Learning a foreign language is a worthwhile pursuit for many reasons. It can expand your job prospects, make traveling more pleasurable, and even help your brain retain information longer. Although most experts agree that learning a new language as an adult is more difficult than learning it as a child, there are some useful shortcuts to help you out.
One of the most important things in learning a new language is to set aside time to study each and every day. Repetition is key for adults in language learning, so make sure that your study time includes equal amounts of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It’s very easy for languages, especially newly-learned ones, to atrophy through disuse.
Another useful technique is to set short-term goals for yourself in your study. Aim for a certain level of proficiency each week, whether it be learning a set number of vocabulary words or being able to carry on a conversation about a specific subject.
Repetition of lessons is also a very useful way to make sure that what you’re learning “sticks.” The second or third time through will help you cement good habits and erase bad ones.
Of course, the absolute best way to learn a foreign language is by conversation with a native speaker. Use Craiglist or other services to find other speakers who might enjoy helping you learn for a small fee.