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language learning strategies

Language Learning Strategies

Which language learning strategies do you recommend? 

While teaching an in-company course last week, one of the participants asked me for language learning tips and strategies, as she was interested in speeding up her English language learning.

Immediately different language learning strategies popped up in my head and I remembered which important trick had helped me with each of these strategies. 

Here are my three favourite language learning strategies: 

1. Read English texts 

2. Listen to English audios 

3. Watch English videos 

Let me explain each of them in some detail, before I let you in on the trick, which will make these language learning strategies a success.

1. Read English texts

Now with the first of these language learning strategies I mean reading books, magazines, blogs, comic books, graphic novels and just anything in written form, which interests you. It doesn’t matter if you prefer paper or digital material, it just has to interest you.

2. Listen to English audios

Clearly this language learning strategy you can do anywhere; at the gym, during a walk outside, on a bus or train and while driving. This brings us to what you should listen to. Basically whatever is easy enough for you to follow at the beginning, e.g. songs, podcasts or audio books.

3. Watch English videos

I have to admit, being a photographer as well, I’m quite a visual person. That doesn’t mean the other language learning strategies aren’t good, they are just as good as this one. In this day and age, it’s so easy to watch documentaries, the news, your favourite superhero or comedy movie or TV show in your preferred language or with subtitles. Although, I personally advise against switching on the subtitles the whole time, as you then tend to read instead of listening and watching. Subtitles can distract you too much and eliminate the positive experience. However, if you use them wisely, they are a blessing.

If you’re thinking, “Great! Thanks, for telling me things I’ve already tried out and they did not work for me!”, then please consider this trick, which is essential for all language learning strategies to work:

You have to implement them correctly, otherwise they won’t work. Will you run faster if you only read about running, listen to people talk about running and watch others run? Well, no, you won’t. The only way to really improve is to implement.

Language was made to communicate verbally, so if you want to learn it you have to use it. 

If you want to boost these language leaning strategies fast then find a study buddy or mentor and then use the strategies as follows:

  1. Choose a text you’ll enjoy reading. It can be a short article about your favourite topic, a book or even Harry Potter, it doesn’t matter. You have to enjoy it, because you will study and apply what you have learned. Go through each paragraph carefully. Mark the words you don’t know. Ask your mentor to explain those words and to help you with the pronunciation. Use the new vocabulary you’ve learned as often as possible or they’ll disappear again. Once you’ve understood everything in the passage go on.
  2. For this strategy, I advise repeating what you’ve heard out loud. Repeat not only the words but the word melody too. If you like listening to songs, great then sing along! You’d be surprised at how many words you can remember if you start singing them. In case you’re not sure about the words, then check out the lyrics. Did you know you can reduce the speed of a podcast? Just in case, it’s too fast for you to understand.
  3. Grab you favourite TV show or movie and break it up into consumable segments. Once you’ve absorbed every bit, try imitating the word melody, the accent, the body language and the facial expressions. Get involved with the whole shebang. You’ll see, consuming videos like this, involves work but it is a lot of fun too.

So to answer the question in your head, “Did you implement these strategies the same way?” Yes, I did and I can help you reach your language goal faster too.

Contact me here and we can talk about it.

That wraps it up for today

I hope you’ve found these language learning strategies useful and you’ll join me again for another FAQ and my tips and solutions, which have helped my students face their challenges in communicating successfully in English and getting their point across.

I’d love to connect with you and get to know you, you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and Twitter.

Have a wonderful time and take care

Nadia

PS If you like what I’ve shared with you and you want to share it, then please do! Have you checked out our podcast yet? You can find it on iTunes and Spotify. Sign up, so you don’t miss the next episode.

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