10 Creative Ways to Learn a Foreign Language 90

10 Creative Ways to Learn a Foreign Language

This is a guest post by Richard Nolan, a writer and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of  writing, blogging and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students. Currently, Richard works as a general editor for ProWritersCenter.

The term creativity is used interchangeably to describe a variety of factors in different sectors of human activity.

In matters concerning language, the term requires great consideration. Hence, creativity refers to classification of skills that fashion out an idea or product. Such an outcome is original and highly valued by different cultures. According to expert scholars, for a product to bear the term creativity, it should be brand new and useful.

Interestingly, when the term crops up, some key figures inevitably come to mind. They include Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Beethoven, and a host of many others. Such extraordinary and renowned individuals certainly represent, to full effect, the creativity notion.

When it comes to getting acquainted with a new language, it is often quite challenging and difficult.

Depending on the level of learning, it is a proven frustrating factor. For example, you may be top-notch in communicating through French but experience difficulties using Spanish in critical situations.

The following are some of the creative ways associated with learning a foreign language:

  1. Travel Abroad.

Arguably, the first measure to take if one is aspiring to study a new language is to visit the geographical location where it is spoken.

It is recommended that one lives in the midst of communities which speak English or any other familiar language. Shockingly, a lot is derived just from listening to such individuals’ conversations. In most situations, the absence of any other option will eventually translate to the quick learning of the target language.

  1. Look Ridiculous.

Students across the world need to have one specific character trait. They should never give up even after constant failure. The same applies to learning how to communicate in a new language.

Eliminate your pride and accept that mistakes are a way of life.

Professionals reiterate that errors are essential to the progress of learning. It is true that the lesser you know concerning given language, the more complicated it gets to write, comprehend, and speak it. However, for people who aren’t timid or afraid to make errors, the results are rather fruitful. One rises to the stature of eloquence and speech prowess that is unrivaled and unmatched.

  1. Listen To Various Audio Files.

podcasting is convenient

It is critical to listen to audios or podcasts in a certain target language. The exercise is quite flexible because of the improved technology and innovation mechanisms in the society today.

One may, therefore, choose to listen in the car, online, or in various living environments. Observe how much content sticks within memory and understanding.

Experts in the field further advice jotting down some of the familiar but challenging terms. Refer to this words later on, and discover what they mean.

  1. Break Them Down Into Categories.

The order is essential to the success of any learning project. Arranging tasks in different categories ensures proper comprehension and objective completion.

On a weekly basis, focus on a certain type of vocabulary to tackle. Such may be transportation, agriculture, or even politics. Repeat the exercise weekly while changing the subject.

The resulting factor is that it increases content coverage and retrieval. Learning is a process and manageability is key to ensuring its effective progress and success.

  1. Educate Yourself.

Taking the initiative of learning something is probably a core principle that will greatly contribute to your eventual success.

When it comes to discovering a foreign language, such factor is fundamental. The exercise is simple and involves few points that need to be considered.

Begin by crafting a sentence or phrase which forms the basis of your interest. Proceed by pronouncing it in the target language. Research on every word or section and look for various means of constructing the sentence.

Language partners are quite important here because they greatly assist in reviewing your work and providing corrections where possible.

Again, it is necessary to remember that making mistakes is highly advisable. It is through errors that the true professionals are born.

  1. Make Use Of the Internet.

The internet nowadays provides an ease for doing things. From online shopping to online communication, the service now provides online learning.

As such, this falls as an advantageous feature for individuals looking to pick up a new language. All that is required is searching for a conversation partner through meet ups or local community festivities or events.

Note that the individuals in question should speak the target foreign language or otherwise engage in with a community or group of people who speak the language.

  1. Pretend You’re In A Restaurant Environment.

travel tips

Every day, go through a menu written in the target language and choose a preferable dish. Afterward, search for the meaning and description of the phrase.

Scholars and researchers add that the names of food choices have the ability to stick to one’s memory. Similarly, if certain translations end up being related to slugs, dogs or even sheep intestines, one will know and avoid them, unless of course such form the contents of one’s favorite dish.

  1. Watch a Movie.

Watch a foreign movie preferably without subtitles. Movies will help you understand the language as it’s usually spoken in day to day conversations amongst natives, unlike the textbook language you may learn in a classroom.

Some people may not know the language well enough to turn off the subtitles. Therefore, it is also essential to establish a list of new vocabulary terms that one picks up along the way.

Search for these words in dictionaries, online, or through other learning resources. Looking up words is the only method of ensuring proper understanding, writing, and speech delivery.

  1. Behave Like An Elementary Child.

There exist certain individuals referred to as ‘pen pals’. Even though most of us had them during our early years, becoming an adult does not necessarily mean that they are no longer needed.

While learning a foreign language, one should look for an internationally based pen pal who has interest in improving their language. Correct each others’ mistakes while still maintaining the original work of your pen pal. Eventually, both parties are sure to observe the correct spellings and formats.

  1. Make New Friends.

Lastly, building new friendships is the easiest and fastest technique to ensuring the success of any learning outcome.

When it comes to discovering new languages, this factor becomes even more critical. Hence, interested parties should begin attending parties and events of communities which communicate using the language of interest.

The above are some of the essential and creative methods of ensuring the proper understanding of any foreign language. As mentioned, personal initiative, research, and constant mistakes are more than likely able to propel the understanding and speech improvement of any target language.

See also:

22 Tips for Learning a Foreign Language
How to Learn Any Language in Record Time and Never Forget It

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 6

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.