this is watching the language being taught, immersing yourself in the language been spoken etc.

Learning words vocabulary and all of that can be quite boring, but we can make it fun by using them, listen to audio, I love listening to music in the language I am learning, even though I don't understand what they are saying, but I able to pick up words and improve vocabulary, same with watching movies a program with subtitles.

I like to combine learning and reviewing what I am learning with actually using it in real life such as using media (radio apps and TV) I also go on sites like italki where I am able to learn with other people, like some language exchange kind of thing, I like to be able to practice the language on a native speaker and I found that they were the biggest influence to me, not my books not my online lessons but native speakers who I can have small conversations with. I don't find it fun at first, it can be quite challenging but you gradually improve, and they are willing to help you learn and correct your mistakes.

Practice a few words and phrases each day, review and memorize, don't worry if you forget, read them over again you will get there eventually, and you know what? You will be surprise how many words you thought you forgot actually come out when you want to use them!

Language learning takes time motivation and encouragement, it's hard I know, but you can do it

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