Despite the fact children are better language learners than adults, there is still hope for us to become fluent in another language. In most cases our brain won’t respond as a native speaker like brain, but neither the brain of three year old children will.
Past puberty (this is what the majority of researcher agree upon) our brain doesn’t absorb a new language as it would if we were 6 or 8 years old. However, there is still a chance for adults to become bilingual or multilingual or at least fluent.
We often hear talking about the best ways to learn a language, however, nobody talks about a vital factor that is the first factor which determines language attainment. I am talking about Language Aptitude which is a particular intelligence strictly linked to language learning. Certain individuals have higher levels than others so we could say “they are more talented”.
However, forget about picking up a new language if you do not have motivation, the second best factor which determines language achievement. You could be interested in learning because you like the language, therefore we talk about intrinsic motivation or you need to learn a new language for work, holidays etc. so we talk about extrinsic motivation.
Now that you are motivated, do not let language anxiety get you. Researches have pinpointed this particular anxiety which could affect the learning process negatively. Nevertheless, other researchers believe it could serve as a stimuli to improve learning. The matter is still controversial.
Now you are wondering which is the best way to learn?
1) To acquire new vocabulary just read read and read if you are beginner start from children’s books. Learning a bunch of isolated words won’t get you anywhere.
2) Improve your listening skills by watching the news, listening to music or watch tv programs you like.
3) Speak speak speak, surround yourself with people ideally native speakers, travel to the target country as much as possible, however, if you live in a big city it is likely a community of the target language exist. Learn from them, absorb their culture.
4) Once you start, train your brain in thinking in the new language, talk to yourself in the language you learning, maybe not out loud lol.
5) Be gentle with yourself, but always believe you will make it, maybe slowly but surely. To speed up the process you could join a group or to make it even faster choose private tuition they are the quickest way to learn according to your needs.
So what are you waiting for? A new exciting challenge is waiting for you!