Learn A New Language

Having plans to expand your horizons by learning a new language?  Many of us learn a new language for different reasons. Maybe you need the new language so you can use it in an upcoming trip, in new job responsibilities, for academic purposes or whatever motivation that drives you. The idea of learning a new language and culture is exciting but for the effort that is required especially when learning it from scratch. Most of us feel overwhelmed because of the many words and rules that need to be learned in the new language. Any secret that can help simplify and shorten the process is what anyone would want.

Do not worry much. Learning a new language does not have to be a tedious and slow process. If you dedicate yourself to the course, have an open mind and work hard, it is possible to go from basic to advanced conversational skills within a short time. Apart from the effort that is needed, the right strategy will put you ahead of the game.

Here are eleven (11) top secrets you can use to fasten the process to learn a new langauge:

Set realistic and achievable language goals.

Before committing to learning a new language, set clear and attainable goals. What motivates you? This will help you stick to the course till the objectives are achieved. The following tips will help you sustain your motivation.

  • Make big goals and small goals

Set and stick to weekly, monthly and yearly goals that can help you have little mini-victories to keep you motivated. Keep checking your goals to make sure you are on course and revise them when you find them unrealistic. Focus on your personal goals without comparing yourself to others since we are dissimilar people and our learning styles, aptitude, goals and needs might be different. Always remember that doing something well takes time so, do not lose motivation in the process.

  • Make specific, communicative goals

Fine tune your goals to actual language use like asking for directions, ordering food in a restaurant or introducing yourself. Do not worry much about the nitty-gritty elements like grammatical functions of a language. Though important, they may not necessarily help you improve your communication skills in practice. As an individual be specific and engage in situations that work best for you.

  • Set a schedule and stick to it

Be realistic on how much free time you have during the week or the weekend then dedicate time for homework and reviewing of the already learnt material. A minimum of 30 minutes a day of review adds a lot to the progress. Make sure you stick to the time frame.

  • Know that fluency takes years

Native level fluency will never be achieved especially by people who learn the language later in life and that is completely normal.  As we grow older, our ability to make and hear a range of sounds decreases which inhibits our pronunciation but that doesn’t matter. The most important thing is communication taking place.

Start with short, simple dialogues.

Start at a basic level to help you learn easy vocabulary. Master everyday

conversation.  Learn phrases like: Hello, Goodbye, How are you? I’m doing well,

What is your name? My name is…, and so on. As your language level progresses,

you can move on to more advanced reading material like newspapers and


Learn the alphabet

Familiarize yourself with the letters of the new language. It is important to

understand if the letters are similar to your language or, if they have

special characters or accented letters.

Learn to count in the new language.

Numbers are common in most of our everyday conversations. Start with counting

1-10. Each day learn a new set of ten numbers. Be up to the challenge till you can

memorize all the numbers at least to one hundred.

Focus on the 100 most common vocabulary words.

There are various lists of frequently-used words in most languages. These lists cut across different fields like colours, food, parts of the body, household items, directions, weather etc. In addition, learn the most common verbs, adverbs, adjectives and so on.

Start speaking from day one

Take risks and speak the language as soon as possible and whenever you can. It might be challenging to start speaking in a foreign language, but do it ASAP. Even if you know only few words.

Read children’s books and comic books in the foreign language.

These materials are written using simple language. Read out loud rather than silently to help you work on both your overall reading comprehension and pronunciation skills. Do not try to translate each phrase, force yourself to think in the language you’re reading.

Consume foreign language media.

Watch television shows or movies whose plots you are already familiar with in the

language you are trying to learn. Avoid subtitles to help you gain better

comprehension and confidence in the new language.  Download podcasts or tune in

to radio stations, listen to songs in that language. They help with pronunciation and

comprehension of words and phrases.

Immerse yourself in the local culture.

Doing this helps you speed up your path to fluency. It can be through visiting and spending some time in a country or interacting with the local native speakers. Learning a language within the context of culture and everyday life boosts motivation and offer hands-on learning experiences.

Don’t practice in isolation; get feedback from native speakers.

Some of the things you can do is travel or find a native in your area. Speaking with a real, live person will help you to feel much more motivated. Alternatively, try putting ads in local online forums or newspapers to find someone to tutor you or participate in a language exchange or even connect with someone online. Some important platforms that can be checked are Hellotalk, Duolingo, Italki, and Skype.

Don’t worry about making mistakes.

Aim for progress rather than perfection. When learning a new language, it is important to have an open mind. Be okay with making mistakes and learning from them. For instance, missing on the right word or the correct order of sentences. Or even failing to understand what the other person is saying. The biggest asset one can have in learning a language is having strong tolerance for ambiguity.



There you have it! Those tips are relevant and useful to people who are able and willing to follow them. Remember to set small realistic goals every day and keep at it. However, take note that the best ways to learn a language are the ones that work for you. Be open to explore them. You can join Oracle Langauge Centre today and learn Gikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin, Dholuo, Kamba, Swahili, English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese and French languages. Good luck!

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