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Guest Post: 15 Rules for Learning Foreign Languages in Record Time

There is no technique that will allow you to learn a foreign language easily and quickly. But do not despair — if you want that, you will achieve it. We have collected professional advice on the best way to learn a foreign language on your own.

1. Use effective techniques

Only 4% of students in the schools begin to speak fluently in 3 years of foreign language learning. The remaining 96% of the students stop at a certain point because of ineffective teaching methods, as well as due to the fact that their expectations are not met.

2. Juxtapose your expectations with reality

Most people need 600 or more hours of intensive study to get fluent in easiest foreign language to learn  (French, Spanish), and almost 1,200 hours for more complex languages (Chinese, Russian).

3. Do not expect quick results

For anyone who spends one hour a week on a class of a foreign language, it will take over 10 years to begin speaking fluently. That's why people are often disappointed. Anyone can learn a new language, just do not forget how much you needed to learn even your own language.

4. Full immersion

To learn a new language, we need only one thing ... the so-called immersion. After all, when one man learned their mother tongue as a child, he studied it constantly, every minute, for several years. What is meant by immersion? Immersion means that a person is constantly learning and using the new language. During immersion, the language is being learned during about 40 hours a week, instead of only 1 hour. In this case, you can reduce the training period from 10 years to 4 months.

5. Learn 300 main words

First of all, you need to start learning the right words. For example, in spoken English, only 300 words are needed for more than 65% of the daily human conversations. In fact, there are many words that people do not know even in their own language (and will never use them).

6. Follow a simple algorithm

After remembering the 300 foreign words, you can begin to read newspapers or blogs in the target language. Even if you will not understand anything, you will begin to recognize certain words and will subconsciously detect the value of other words. The meaning of the unknowns should be specified with the help of the dictionary. At first, it will be tedious, but in the end, you will be able to do without the dictionary.

7. Aim

Learn daily is very tedious, and practically everyone starts thinking to abandon training after a week of debilitating practice. But if you set a goal — work abroad, communication, family — perseverance will be achieved much easier.

8. Use the power of the Internet

Today language learning is much easier because there is the Internet. You can immerse yourself in local culture at a distance. You can read the local news and gossip blogs. This total immersion, in fact, is a key feature for successful language learning. Moreover, find free online language courses to help you.

9. Talk to yourself

It's time to start talking. But first, it is worth trying to talk to yourself. You just need to imagine that you met someone, or that you had been interviewed. This should be done regularly throughout the day.

10. Watch video

Talking to yourself, of course, will not be enough. We need to start listening to other people. Once again, the Internet is a wonderful invention for learning languages. Youtube is a great opportunity to listen to native speakers and to begin understanding spoken language. As before, those who do not understand anything, do not be upset. It is necessary to try to find the video with subtitles. In addition, you may need a dictionary once you encounter an unfamiliar word.

11. Do not forget about writing

The only thing that has not yet been mentioned is writing. You must start recording any specific things. For example, it is worth trying to write your biography. This is a great way to reinforce and enrich vocabulary. After you master the new language your friends will ask you “write my term paper for me please” as you will be the connoisseur of the language.

12. Read the news in a foreign language

It is necessary to read the news on the smartphone screen on your way to work or the store. At the same time to mentally pronounce the situation in the new language. Also,  continue writing a biography and watching the news. Of course, in the new language.

13. The more foreign language you cover, the better

In fact, the main goal should be to eliminate your native language in your everyday life as much as possible to a greater extent. It would be nice to set a goal such as "in a year I'll be watching all the news in the new language."

14. Use special software

Perhaps the key to an in-depth study of the language is the use of the Internet. It has very good specialized programs. For example, Duolingo application can lay a solid foundation for a new language.

15. Communicate with native speakers

Now is the time to communicate with native speakers. Skype, email or get acquainted with foreigners - all opportunities are good. If they do not know a word in Russian - it is ideal.

So ... The main thing to remember, starting to learn a foreign language - constantly use it in all aspects (speaking, listening, writing, reading). If you are ready to get out of your comfort zone and learn constantly, surround yourself with a foreign language literally everywhere, fast enough, you will speak new language pretty soon.

Jeremy Raynolds is a blogger whose credo is "To know many languages is to have a lot of keys to one lock". You can contact him on his Facebook page.

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