The fastest way to learn a foreign language is to speak it. Many people believe you need to study the basics for years before you can try to speak a foreign language, but that isn’t true. You can talk in a foreign language from day one. Of course, first, you’ll use simple sentences, then gradually, you’ll increase the complexity.
Here are my tips on how you can become fluent in a foreign language by just practicing 10 minutes a day.
Talk to yourself
It’s good to have a language partner to practice with, but we can’t always find time for a call. Btw, if you don’t have a language buddy, you can connect with like-minded people on one of these websites:
Sometimes, life gets in our way and we simply don’t have time to practice with someone else. So, why not talk to yourself? There’s a trick – talk out loud, listen to pronunciation and even record yourself. That way you can catch your mistakes and ask your friend or language buddy for feedback.
Journal in a foreign language
Journaling is another tool I use to master a foreign language. It has lots of benefits on its own but why not take it to the next level? Once a week, try to journal in your target language. I will be honest with you and admit that sometimes I use Google Translate. I know it’s not the most reliable source when it comes to proper sentence structure but sometimes that’s everything I have access to.
A great tool I use is Lang-8. It’s a platform where people correct each other’s sentences and share language insights.
I realized that talking about yourself is a great way to memorize new words. For example, when you talk with someone else, especially when you just met, you usually ask a standard set of questions. Where do you live? What’s the most interesting fact about your culture? What countries have you visited? etc. Answer these questions in advance so when you get to talk to a native, they can correct you and let you know other ways to say it.
Also, learn the things you use most in your native language. At work, you use certain words on a day-to-day basis. So, why not learning those words first instead of the boring words you won’t use for a while? Let’s say you are learning Spanish and a native speaker comes into your store where you work at. You try to have a conversation, tell them about your products but you constantly have to look up the words. Or you just don’t know how to say what you actually do altogether.
It’s easier to learn things that are related to what you do. Use it to learn new words, sentences and get used to the language.
Surround yourself with the language
Try to listen, watch and read something in your target language every time you get a chance to. I often listen to audiobooks and watch Youtube videos in a foreign language. Sometimes it can be frustrating, I might not get the majority of the content but that’s fine, it’s part of the learning process.
This technique helps you “feel” the language. It helps you get used to the intonation, sentence order, general sounds of the language, and pick up words here and there. It won’t feel like you are doing much but it works. Our brain stores all the information we come across into the subconscious, you never know when the necessary word will pop up.
Create new habits
Practice makes perfect. It’s important to practice at least 10 minutes a day. It can be a simple monologue with yourself, journaling, or use language apps like Duolingo and FunEasyLearn. Most apps reward you for practicing daily and maintaining the streak so take advantage of this little motivational trick. Make a habit of completing a lesson every day, that’s more effective than spending an hour a week. A great way to turn something into a habit is practicing it for at least 21 days. You can join my 7-Day Language Challenge to help you jump-start your journey to fluency.
Incorporate at least one of these tips into your daily routine. Practicing every single day for at least 10 minutes is what will get you to fluency and proficiency. Nowadays, we want quick results, we are impatient but good things take time. Just keep doing it, keep practicing and learning your target language. If you want to reach your language goals faster, check out my Language Planner. Set S.M.A.R.T goals and practice every day to achieve fluency quickly.
I’d love to know what language you are learning and what’s the most difficult thing to master for you? Now I’m working on my German speaking skills and getting into the flow of just talking is the most challenging at the moment. Leave a comment or reach to me on social media to continue our conversation about foreign languages.
Hi there! I’m Ana aka Mizuki Tao – a language lover and founder of the FluencySpot blog. I speak Romanian, Russian, and English. Currently, I’m improving my Spanish, German, and Japanese speaking skills. On FluencySpot I share all the tips and resources that helped me learn these languages faster.