Fluency is a fluid concept and is based relatively. Although it may take years to be considered 100% fluent in a language, fluency (being able to speak or write easily and accurately) can be achieved extremely fast when learning the language for a specific task. There is a common misconception associated with language learning and being considered fluent. The ten shortcuts, tricks and techniques below will help you become fluent extremely quickly.
1. Forget Grammar Find Phrases
Learning proper grammar can be a daunting and depressing task when learning a language. Start with a brief overview of the basic grammatical structure and then learn phrases that express what you would like to say. Learning conjugations can be delayed til after you have established a lingual base. Just learn enough grammar at the start to get you off the ground and memorize phrases to start communicating. After all native speakers will be able to understand most of what you say simply by the context and situation.
There is nothing that can replace being completely immersed in the language. The “sink or swim technique,” as I like to call it, demands language-learning. When immersed you are able to keep practicing until you get it right. “Sinking” (lingual failure) helps to learn and is an essential part in gaining language fluency. Look for every opportunity to travel to a places where the desired language is spoken. Once you are in a place that speaks it, practice the language at every possible opportunity. Generally, natives are very receptive to others trying to learn their language. So don’t hesitate to practice!
3. Language Learning eCourses
I’m currently working on reviewing several eCourses in several different languages. However, when immersion isn’t an option eCourses are a great plan B. With eCourses you are able to have a regular schedule and a guide to get you through the basics of the language. eCourses really are a great way to get familiar with seeing, hearing and writing the language (second only to immersion).
4. Learn the Pronunciation Guide
The pronunciation guide is essential in gaining a proper accent and full comprehension of a language. Often overlooked, the pronunciation guide will increase your language ability quickly especially when learning the language on your own. Generally the pronuciation guide can be found in the front pages of most grammar books, dictionaries and of course online (Check suggested link below for pronunciation guides in any language).
5. Read Out Loud
This trick is simple but often overlooked and underestimated. Finding information to read in a foreign language is easy thanks to the internet. Simply search online to find something to read in order to practice and increase language fluency. When trying to gain fluency reading out loud has two major benefits.
1.Reading out loud increases recognition and familiarity with the new language.
2. Reading out loud helps to increase pronunciation and comprehension.
When reading be sure to have learned proper pronunciation. “Proper practice prevents poor performance!”
6. Capitalizing on Productive and Essential Vocabulary
Fluency: the ability to speak or write a particular foreign language easily and accurately.
Remember fluency is all relative. Speaking easily and accurately can be achieved by capitalizing on the most essential/useful vocabulary. Learning vocabulary directly related to the things you are going to be doing with your language increases your fluency extremely fast. For example, if you are going to be traveling, learning travelers vocabulary would be far more productive than learning cooking vocabulary. As was mentioned fluency is a fluid concept and can be achieved extremely quickly when you are productive with your learning.
7. Memorize Vocabulary
This is a key component to continuing your language learning. Memorizing words that you are going to use frequently will help to not only maintain the new vocabulary but will also ensure accelerated learning. Find and memorize nouns of things you frequently use (i.e. objects, foods, places, etc.). When you are able to fluently express about the objects in your everyday life your lingual ability as well as your comprehension will both improve rapidly.
8. Carry a Phrase Book/Notecard
When first learning a language studying a phrase book is the fastest and most productive way to begin actually using your language. Studying phrases that you frequently use in English is a fast way to expresss yourself fluently in your newly aquired language. Carrying a phrase book or a notecard with expressions/phrases that you would like to say is a quick reference guide wherever you need to review your language.
9. Take Advantage of youtube
Learning a language is becoming easier and easier thanks to social media. Youtube has millions of videos and they range in all different languages. There are thousand of youtube “language learning guides” in all languages. When first beginning to learn a language, searching for language learning tutorials online is a great resource and best of all its free. Once a base of your language has been established youtube is a great resource for practicing. (I would post links but it really just depends on your personal opinion of what style of youtube learning video you would like).
http://www.youtube.com search: “learning (desired language)”
Podcasts are another great way to accelerate your foreign language ability. There are podcasts in every language imaginable and many are created for helping you learn a language. There are many ways to incorporate podcasts into your accelerated language-learning plan. Many of the podcasts come with transcripts making it even easier to follow along and learn as you listen. Having the podcasts on your ipod or MP3 makes it easy to listen as you working out or driving in the car. The best part about podcasts is that they are free and some are specifically designed for language-learning. Simply search around in iTunes to find which one you like and accelerate your learning by listening.