Monday 1 July 2019

Easy as. I'm kidding, I did GCSE French and up until recently still had intermediate level french written on my CV, until I had a phone interview with an events company in Monaco and after I hang up the phone I quickly removed that from there. That being said, after that incident I thought to myself - what a waste of everything I learnt in school. So I started implementing a number of ways to improve my French again and actually be able to hold a conversation in the language. If you're looking to learn a second language, here is my advice. 

plaza de espana

1. Take a course online. 

I remember years ago my dad got me a Rosetta Stone package and after just taking a look at their website, they've definitely come a long way. They have a speech-recognition feature to help you fine tine your accent and pronunciation! If you're looking for face to face tutoring or through Skype then Listen + Learn online provides just that. Whether you're looking to move abroad or further your language skills for a job, they provide specific types of lessons. 

2. Change your phone language. 

I suggest doing this once you have the basics down. The last thing you want to do is reset your iPhone because you didn't know what the heck 重启 meant. The great thing about this is that we're so used to using our phones and what prompts/messages come up, that when reading it in a different language we should automatically know what it means through memory. 

3. Spend some time living in the country. 

If you really want to immerse yourself (and make a trip out of it) then spend a couple of weeks, or even months in the country. I find it amazing how so many non-English speaking people move to England, or Australia and just pick up the language as it goes. A great way to do this is consider becoming an Au Pair, as you won't necessarily need to speak much of the language apart from the basics as you will be living with a family. 

4. Communicate with people who speak the language. 

I've done this with people and vice versa. I've had english friends who have wanted to practise their Spanish with me (I'm bilingual) and just from listening to me repeat certain words, especially at uni halls, they caught on to a lot of words. I've met some French people in Australia and try to speak to them in french and tell them to correct me when I say something completely wrong. 

5. Dedicate 10 minutes a day with an app. 

I do this for a couple of days and then I fall out of habit, but we've all heard of Duolingo  and how easy and helpful it is for learning a language. The app is free, and you basically pick your language level and it gives you a couple of exercises to do every day. 

6. Watch subtitled films.

Some of the best films are in foreign languages after all. 

7. Buy an easy foreign book.

Don't try buying Shakespeare or Ernest Hemingway because you'll probably close it after the first two pages and give up. Even if it's something as simple as Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland, reading something you're already familiar with will make it easier to make sense of what you're reading and picking up words. 

8. Make a note on your phone for new words. 

I used to carry a little notebook with me and every time I forgot what a word was or learnt a new one, I'd write it down and reread through the list. Luckily now iPhone notes makes this process a lot quicker and easier. 

Do you speak any second languages? What's one language you would love to learn?


* This is a collaborative post but all words are my own and only relevant collaborations are published on this blog. 

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