Some advice on how to learn a foreign language

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By Jingfan Li

Before I came to the University of Chester, I made a lot of preparations for improving my English. Not only to pass the language test, but also to be able to communicate with others. Learning a new language is a long-term thing. And I hope the following tips can help you.

Tip 1:Have a clear purpose and stick to it

It is very cool to speak a foreign language. But you should know successful language learners are learners with a purpose. The more specific the purpose is, the stronger the study motive is. Maybe some people want to travel abroad or pass the English test. No matter what the purpose is, we must have a clear aim and insist on learning. If you make a little progress every day, your language ability will be greatly improved. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in the process of practicing language. Try to talk more and challenge yourself.

Tip 2:Find study partners

Unless you really love it, learning on your own can be boring and a little hard to keep up with. Most people study for a purpose, so we should try to find people to study with us, not only to communicate with each other, but also to encourage and supervise each other. We can join some language learning groups on the Internet, where we can learn foreign languages and also make some friends from other cultures.

Tip 3:Talk to yourself

No one practices with you? No foreign language environment? Or are you a little introverted? It’s OK! Talking to yourself will help you practice language. At the beginning of learning a language, we can set up a topic and express our ideas with new words and phrases we learn. During the practice, you can record what you said and analyse the mistakes that you make. Such a long time of practice can not only deepen memory, but also cultivate your language sense.

Tip 4: Pay attention to basic communication

Language is a tool to communicate with others, so a lot of vocabulary may not be so important. If you decide to further your study in a foreign country, you should pay attention to the practice of daily life communication. As long as you are familiar with daily expressions and understand the usage of common words, language will become a part of expression through short-term, long-term and large-scale use in daily life. It is very important to choose the contents according to the learning purpose.

Tip 5: study with entertainment

Learning a new language can be boring, but you may be more interested in learning a language if you can combine some interesting things. For example, watching English movies, English TV programmes, listening to English songs and learning English on some special occasions are excellent English learning methods, as we may combine English with some certain scenes to deepen our memory.

In addition to the various learning applications that can be found on Google Play, I will introduce some applications that are very helpful.

1. Duolingo


In this application you can learn many languages through four aspects (listening, speaking, reading, writing). You can use Duolingo to make language learning quick, effective and enjoyable!

2. Voscreen


Watch video clips from movies, documentaries, music videos and cartoons to improve your English. Voscreen makes learning English fun and easy, so it accelerates your language learning process.

3. Otter Voice Meeting Notes


Do you worry about missing some important points in class? This application can help you to solve the problem of language at the beginning of your class in Chester. It records and takes notes for you in real time. So that you could listen to the lesson with text over and over again. You will adapt the English environment gradually.