Tips for Foreign Language Teachers

I admire those who are multi-lingual. Like many, I took French in high school, and I once knew American Sign Language from living next door to a hearing-impaired family. But I have forgotten both languages. I live in California and find that if I learned Spanish, it would be very helpful in my work. I also work with great Mandarin-speakers who tried to teach me some Chinese phrases.

Why learn a new language? Some learn for travel; others, as says, for business; and still others just want to be able to communicate with others who speak a different language. So how do you get started?

  • Get motivated and stay motivated. Determine that learning a language is necessary for you.
  • Assess where you are now, what learning materials you have, and any experience with this language.
  • Set realistic goals, especially if you are busy. If you try to do too much and don't meet your goals, you might give up too soon.
  • Create steps to help you meet your goals with the idea of the type of method you want to use. Another option that is necessary is to include an audio method so you can hear the words and phrases you are trying to learn.
  • Start studying your new language every day, even for 5 or 10 minutes. Ideally, you should study an hour or more every day, but this is just not practical for most people. If you can get at least a half-hour of study time once or twice a week, that's pretty good too. But here is the key - make sure you get a little review and study time every single day, even if it is for just 5 or 10 minutes.

The Internet has thousands of resources for learning languages. Here's just a few sites to get you started:

Tools to Learn Multiple Languages

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