The Four Language Skills: Some Strategies to Enhance Them
We all dream of learning a language and be able to speak it fluently as quickly and effortlessly as possible . Unfortunately, this is the first thing language students should get out of their head! Most of us need time and, yes, effort!
We suggest four keywords that you should remember to become a successful, informed learner and eventully a fluent speaker in your chosen language. Click on the hotspots to discover them:
You should be curious about the culture and history linked to the language you are learning: you’d be amazed how much more meaningful idioms and even sentence structure become when you understand what’s behind them.
Be dedicated and explore all the possible ways to learn: there is much more than textbooks and grammar rules. Try films, music, social networks, YouTubers etc.
Improve and utilise your language knowledge, not only during the course but also, and especially, in your everyday life.
Learning a language should become your new hobby and interest! This will boost your motivation in class too as, without even realising it, you will become a more and more eager learner.
In this context, the Web is extremely helpful. Here are some tips you can easily follow to let the language enter and be part of your everyday life:
1) Set your mobile phone or your social media in the language you are learning. This will support your full immersion in the language!
Join social media groups dedicated to the language you are learning. Facebook for instance has plenty of them! You will find useful tips and extra explanations to help clear up your doubts about a certain topic. You can also chat not only with other learners of that language but also with native speakers who often join these groups because they teach their native language professionally or are passionate about it. Of course, always remember to be extremely careful about or avoid altogether sharing any personal information online.
Follow your favourite celebs in the country of your target language (actors, writers, politicians etc.), but also institutions like universities and museums, tourist offices, etc. to keep yourself posted about what is happening in the country.
2) Practise the language through learning apps or sites like Duolingo. These will also help you to understand how your mind works when learning a language and recognise your favourite and most suitable learning style.
3) Use your interests and pastimes to dive into the language: watch tutorials, read blogs in the foreign language you are learning!
At the same time, you should be patient and consistent: learning a foreign language to an advanced and proficient level requires time: always use material suitable for your level of proficiency; do not rush and move to an higher level too quickly as your mind needs time to process and internalise information. In other words, set reachable goals that you can achieve step by step and don’t be afraid of making mistakes along the way. Mistakes are part of the process of becoming a fluent speaker 😉. However, remember to always address those mistakes and learn from them. Try to understand why you are making them.
The same four keywords apply when learning a language online. In the next lessons we will explore the four skills that make up language competence: reading, writing, listening and speaking. And we will see how to improve them online.