Different Ways of Learning a Foreign Language
By NikishaThompson, eHow Contributor
updated: April 23, 2010
Immersion is the most effective way to learn a language
Foreign language immersion allows you to learn through increased exposure to a language in a social context. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, immersion is the most effective way to promote fluency in a foreign language. If you cannot immerse yourself in a language by visiting a foreign country, there are effective alternative methods of learning.
1. Foreign language software programs can simulate an immersion environment. For example, Rosetta Stone offers language instruction in 31 languages that utilize the immersion method of learning. The software features the voices of native speakers and allows you to learn through listening, visualization, and interactive activities. The Internet also offers free and paid language programs to increase your fluency. For example, BBC offers free audio and video language courses in seven different languages.
2. Labeling items in your home will increase your foreign language vocabulary. By placing labels on items you see every day, you create a visual connection to the words you are learning. Label items by writing the translation in large letters on blank postcards. Attach the labels in places that are visible to you as you go through your daily routine.
3. Fiction and non-fiction books written in the foreign language offer an alternative to traditional instructional text. Select books to fit your language learning level. For beginners, reading children's books written in the foreign language you are studying increases elementary vocabulary and grammar. As you become more familiar with the foreign language, choose more advanced books to read.
4. Watching a movie spoken in a foreign language provides an opportunity for immersion. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, listening to native speakers improves proficiency. If foreign movies are unavailable, most movies on disc allow you to adjust language settings. Find movies that offer translations in the language you are studying. This method is useful for intermediate to advanced speakers who understand vocabulary and grammar basics in the foreign language.