Top Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

Emma Buckby

30 Nov 2016

Let’s face it – learning a foreign language is difficult – but not impossible. There are many different ways to learn – some proven and some somewhat more experimental.

We’ve put together some top tips for you. We hope they help you reach your goal of speaking the language as well as you can.

Before learning a foreign language: work out what type of learner you are

Whether you select an individual language course, group session, telephone training, eTraining, intensive course, immersion programme, home-stay or self-study, you need to first understand your personal preferences and learning style.

Another aspect which will help you to determine the most effective language training format is to look at your individual learning style

One way of figuring out which training format is best for you is by looking at your own personality and character.

  • eTraining/eLearning requires a level of self-discipline to connect regularly to the site to practise
  • Blended – this combines the best of online learning with face-to-face or virtual sessions to engage with your language trainer
  • Individual training sessions work best with people who are able to plan their time effectively as missing training sessions can have a negative effect on learning
  • Group training sessions are effective for people who are willing to work through the language learning with other group members

Determine the most effective language training format for you

Knowing your learning style can help you to select the best training format and approach.

Another aspect which will help you to determine the most effective language training format is to look at your individual learning style. There are many different models of learning styles, but one model of learning styles suggests there are three different types.

1. Visual learners

Visual learners need to see things written down and prefer different forms of visual learning like graphics and videos. Therefore, training which involves lots of verbal discussion in the session and saves written assignments for self-study may not appeal to them. As a consequence, they may not benefit from telephone training which lacks visual components

2. Kinesthetic learners

Kinesthetic learners prefer active lessons with dynamic games and role plays that apply the learning to a practical context. They may benefit greatly from group training which includes role plays and movement.

3. Auditory learners

They understand and acquire information well by listening to explanations or language dialogues. They may feel more comfortable with training that uses a very communicative approach and lots of interactive activities

Knowing your learning style can help you to select the best training format and approach.

Have you heard of humanistic techniques?

Other language training sessions use music and rhythm to tap into the non-rational and non-conscious influences on language learning

In addition to some of the methods we’ve explored here, there are a number of other training formats which could appeal to your personal style and preferences. The Community Language Learning (CLL) format, for example, uses humanistic techniques to engage the whole person in the learning process.

Your learning style is important for understanding how best to get the most from your language training

Use of music, rhythm and technology: Many new ways of learning a foreign language

Another method is to use music and rhythm to tap into the non-rational and non-conscious influences on language learning. Increasingly language training also incorporates technology to increase the impact of training, whether through language eTraining solutions or language media centres which provide the tools to practise learning from the session.

Before learning a foreign language, it’s really important to think about your learning style as well as your training objectives. This will ensure that the language training format that you select will give you the most opportunity to improve your language skills.



[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]