What is ‘multilingualism’? 

Learning how to speak another language challenges all of us, and becoming truly fluent can feel like a daunting goal. We make the most out of the resources within our reach, whether they be a pocketbook of translations, mobile apps, or the handful of vocabulary we learned a few years ago. As the world becomes more globalized, multilingualism becomes more common and technology gives each of us easier access to resources. ‘Multilingualism’ refers to acquiring multiple languages foreign to the speaker. Not only can being multilingual bring an abundance of professional opportunities, but it can also enrich a person in another culture by opening them up to a multitude of new experiences. Achieving strong proficiency in a foreign language, while challenging, is possible by following simple yet effective study tips! 

Difficulties of Learning Another Language 

One reason as to why becoming proficient in a foreign language is difficult is that common teaching methods such as workbook exercises and reciting key phrases decrease students’ interest in learning therefore impacting their motivation to move forward to a higher level. These rigid forms of instruction intend on building a solid foundation of basics for students, however the benefits of this groundwork become lost to learners. Boredom, frustration, and disinterest often develop thus leading to students only memorizing key points for exams in order to maintain their grade in their language class.  

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Study Tips 

The key to becoming multilingual is by increasing students’ interest in learning foreign languages. By fostering excitement in learners, becoming proficient no longer seems intimidating but rather developing advanced proficiency naturally occurs. Here are our five sustainable study tips for speaking foreign languages faster and more effectively: 

1.- Consume media in another language within your interests!

  • Music, films, television shows, books, comics, games, and YouTube videos are not only entertaining in your native tongue but foreign languages as well. 
  • By consuming these forms of media you will also develop a stronger interest in the culture.
  • With the internet, exploring entertainment from around the world has never been easier and more accessible.
  • Start off with subtitles and gradually you will be able to recognize vocabulary, expressions, and grammatical structures. Before you know it  you will be able to rely less on subtitles!

2.- Practice beyond the classroom and actively apply it in real-life settings! 

  • If you live in a diverse community, going to stores and restaurants owned by those of that culture and putting your skills to the test will naturally improve your proficiency!
  • Simple introductions and questions such as “how much is this” are great beginner-friendly situations which will solidify your speaking level.
  • Rather than studying a foreign language only for tests, active application creates life-long improvements. 

3.- Find a language partner!  

  • Befriending a native speaker of the language you are learning both serves as an enjoyable social experience as well as a linguistic challenge.  
  • Language partners allow for building proficient conversational skills in a natural setting which hone in on the basics.
  • Utilizing common everyday language also will impress native speakers as you gradually speak more like them!
  • You can find language partners to interact with via mobile apps such as HelloTalk which match your proficiency level to those who are also looking to speak your native language, creating an interactive space for the both of you.

4.- Write journal entries in that language 

  • If you are an avid writer who enjoys creating daily journal entries, switching languages serves as an excellent method to improve your writing proficiency.  
  • By implementing the vocabulary and grammatical structures you are learning, journals allow you to make mistakes and incredible improvements along the way.
  • It can be difficult to express yourself naturally in a foreign language than you would in your native language, however even a few sentences will strengthen your skills for the long-term. 

5.- Find a community 

  • Clubs and groups of friends are tried and true methods for expressing your excitement for the languages and cultures you are interested in.  
  • By exchanging foreign movie, music, and television show recommendations with each other you will also form strong bonds with your peers on an interpersonal level.  
  • Having a group of people who share the same interest in the language you are learning will motivate you to keep pursuing your goal and maintain your momentum.  

Study Languages with GTL 

All of the tips listed above are affordable and do not require extraordinary means of accessing, allowing you to become multilingual in an environment most comfortable for you. As stated in the fifth tip, having a supportive community to exchange passions with both improves your language skills and increases your enrichment in the culture. Here at Global Talent Link, we emphasize the value of building international perspectives as the benefits of experiencing foreign cultures is life-changing. In our Global Prep services, Learners have the opportunity to form clubs, study a multitude of languages, and have Linkers to assist in navigating through the study abroad process. Whether you are interested in pop culture or attending a university overseas, Global Talent Link will make your multilingual dreams come true.