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How to learn a foreign language

By Sibhekile Magagula

Besides the frivolous sophistication associated with being able to express oneself in a foreign language, there are some other austere benefits of learning a second language. Studies show that grasping a second language makes you more perceptive, as your brain process becomes elastic and always ready to ingest new, variable information. That, in turn, sharpens your memory and, dare I say it, just makes you smarter. Consequently, you become a more productive individual as you adopt the skill of multitasking. Moreover, your knowledge of different cultures improves, and adaptability becomes easier for you. However, learning a foreign language whether as your main university major or alongside a different major can be a daunting process which requires steadfast dedication as it cannot happen overnight. To make this process less thwarting, Sibhekile Magagula offers a few tips:

1. Interest

There obviously has to be some degree of interest in a certain language to be able to learn it. This will push you to acquire the language as much as possible.

2. Read

This helps you grasp the vocabulary of that language. It is also from reading articles in that language that you get exposed to the language’s country – its culture, politics and geopolitics; all which add to your overall understanding of the language.

3. Influence

It’d be a huge mistake to leave this one out. Language is about influence. So immerse yourself in an environment of that language. Converse with native speakers. Listen to them speak. Believe me, a huge part of what they’d be saying gets stuck in your brain. Not to mention that you adopt their accent…

4. Travel

Traveling and hearing different languages and different accents improves your brain elasticity – essential for learning your target language a whole lot quicker.

5. Speak

Speak and speak. Practice the language and hear how much vocabulary you have grasped. This also puts you in line to be corrected if you make any mistakes.

So with all that, dare penser  en  deux  langues at the same temps!

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