Once you master the basics, you can go a step further and start learning the language in a more natural environment. Here are 5 ways you can do it:
Watch a movie in the language you want to learn or use subtitles or dubbing to learn any language with any movie.
Are you watching a series? Or maybe there’s something you’ve been wanting to watch for a while? Just like with movies, you can choose a native production in the language of your choice or use subtitles or dubbing.
Depending on your level of proficiency, you can start with children’s books or simply read something you’ve been interested in for a while.
This type of entertainment is becoming more and more popular and new series are constantly being created, so you can find a podcast that suits you both in terms of topic and language difficulty.
Listen to the greatest hits in the language you want to learn while paying attention to the lyrics and, as a result, you’ll learn some new words in addition to improving your mood.
But no matter how much you consume, entertainment alone is not enough.
Why should you take notes?
Taking notes helps organize your thoughts and focus on the topic. As you’re taking notes, your mind constantly has to pick up important information, so it’s harder to get distracted. The notes will also make for a great knowledge base, which will later become review material.
Paper or keyboard?
Research shows that handwritten notes are more engaging and stimulate our brains better than typing. Writing with a pen or pencil requires more complex movements, which activate more areas of the brain.
Nobody likes learning difficult things.
When we see a complex topic, we often begin to feel that it’s too much. But learning languages doesn’t have to be hard.
Why should you simplify language learning?
It’s much easier to master a few easy concepts than a complex one. As you learn new things, your brain travels through a maze filled with different paths. Traveling the same, short path several times is better than a complicated one full of dead ends.
How to use simplification in practice?
When approaching a complex topic, it’s a good idea to break it down into smaller parts. If you try to learn everything at once, it’ll seem much more difficult than when you focus on each of them separately.
The principle of minimum information
Many people enjoy learning with the “question-and-answer” principle, which is used in SuperMemo language courses. With it, we can, for example, divide the question “How do we inflect by cases in German?” into a series of smaller questions about each case, starting with: “What questions does Nominativ answer?”
Should you study in the morning or afternoon?
The discussion about whether you should study in the morning, afternoon, or maybe at night has been going on forever. And the technological revolution in education made this question even more important.
Two times of the day
Brain research has shown that, regardless of the rhythm of the biological clock, there are two times when learning is most effective. The first is in the morning between 6:00 AM and 1:30 PM, and the second one is between 3:30 PM and 10:00 PM.
When should you learn new words?
Learning new material is much faster when you do it creatively, rather than rely only on long-term mechanical repetitions. These activities happen in your working memory, which works best during our morning mental peak – around 1:30 PM.
When should you repeat?
Long-term memory works best during the afternoon, between 3:30 PM and 10:00 PM, which is the best time for repetitive and routine tasks. In the case of language learning, late afternoon and evening is the perfect time to revise and consolidate prior knowledge.
We recommend that you start learning with applications like SuperMemo.