1. Memorize the expressions which empower you as a learner first.
2. Talk to everyone.
3. Create Opportunities to Practice.
4. Be assertive with the locals.
5. Chunk your language learning.
6. Knowing your goal will help you map your path.
7. Listen to the people around you speaking and imitate them under your breath.
8. Analyze basic sentence patterns.
Choosing one audio track and listening to it thirty times is much better for your proficiency than choosing thirty audio tracks and listening to them once.
9. Listen to the language as much as possible.
10. Study something other than the language in the language.
11. Create a study schedule and stick to it.
12. Read everything around you.
13. Carry a vocabulary notebook everywhere and take all your notes by hand.
14. Hang with the locals.
15. Do a language exchange.
16. Get a good dictionary.
17. Live with a local.
If you commit to applying these strategies on your language learning journey, you'll be rewarded with a number of social and emotional benefits. Aside from the obvious gains of developing a deeper cultural understanding and acquiring a new language, you may see improvements in your overall ability to remember and assess information, and to communicate more effectively in your native language. In addition, research has shown that adult learners of a second language can also benefit from a more rational approach to problem solving as well having less emotional bias in the new language.
Do you have your own tips on language learning you'd like to see on this list? Add them in the comments section below.
Tim Schwartz lived in Japan for 12 years and taught himself Japanese. He went on to get a master’s degree from Columbia University in teaching Japanese as a foreign language. He spent 12 years in the classroom teaching EFL (English as a foreign language) to both children and adult learners. The content for this article was based on an article that Tim had published in the August 2000 issue of the magazine Kansai Time Out.