It’s common to believe that for a person to learn a new language well, they must learn it during their childhood years. This idea makes many adults feel like they’ve missed their chance to learn another language. While it is easier to learn a language when you’re a child, adults are capable of learning new languages. Here’s how adults can learn English as a foreign language.

Strategies for Learning a Foreign Language
Children are not better at learning than adults. However, children learn in a different way than adults do. In fact, since adults have more prolonged and more intense life experiences, they have a few learning advantages over children when taking English courses. Strategies that adults can take advantage of to learn a foreign language include:

  • Downloading an app
  • Participating in a language exchange program
  • Reading beloved books in a different language
  • Practicing a foreign language in their neighborhood
  • Listening to radio programs or podcasts in the foreign language that they’re learning

Using an App
These days, there are a number of language-learning apps that you can download to help you with your English courses. Language-learning apps feature mini vocabulary and grammar lessons that will help you with your studies. Choose from game-type programs like Mindsnacks or classic courses through Babbel or Busuu. Many language apps are free or available for just a few dollars.

Review the special features offered by each app. For instance, some of them let you set goals that will make it easy to track your progress. There are also apps that connect you with other people learning the same language, and they will even put you in contact with native speakers who will be able to answer any questions that you may have.

Language Exchange Program

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Language exchange programs match people up with the intention of encouraging them to teach one another by having conversations. When you participate in this program, you’ll speak to your language buddy in your native language while they will speak to you in English. This person can become your Las Vegas English tutor.

With this kind of face-to-face interaction, your partner will be able to correct you when you use the wrong verb tense or word in the moment. The lessons you receive from your buddy will likely stick with you. The conversations you have with someone matched through a language exchange program will also be more natural and comfortable than the conversations you have in English class.

Reading a Favorite Book
If you have a favorite book that you’ve read multiple times, then consider reading it in your native language and English at the same time. Read one chapter from the book in your native language. Then, read it again in English. This translation technique will introduce you to phrases and words you may not run into when you’re studying in class. It’s a valuable English language learning tool.

Practicing a New Language Around Town
Once you have a handle on the new language’s vocabulary and know the grammar rules, use what you’ve learned in the real world. Practice ordering food in English at restaurants and make conversation with the grocery store clerk. Not only will this give you a chance to practice what you’re learning, but you’ll also form relationships and friendships with your neighbors. This can help you master the English language.

Listening to Radio Programs and Podcasts

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Listening to the radio and tuning in to podcasts or audiobooks in English are great ways to take in linguistic information. These types of auditory experiences are created for fluent English speakers. The people who are singing or talking generally do it at a quick pace, and this helps your brain take in the information better.

Other Ways to Learn a Language
You can learn English in deliberate ways by using a structure to practice new English sentences following your ESL classes. Begin by analyzing the sentence. Then, make sure that you understand it. Apply the sentence and repeat the process.

Trying to cram grammar books into your brain while learning English is unnecessary. Instead, repeat the sentence when you hear someone say something in the language you’re learning. Also, consider saying something different using the same sentence structure.

If you’re conversing with someone who is a native English speaker, ask them to give you more sentence structures. This technique will help you learn a pattern or a piece of language, and it will also teach you the rules behind the structure.

Make Goals and Review Your Progress
Goals are the essence of seeing your progress as you take on the challenge of learning a new language. Tracking your progress will help you arrange how you learn, and tracking your progress will also help you push back against losing motivation.

The longer you stay with your studies, the more you’ll be motivated to keep going. For instance, it’s easier to break a streak you’ve had going for two days than to break one you’ve maintained for two months.

There are different ways to track your language learning progress. The process can be as simple as making sure that you’re tracking your habits using an app. You can also track your progress in more intricate ways using an Excel document featuring a list of goals you intend to meet.

Tips for Handling Setbacks

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Keep in mind that even people who learn quickly and easily are unlikely to remember a new word right away. Most people need to hear a word about 15 times before they know it. While it can be incredibly frustrating to forget a word when you’re in the middle of a conversation, stick with it. This is when progress tracking can help keep you motivated.

To move past setbacks, consider your mindset. Remember that English language learning does not occur in a straight line. In fact, learning a new language doesn’t really have an endpoint. When you’re learning a new language, you’ll continue to develop your skills, improving little by little.

Take Advantage of Your Learning Style
Don’t try to determine your success based on inconsequential facts. For instance, your age and native language won’t help you take your ESL classes better.

Things that will help you learn more easily are understanding your learning habits and preferences. Become aware of your personal social learning style. Knowing this information can help you develop a learning routine that will inspire you. Consider the time of day that you generally perform your best. Know when you tend to get tired and require rest. Also, be sure to leave time for your personal life and hobbies.

English Language Learning
At the UCEDA School, our mission is to teach students how to speak English. With over 25 years of ESL teaching experience, we are a leader in teaching English to international students. When you attend the UCEDA School for English classes in Las Vegas, you’ll get to learn in a fun environment that will keep you busy when you’re not in school. For more information, call us at (702) 586-3131.

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