Thursday, February 28, 2008

10 economical and effective ways to practice a foreign language

The key to learning a foreign language is practice. It is as simple as "if you don't use it, you lose it." There are several ways for you to practice a foreign language. This is my own original list:

  1. Practice with your friends and family members who speak that language
  2. Find a language buddy who wants to do language exchange (i.e. you teach him your language and he teaches you his language.)
  3. Join a Toastmasters club that uses the language you want (e.g. in Hong Kong, there are clubs that practice in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.)
  4. Use Skype and chat with people who can speak that language
  5. Network with military spouses: Chances are there are spouses from around the world who will be happy to make friends with locals.
  6. Rent foreign movies and drama series with subtitles
  7. Sing karaoke in that foreign language (I learned much of my Mandarin through singing!)
  8. Search for language software that corrects your pronunciation (some language software will compare your recorded words with the standard computer pronunciation.)
  9. Attend regular language classes or language clubs
  10. Get a job that requires you to interact with employees from different backgrounds and countries

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