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4 Ways to Make Learning a New Language Easier

4 Ways to Make Learning a New Language Easier

Learning a new language might seem like a huge task when you first sit down and look over the material. Between all the grammatical components and cultural nuances, you can feel overwhelmed before you even start. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process easier for you, and new technology has made it simpler than ever to learn a new language.

Whether you are planning acquiring a new language for a vacation abroad or for self-development, here are some ways to make the process faster and more straight-forward.

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1. Invest in a solid curriculum

While it might be tempting to purchase the first software or book that you see, having quality resources can help to make sure you are learning the right way—you don’t want to feel as though you aren’t challenged, but you also don’t want to feel as though you are moving too quickly through the material.

Apps are also a great way to learn without even realizing you are. Apps like Duolingo allow you to practice for free and provide you with new vocabulary and pronunciations of phrases.

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Rosetta Stone is also a good option when you are looking to have an award-winning curriculum and you want to learn fast. It’s a much more traditional way to learn, and requires that you take tests and practice in order to pass. While it can be quite expensive, it might be the best bet when you need to be able converse with others quickly.

2. Practice regularly

If you can, setting up a schedule where you can practice your new skills on a regular basis can help you retain what you learn. If possible, taking a little time every day (even if it is just five or ten minutes) to go over previous vocabulary or grammatical structures can help you to remember important phrases that will be easier to recall in the future.

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Practicing also means taking the opportunity to speak with native speakers. You can have reading and writing proficiency in another language, but speaking requires a whole new set of skills that can only come with talking with others. Joining a local language group, traveling, and reading out loud when you practice your reading can greatly help.

3. Consider taking lessons

When you are on a budget, you might not be willing to spend money on lessons. They can also take time—most are several hours a week, depending on whether you choose an immersive program or not. However, there are some concepts that can be difficult to comprehend without having an instructor explain in a classroom. Even if you can’t take them over an extended period of time, being able to sit in on a lesson every now and then and hear your chosen language spoken fluently can help greatly.

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Lessons can also help you make new friends and to meet up outside the classroom. Sometimes knowing others and being able to share the struggles and triumphs of learning a new language can make you feel less alone. Learning a new language is more fun when you have people to speak with!

4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

One of the biggest issues new language speakers have is they are afraid to use the wrong word or phrasing. While speaking your newly-acquired vocabulary can be a bit nerve-wracking, it’s the best way to learn. No one expects you to be perfect, so don’t expect it from yourself.

Make sure you have a safe environment where you can practice and feel comfortable. There are many sites like Conversation Exchange where you can meet some new people either in person or over Skype, and chat in your chosen language.

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Alex Schnee

Travel Writer

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Last Updated on May 7, 2021

Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

I have been an early-riser for over a year now. Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:00 AM without hitting the snooze button even once. I never take naps and rarely feel tired throughout the day. The following is my advice on how to start your day (everyday) at 5:00 AM.The idea of waking up early and starting the day at or before the sunrise is the desire of many people. Many highly successful people attribute their success, at least in part, to rising early. Early-risers have more productive mornings, get more done, and report less stress on average than “late-risers.” However, for the unaccustomed, the task of waking up at 5:00 AM can seem extremely daunting. This article will present five tips about how to physically wake up at 5:00 AM and how to get yourself mentally ready to have a productive day.

Many people simply “can’t” get up early because they are stuck in a routine. Whether this is getting to bed unnecessarily late, snoozing repetitively, or waiting until the absolute last possible moment before getting out of bed, “sleeping in” can easily consume your entire morning. The following tips will let you break the “sleeping in” routine.

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Relocate your alarm clock.

Having an alarm clock too close to your bed is the number one reason people simply cannot get up in the morning. If your alarm clock is within arms reach of your bed, or if you can turn your alarm clock off without getting out of bed, you are creating an unnecessarily difficult situation for yourself. Before I became an early-riser, there were many times that I would turn off my alarm without even waking up enough to remember turning it off. I recommend moving your alarm clock far enough away from your bed that you have to get completely out of bed to turn it off. I keep my alarm clock in the bathroom. This may not be possible for all living arrangements, however, I use my cellphone as an alarm clock and putting it in the bathroom makes perfect sense. In order to turn off my alarm I have to get completely out of bed, and since going to the restroom and taking a shower are the first two things I do everyday, keeping the alarm clock in the bathroom streamlines the start of my morning.

Scrap the snooze.

The snooze feature on all modern alarm clocks serves absolutely no constructive purpose. Don’t even try the “it helps me slowly wake up” lie. I recommend buying an alarm that does not have a snooze button. If you can’t find an alarm without a snooze button, never read the instructions so you will never know how long your snooze button lasts. Not knowing whether it waits 10 minutes or 60 minutes should be enough of a deterrent to get you to stop using it.

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Change up your buzzer

If you use the same buzzer day in and day out, you begin to develop a tolerance to the sound. The alarm clock will slowly become less effective at waking you up over time. Most newer alarm clocks will let you set a different buzzer tone for the different days of the week. If you change your buzzer frequently, you will have an easier time waking up.

Make a puzzle

If you absolutely cannot wake up without repetitive snoozing, try making a puzzle for yourself. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that the longer your alarm is going off, the more awake you will become. Try making your alarm very difficult to turn off by putting it under the sink, putting it under the bed, or better yet, by forcing yourself to complete a puzzle to turn it off. Try putting your alarm into a combination-locked box and make yourself put in the combination in order to turn off the alarm — it’s annoying, but extremely effective!

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Get into a routine

Getting up at 5:00 AM is much easier if you are doing it Monday through Friday rather than sporadically during the week. I recommend setting an alarm once that repeats everyday. Also, going to bed at about the same time every night is an important factor to having a productive morning. Learn how much sleep you need to get in order to not feel exhausted the following day. Some people can get by on 4-6 hours while most need 7-8.

Have a reason

Make sure you have a specific reason to get up in the morning. Getting up at 5:00 AM just for the heck of it is a lot more difficult than if you are getting up early to plan your day, pay bills, go for a jog, get an early start on work, etc. I recommend finding something you want to do for yourself in the morning. It will be a lot easier to get up if you are guaranteed to do something fun for yourself — compare this to going on vacation. You probably have no problem waking up very early on vacation or during holidays. My goal every morning is to bring that excitement to the day by doing something fun for myself.

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As I previously mentioned, I have been using these tips for a very long time. Joining the world of early-risers has been a great decision. I feel less stressed, I get more done, and I feel happier than I did when I was a late-riser. If you follow these tips you can become an early-riser, too. Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments.

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