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. Travelling 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.
You won’t learn everything right away. The most important thing, especially at the beginning, is to learn the basics. Only then can you move on to more complex concepts.
In the beginning, everything will be new to you. That’s why you should progress slowly but surely. At SuperMemo, we recommend using 30 cards at the beginning and increasing the dose of knowledge as you go.
Keep it simple
It’s worth grouping the words into sets and putting them in context. Do you have any shopping plans? Make a list in the language you’re learning! Try to implement new words in everyday activities so that learning becomes a part of your life.
Regardless of the individual rhythm of the day, it’s been proven that it’s easier to focus in the morning when the brain is fed with restorative sleep and learning is accompanied by daylight.
Refreshment of the acquired knowledge is the foundation of the SuperMemo method, where the algorithm tells you when to repeat. Daily work gets the best results, so stay consistent – even on bad days.
How to make learning a habit?
Once you learn something, it’ll slowly start disappearing from your memory. To prevent it from happening, you need to develop a habit of repetition.
Use an app based on the SuperMemo method. It’ll help you set revisions and organize your knowledge, even if you only spend 15 minutes a day learning.
How to overcome a language block?
When you feel overwhelmed with fear, pause for a moment, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Locate the tension in your body and, as you exhale, imagine you’re getting rid of the unpleasant feeling.
The speech recognition and synthesis feature in the SuperMemo app helps you practice correct pronunciation and give you confidence in everyday conversations.
How to learn grammar?
In the beginning, it’s important to use language first, and only then to have fully correct syntax.
It’s helpful to follow the rules by reading interesting texts that would interest you regardless of the language.
But before you start reading texts in a foreign language, you need to learn the rules and consolidate them through exercises. This is when the SuperMemo app comes into the picture, based on an algorithm that allows you to learn effectively for even 15 minutes a day.
Other useful tips to learn English:
- Switch your mindset
Try to get out of your comfort zone and open yourself to contact with people. Use every possible opportunity to speak English. Practice is essential, and the sooner you start talking (even if you make plenty of mistakes at the beginning), the sooner you’ll learn to speak correctly.
- Build your vocabulary
You can find lists of the most frequently used words on the Internet. You can also use SuperMemo’s language courses designed for building vocabulary – such as the Hello series for beginners or the Extreme vocabulary courses, aimed at learners at any level.
- Learn grammar in context
From the beginning, pay attention to linguistic similarities, analogies, and try to create your own sentences, gradually expanding your vocabulary and grammar. Thanks to this, you’ll learn grammar faster and enjoy the process even more.
- Immerse yourself in the language
To be fluent in English, you must surround yourself with the language. The more you deal with it, the sooner you’ll start speaking English, and the easier it’ll be for you to remember specific words or phrases.
- Listen and practice pronunciation
The sooner you start practicing this aspect of the language, the sooner you’ll start communicating. You’ll also remember the pronunciation of given words more easily. Correct pronunciation is essential to maintain linguistic hygiene and for a more pragmatic reason: understanding each other during conversations.
We recommend that you start learning with applications like SuperMemo.
New features of SuperMemo:
- New user interface – Once you enter the My Learning tab, you’ll be greeted by a brand-new user dashboard where you’ll find the most important features of the app. With a single click, you can explore the catalog, check your learning plan, view statistics, and access courses in your library.
- New section – Drill – In the SuperMemo app, you’ll now find a separate section called Drill, which allows you to repeat new material easier than before. Previously, the vocabulary you didn’t know appeared in the Repeat tab, together with the previous day’s material – but from now on, the new material will be separated.
- Speech recognition and synthesis feature – We added new speech recognition and synthesis features that will allow you to record your answers and automatically compare them with those defined in selected courses in browsers that support this feature, including Google Chrome.
- Enhanced Course Editor – Those of you who use our proprietary algorithm to learn their own material through private courses will now be able to use the intuitive Course Editor, where you can play answers and questions in any language, as well as record your answer and automatically compare them with those in the course.
- Better responsiveness of the website and app – both the SuperMemo website and online app are also more responsive, allowing any user to learn comfortably – regardless of the device they’re using.