Throughout the past month, we’ve been meeting people from all over the world by hosting Instagram Lives! Polyglots from Asia, Europe, and North America have joined us to chat about their language learning experiences and share advice with our audience. Let’s give another warm welcome to Zubair, from spanish_and_you_official, Polly, from @mspollyglot, and Shereen, from @anenglishnerd, as we dive right in to find out what they had to say!
1. Find motivation and inspiration.
The primary motivation behind learning a language shouldn’t be to simply cross if off your bucket list. Ideally, this process should be enjoyable and relevant to your life. Yes, it might be so you can land a new job or enter a specific university program; but it can also be “just because.”
2. Learn languages in the same language family.
Language families are groups of languages that have evolved from a common ancestral language. For example, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian all derived from Latin, which is their common ancestral language. Dutch, English, Swedish, German, and Norwegian derived from Proto-Germanic, which hasn’t been spoken since 800 AD. Amazing, right? As you gain more knowledge of one language, another from the same family is easier to learn because they often share sounds, grammar structures, and vocabulary.
3. Make it a habit to immerse yourself.
There’s a time commitment involved when it comes to learning a language. You need to practice every day and immerse yourself in your target language as much as possible. Time is precious, so it’s important to set a realistic goal for yourself: 3 minutes, 15 minutes, a couple of hours a day… You decide! This time can be spent learning a few new words, singing along to a new song, or even watching an episode of a series (yes, you can turn the subtitles on!)
4. Have some fun with it!
This one goes hand in hand with the previous. Once you start dedicating time each day to practicing your target language, don’t forget to have fun with it! This might sound silly, but having fun while learning is key to improving your skills and increasing your confidence. Here are a few ideas: read a book out loud, play games online with native speakers, or create videos in your target language about topics you love.
5. Communication, not perfection.
Throughout our Instagram Lives, there was one point that all of our guests agreed upon: you don’t need to master a language to be able to communicate. Once you’ve reached a B2 proficiency level in your target language, you’ll be able to comfortably hold conversations with native speakers. After that, you’ll be ready to move onto a new language and continue the process of becoming a polyglot!
We’d like to thank Zubair, Polly, and Shereen for joining our Instagram Lives, sharing their insight, and supporting us in building a diverse, multilingual online community. We invite you to follow them, and us, on Instagram where you can rewatch their Lives and see what’s coming up next.
Lastly, we’d love to be a part of your language learning journey! We encourage you to visit Bilingual Bridges’ website to check out our classes and brand new Cloud Learning program. Our team is passionate about cultures, languages, and teaching, and we’d love to meet you!
About the author
Bilingual Teacher at Bilingual Bridges