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Best tips in learning foreign languages

Ideally, though foreign language learning should happen with a proper combination of formal as well as informal learning as both modes of learning really compensate each other. Foreign language learners can roughly categorize the alien languages into two types: those which have the same ancestry as the learners’ mother-tongue and those which branch out from a completely different linguistic source. Languages sharing the same ancestry are indeed easier to learn than those which pertain to totally different lingua franca. Hence, a foreign language learner who wishes to acquire a language that belongs to the same set of languages as his or her own mother-tongue – for instance a European learning another European language which is not his or her mother-tongue – may require very little formal teaching of the foreign language, if any at all, since the foreign language in question shares basic linguistic features as the learner’s native language. However, in cases where the foreign language being learnt is geographically and culturally remote to the learner, the latter would better start off his or her foreign language learning journey with some form of formal teaching / tutoring, though backed by the various informal means of language learning discussed below.

Peer Teaching / Learning

Possibilities of interaction with native language speakers abound in our present globalized world. Foreign language learners may choose to establish some form of informal correspondence with native speakers of the language, whether in writing or orally. Chatting over the Internet is an easy yet advantageous option to consider. After all, learning takes place even better when it is enjoyable. In the past, foreign language teachers used to encourage their students to have pen-pals. Nowadays, correspondence has become instant and it is not even restricted to the written aspect. Indeed, instant messaging and online telephony even allow audio and video chats, thanks to which the foreign language learner may brush up his or her accent and pronunciation of words. An additional advantage of peer learning is that the foreign language learner may acquire valuable insight into the cultural background of the native speaker(s).





Multimedia

In our present times, foreign language learners also have innumerable opportunities to acquire aspects of the language being learnt through greater exposure thanks to the multimedia. It would really be a waste if they do not make the most of these opportunities. Foreign language learners can always tune in to television and radio channels in the foreign language in question, whether sattelite multimedia services or over the Internet, so as to acquire phonetic aspects of the foreign language. Whereas as far as the acquisition of written aspects of the language are concerned, not only can books, magazines, periodicals, journals and any other components of the written press be bought and read, but reading can also be done over the Internet, which is both practical and cost-effective.

First-hand Experience

Obviously, there can be nothing better than acquiring a foreign language through first-hand experience, as well as extensive and intensive exposure with the language. Again, several opportunities exist to acquire a foreign language through first-hand experience, some of the most common options being student-exchange and work-abroad endeavours. If you are enrolled as a foreign language student, or even for other courses, at an educational institution, you can always try to find out about the various student-exchange programmes that are offered at the institution in question. On the other hand, if you are an independent foreign language learner, making regular visits to the host country as tourist, or exploring options of work-abroad opportunities, may be considered. If foreign language learning may be benefitial to your profession, you may also negotiate work-abroad or travel opportunities with your employer.