By Jackson Reed

Our students Peter and Christine in Egypt costumes — form the 2017/18 catalog

It can be extremely hard and time-consuming to learn a new language. The most unfortunate thing that could happen would be to work hard every day and allow all that hard work to go to waste. Many people utilize the wrong resources and techniques when first starting out.

The following are tips on which methods and habits should be avoided when learning a new language:

Avoid speaking during the first few weeks or months

This can be especially difficult when testing out a foreign language. However, this silent period helps increase overall comprehension. Effective learning stems from a student’s ability to comprehend the language as a whole. If somebody is able to comprehend the language first, speaking will come more naturally. However, listening to the sound of the language when first studying can be a helpful tool during the silent phase.

Do not focus on vocabulary words

Strict memorization does not help. In most languages, word meaning can be derived from the roots of the words. The hardest part is learning how to use the words appropriately. If vocabulary is the primary focus, those words will never get put to use because the learner cannot use it in a sentence or conversation effectively.

One of the worst bad habits is avoiding reading in the foreign language

While intensive speaking should be avoided in the first few months, students should still begin practicing the language as soon as possible. Reading books is the easiest way to gain correct phrasing and grammar. Studies also demonstrate that this is the most effective method to increase one’s vocabulary. Plus, it completely avoids the necessity to straight memorize vocabulary words.

Students should also get over their fears of a particular language’s ambiguity or of being embarrassed by their novice knowledge

People who like strict grammar rules might have a hard time when it comes to a new language. While there are many nuanced rules in the English language, many of those seem intrinsic to a native speaker. When learning a new language it is important to remember that not everything will fit into a neat category. It will take time to develop a feel for irregular rules. Just do not be afraid to keep going. Also, for beginners, it will be difficult at first. Furthermore, do not be embarrassed by a limited knowledge about the language. Native speakers of the foreign language will take acceptation to the fact that beginners are attempting to learn in the first place.

Do not focus on any one method too heavily

Learning a new language requires a barrage of different techniques in order to become fluent. Each method lends a different environment of learning and the student will pick up something unique in each situation.

By following the tips above, students will gain a good regiment that only focuses on things that will help them improve effectively. Learning a foreign language is especially difficult and there is no reason to increase the challenge by wasting time.