Speaking fluently more than one language is such an important thing in this 21st century. There is a lot of advantages in a lot of domain while speaking fluently more than one language. Edmund de Waal said: “with languages you are at home anywhere”. However, you must notice that learning a new language is not an easy thing to do. You have to put a lot of your time, energy, motivation, determination to achieve this goal. A language refers automatically to a culture, so you have to accept other cultures even though you can find that there are differences than the one you know before. Nowadays, we have a lot of cultural mix so learning languages will be helpful and make your life easier if you are in an area where nobody can speak your native language. To learn a new language, you have to immerse yourself, have the motivation, do self-researches, listen, be brave and patient.
Currently, speaking more than one language is such a big advantage in a lot of field especially in finding a job, for making more relationships, or for integrating yourself when you are out of your country. Knowing how to write, understand, read, speak fluently more than one language is such a big advantage than what you probably think. As matter as fact, to learn a new language you must follow some steps, and you have to be patient. You have to also notice that you are not going to be good in a language only when you are taking that language classes. You have to try your own techniques out of the classes you are taking. There is a lot of techniques to learn a language fast. What are these few techniques?
First, you must immerse yourself. That means you have to be in an environment where people speak the language you are trying to learn so that you can always converse with them and improve your skills. Personally, before coming here to the United States, in high school I used to take English classes. The big problem when I arrived was, I could not even speak in English because my entourage used to speak a different language. Since, nobody around me spoke English, it made me hard to practice it. At school they used to show us grammar, vocabulary, how to write small essays. In brief, we were more focused on writing more than the oral learning. Another problem is that, after the English classes were finished, I had to restart speaking French. However, since I am here in the United States, I improve my English a lot, because it is a little bit like an obligation for me because everybody around me is speaking the language, so I must converse every day in English. I can tell you that it works for me because during ten (10) months since I have been here, I perform a lot of my English mostly in conversing with people.
In addition, you have to be social, that means you have to make friends that can actually speak fluently the language you’re learning. Make sure that they are friendly to accept you because not everyone has the patience to listen to what you have to say. For my case, I have the chance to meet a lot of kind people. They are even happier than me. They help me a lot, they are patient, friendly and lovely.
Furthermore, you have to stop talking your native language so that you can only focus on the language you’re trying to learn. By way of example, personally I tried my best to stop talking French so that I can concentrate myself on English. I am lucky to have an English-speaking roommate, so at home I don’t have the choice.
The immersion will help you a lot, but I can tell you that it is not enough. You also have to be motivated. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. During the moment you are still learning the language, you have to appreciate and be happy to learn new words. You have to accept mockeries and remarks. At the beginning, being shy will be normal, but as time goes on you will work on it and be free to make mistakes. You will certainly learn from them. For my case, I was super shy but by nature I am not a shy person. Sometimes, somebody will say something, and I disagree, but because I cannot speak fluently, I will shut my mouth and not say anything. I work on it, and I am still working on it so that I can be open as if I am speaking my native language.
Equally important is listening. It will help improve your skills. Paying and going to a class is not enough. For example, watching movies will be helpful. Especially, for me it helped me a lot. What I used to do when I watched a movie, I put the subtitles and I have a bilingual dictionary by my side. So, when I saw a new word, I will check the dictionary to see what it means. You can also listen to music. You have to notice that learning a language is not only about writing, it is likewise speaking fluently. For example, the way you talk is not going to be the same during your writing because academic essays are stricter than everyday conversation. You have to learn expressions too. You have to pick in your mind that writing and speaking are two different things.
Moreover, you have to be patient. Blake Powell said: “patience is the key to your success.” You have to notice that everybody is different. It is not because, someone close to you learn the language in three (3) months that you are also going to make it in three (3) months. Mainly, a language is not an easy thing to learn. Take your time,