Learning a new language can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start, but it doesn’t have to be complicated—or boring! Follow these eight simple steps to learn any language as fast as possible and amaze your friends and family with your new language skills in no time.
Step 1: Set Goals
To learn any language well, you need goals. It’s helpful to have both long-term and short-term goals, but the real key is setting attainable goals in the first place. For example, if you don’t know any words at all in Pashto Language , your goal should be I want to be able to order food at my favorite Mexican restaurant or I want to know how much something costs so I can get change from the cashier when I buy something. Be specific. Don’t worry about perfect grammar—you can always readjust your short-term goals later on if you start seeing progress quickly.
Step 2: Choose the Right Words
In order to learn the fastest way to learn a new language, you first need to choose the right words. So how do you do that? By using frequency lists! The first step in learning any language is learning the most common 1,000 words. After that, there are some simple rules of thumb: If it’s used every day it’s worth learning and if it comes up in every conversation or situation, then it’s worth learning too. On top of that, if there are many variations on each word (i.e., colors in English), you should focus on the most common version or form when trying to remember them all.
Step 3: Study Smart
If you’re trying to learn a new language, there are two ways you can study: in one sitting (like cramming for the SATs) or over an extended period of time. The first way is great if you want immediate results and don’t care too much about retaining what you learn. The second works better if you have longer-term goals and want to retain as much as possible. For example, listening skills are best improved by engaging with native speakers and watching TV shows or movies in your target language—the key word being engaging. If you listen passively, the words won’t stick; if you listen actively, they will. Native speakers are hard to come by?
Step 4: Use the Language Every Day
This is the most important step for fast language-learning success. The easiest way to practice your new language every day is through immersion. Start using the new language with your spouse, children, and friends at home. At work, talk with colleagues in the new language when appropriate and try to read or listen to newspapers or other media in the target language whenever possible. If you live in an area where people speak the language you’re learning, make an effort to interact with them whenever possible. If there aren’t many speakers of the target language where you live, find opportunities (work-related or otherwise) that will put you into contact with people who speak it.
Step 5: Break Down Big Projects into Little Ones
It’s easy to look at a big project—such as learning Chinese, for example—and feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work involved. But while it may seem impossible, there is actually a fast way to learn new languages. The key is breaking down large projects into smaller tasks and setting small, specific goals for each task along the way. The more detailed you get, the easier it will be to set yourself up for success and stay motivated.
Step 6: Keep Track of Your Progress
Language learning is an ongoing process, so it’s important to keep track of your progress. You should also be setting goals and revisiting them regularly; if you’re not progressing toward your goal, perhaps you need to adjust it. Keep track of the number of words you learn each day and write down the words and phrases that come up in conversations or while reading online or in magazines. As time goes on, continue adding new words to your list until you have developed a solid vocabulary base. If there are any grammar rules that trip you up frequently, take note of those as well. Having a strong foundation will help when you decide it’s time for another level-up!
Step 7: Enjoy Yourself & Celebrate Small Wins
Don’t try to become fluent overnight. Instead, make it fun and aim for small wins—like ordering in a restaurant or having simple conversations with friends. You can then use these milestones as opportunities to celebrate your progress, which will motivate you even more. Most importantly, have fun! The more engaged you are in the languages tutor-learning process, the more likely you are to stick with it over time and become fluent.
Step 8: Share Your Skills with Others
Some of the best ways to learn are also the best ways to share your skills with others. For example, if you’re learning Italian and like cooking, why not host an Italian dinner party? If you’re learning Chinese and like singing, join a choir. And if you’re learning Japanese but enjoy blogging, start writing in Japanese. By practicing your newly acquired skills with others—especially people who speak that language well—you’ll make huge strides in fluency faster than ever before!