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How to Learn a New Language 10 Times Faster

How to Learn a New Language 10 Times Faster

Our brain possesses phenomenal abilities and can do some amazing things. Take the example below. If you can read this, you just might have a strong mind.

    However, when we attempt to learn a new language after the age of three, it seems too difficult and takes way too long. If you have tried to learn a new language, how many hours did you spend each day on this task? Now ask yourself, how many devoted hours did you spend on this same task? Probably not nearly as much. Doing this, you will see that “five years” could net maybe 15 days of actual genuine work towards learning a new language.[1]

    What would you say if you could learn a method where learning a new language is as easy as breathing? If you follow the methods discussed here and have an extreme devotion to learning a new language, then it can be as easy as breathing. So, how can we do this? How to make learning a new language as easy as breathing?

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    Focused Attention and Deliberate Practice

    Famous professional golfer Ben Hogan was known for deliberate practice. Some people credit him for inventing practice. He entered every practice session with a purpose, which resulted in one of the most finely tuned swings in the history of golf.[2] So what exactly is deliberate practice? Let’s take a look.

    Regular practice includes mindless repetitions. Deliberate practice requires focused attention. Deliberate practice can be used in learning any new skill or becoming an expert in the skill. Magnus Carlsen is a chess grandmaster and used deliberate practice to become one of the greatest chess players in history. He created a strategy of learning chess by playing it on a computer, which allowed him to play multiple games at once. This allowed him to accelerate the pace at which he could identify different chunks (arrangements of pieces on the board).

    Some useful tips for you when you’re trying to practice:

    1. Burn the Boats! Using the advice of Tony Robbins, “If you want to take the island, then burn your boats. With absolute commitment come the insights that create real victory.” The best way to learn a new language is to live abroad. For example, if you want to learn Chinese… then move to China. However, I know this might not be realistic, so try these tactics: Schedule time for language study before anything else; listen to podcasts in the language you are learning; write in that language at every opportunity; and even think in that new language![3]
    2. Find Language Partners. Join online communities (such as Facebook) and find physical events allowing you to communicate with others learning this new language. Immerse yourself into the language as much as possible.
    3. Choose Fluency, Not Accuracy. Fluency can be described as the ability to express yourself articulately (using language smoothly in real time). Accuracy is the ability to be correct and precise (communicating without error). Think of it this way… You can be fluent in a language without being 100% accurate. Essentially, we are going to make errors, but that is the fun part of learning (and where learning actually occurs). So stop worrying about being accurate and start learning!
    4. Mistakes are Good! You are going to make lots of mistakes when learning a new language, but who cares. In fact, start congratulating yourself when you make a mistake as you have now provided yourself a learning opportunity.

    Use Mnemonic Devices to Memorize New Words

    Are you looking for an outside-the-box approach to learning a new language? If so, then pay attention to this technique. Using Mnemonics, we can learn a new language using the same technique designed for improving memory. Let’s take a look at this 3-Step approach.[4]

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    1. The Mnemonic should be memorable. The more outrageous or unexpected, the better.
    2. Make it Visual. Abstract concepts are much easier to comprehend through visual images.
    3. The Mnemonic device should easily tie back to the meaning of the word.

    Let’s take a look at a couple examples of this concept in practice (learning Spanish).

    Comer (combed hair). Comer means to eat. We can visualize eating from a plate of combed hair!

      Here is another.

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      Gracias (grassy arse). Gracias means Thank You. We can visualize giving someone a grassy arse as a gift.

        Use Spaced Repetition to Learn at Lightning Speed

        Stop cramming and use spaced repetition software to help you learn a new language. Through spaced repetition, learning a new language becomes faster (ironically) through increasing the intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned information. Furthermore, technology can assist us with this.

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          Some recommended spaced repetition software:

          FluentU. If you are looking for a program that takes real-world videos and turns them into language learning experiences… then you should use this software. Try it for free at Fluentu.com.

            Duolingo. If you are looking for gamification poured into every lesson, where you earn rewards (such as streak counts or hearts) then try learning a language for free with Duolingo. Find more information about it at Duolingo.com.

              By immersing yourself into learning through deliberate practice and focused attention, combined with powerful strategies and technologies, you can easily learn a new language. Use these tactics and make learning a new language as easy as breathing!

              Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

              Reference

              More by this author

              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

              Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

              5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory How Cognitive Learning Benefits Your Brain 10 Best Brain Power Supplements That Will Supercharge Your Mind How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits

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              Last Updated on October 16, 2019

              Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

              Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

              Do you like making mistakes?

              I certainly don’t.

              Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

              Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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              Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

              Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

              • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
              • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
              • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
              • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

              We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

              If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

              Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

              Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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              When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

              Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

              We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

              It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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              Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

              Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

              Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

              1. Point us to something we did not know.
              2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
              3. Deepen our knowledge.
              4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
              5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
              6. Inform us more about our values.
              7. Teach us more about others.
              8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
              9. Show us when someone else has changed.
              10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
              11. Remind us of our humanity.
              12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
              13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
              14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
              15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
              16. Invite us to better choices.
              17. Can teach us how to experiment.
              18. Can reveal a new insight.
              19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
              20. Can serve as a warning.
              21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
              22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
              23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
              24. Remind us how we are like others.
              25. Make us more humble.
              26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
              27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
              28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
              29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
              30. Expose our true feelings.
              31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
              32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
              33. Point us in a more creative direction.
              34. Show us when we are not listening.
              35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
              36. Can create distance with someone else.
              37. Slow us down when we need to.
              38. Can hasten change.
              39. Reveal our blind spots.
              40. Are the invisible made visible.

              Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

              The secret to handling mistakes is to:

              • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
              • Have an experimental mindset.
              • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

              When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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              When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

              It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

              When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

              Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

              Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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              Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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