How to Learn a New Language

Posted in English Language by Lindsey on 31 May 2011

I recently read an article about a lady named Christina. She wrote about her experiences trying, as a native English speaker, to learn the Spanish language. She went to a high school that required that each student take a foreign language class. Christina chose to take a Spanish class. She had a hard time learning the language because she didn't have the drive. It didn't matter how good the instructor was or how much he tried to relate the Spanish language to the things Christine was interested in. She just didn't feel a need to learn another language. After all, within the community in which she lived, she could get by just fine by speaking English.

It wasn't until later in her life, when she moved to Mexico, that she realized the importance and the beauty of learning a second language. She couldn't just get by anymore speaking only English. Living in a Spanish speaking country forced her to learn the language. Living in Mexico, it wasn't just that she learned a new language, but that she really understood the beauty of it. She had fun playing with the new words she learned and interacting with people who lived in a completely different culture from where she grew up.

I have a similar story. I, too, had to take a foreign language class in high school, and again when I went to college. I tried French first. In college I tried Spanish. To this day, I understand the principles of how each language works. But for the life of me, I can't remember much more than maybe 5 words in each language. It's not the instructors fault. They were both incredible and knew I was trying to learn. It's just that I never had a reason to actively use either language. As a result, I couldn't retain much of the vocabulary I was taught.

I have heard time and time again that the only true way to learn a new language is to surround yourself by it. If you want to learn Spanish, go to Mexico or Spain or Chile. Stay there for awhile. Find a local school and start taking classes. Practice using what you learn before and after class by interacting with the community. Experience a new culture while you expand your mind and learn a new language.

Want to develop your English skills? SOLEX College offers a fantastic English language program in both Chicago and Wheeling, Illinois. Surround yourself with the vibrant Chicagoland culture. Whether you are beginner or you already have a basic knowledge of the language, we have a class for you. Contact us today for more information.