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  • 25 tips for language learning

    Posted on March 23rd, 2009 Mairo Vergara 14 comments

    helpful_tips_language_learningI summarized 25 tips for language learning from Teach Yourself a Foreign Language Podcast episode six. I hope you like it!

    1. When first starting out, try to just listen to your target language as much as possible without attempting to speak it. This helps you acquiring an ear for the language.

    2. Develop a deep desire to learn the language. Without a desire you won’t get far.
    3. Use time for you language learning which is ordinarily wasted. Standing on line, waiting for an elevator, etc., are all opportunities not to be missed.

    4. Think in terms of phrases and not individual words. It’s easy to remember a phrase like “a breakfast of bread and butter” than it is to remember each word in isolation.

    5. Use your imagination. Visual images can help you remember words.

    6. Invent stories using as much of your new vocabulary as possible. Any words you can’t think off in your target language use your native language and then look up those words later.

    7. Listen to internet radio broadcasts and podcasts as much as possible.

    8. Likewise, watch videos. (

    9. Utilize the BBC for news broadcast and lessons in your target language. (

    10. Utilize flashcards or small notebooks to review vocabulary words and phrases.

    11. Invent funny or silly mnemonic phrases to help you remember new words or concepts.

    12. Use a bilingual dictionary often, not just to look up specific words, but browse through it.

    13. Draw columns on paper, words in your native language on the right and target language on the left. This allows your eye to easily scan to one column to the next and it helps your brain absorbs that word.

    14. Write a simple children’s book in your target language. Make it silly and utilize simple concepts as though a child was actually going to read the book.

    15. Learn the past tense before learning the present tense, and save the future tense for last.

    16. Practice unfamiliar sounds in your target language in the shower or in the car. Example: the English “th” sound. Say it over and over.

    17. Use computer programs and free online dictionaries. (,,

    18. When reading, read more slowly and deliberately than you do in your target language. Later, as you progress, your speed will increase to normal levels.

    19. Read bilingual books or books in the target language that you are already familiar in your native language.

    20. Read comics and cartons in your target language

    21. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.

    22. Read your grammar books.

    23. Think in your target language

    24. Put stickers in everyday life items until you’ve learned their names.

    25. Take an occasional break or a day or two off to let your mind sort out your new vocabulary words.


    13 responses to “25 tips for language learning” RSS icon

    • Some very good points.
      I especially agree with point 1. You really need to ‘tune in’ to the language.
      Point 2 is also very important; if you don’t really want to learn the language, it is not going to happen.
      I also like ‘Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.’ but I admit, I do get scared of this!

    • Very good tips indeed! I’ll pass them on to the members of our language exchange club:

      I find using your language skills in a social situation in a supportive environment is an excellent way to practise.

    • Ram Dip Acharya

      I am really nice.Your mathed is best.

    • yeah some useful information, glad you didnt go down the route of recommended RS. No for a lot of people it doesnt work, best to try and implement a range of different techniques.

      If anyone is interested in learning thai, please visit my language blog:

    • Hi(I couldn’t find the blog’s owner), nevertheless I think the 25 tips to learn English are excellent. Especially for beginners.
      Best regards. Miguel Angel

    • I think your advice is excellent. Learning a language is a continuous, everyday happening. You learn little-by-little. I firmly believe in reading target novels you have previsouly read in your own language. Good idea! However, I don’t know about you, but I don’t favour dual language books. This only leads to lazy reading.

    • WOW! this is a very informative post. Its great that you posted not just 10 but 25 tips. This will help a lot! nice post!

      Learn English with mary

      Next, consider all the financial benefits of learning a foreign language. There are many ways that learning a foreign language can help you make more money. Learning a foreign language can lead to special recognition and promotions at work. It can increase sales, open up new business opportunities, and enable better service to your customers. Or it can lead to new job opportunities where you are paid to travel around the world.

    • It is ture and very good. It is an exhaustive list. And surely worth doing it. It will give sound understanding of that language. But what if you lack the time of such a procedure. I suggest fun tools that help you doing this fast, easy and with fun

    • These are good tips to get started on.

      I actually have a family member who has learned basic English from watching some of the most popular television shows. Add into this listening the radio and the constant, repetitive words seem to really stick.

    • Interesting. Have a look of my blog, where weekly we practice spanish online through a paltalk’s room. Participants can get the point of spanish native sound or well, compare with other accents from some latino countries. They can also, of course, practice their spanish reading through mic, because it is interactive. I think that’s a good point. Moust students, after a study week, can work that they need.
      It is another option in the big gamma of learning langages.

    • Hi!

      I just started to learn spanish thanks to this website, just wanted to let you know about. Hope it helps!

      Nice blog!
      Best regards!

    • I did a similar summary on learning tips. Half are from what I heard or read, and the rest are what I came up with and experimented. It’s always good to read tips from others to try out.

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