I haven't come across any new courses lately, but I still wanted to make a post. So here it is. Ten tips for learning a foreign language.
1. Label EVERYTHING. That's right. I said label everything. Go around your house and label everything in the language you're learning. If you are learning Spanish then label your wall "la pared" and your door "la puerta". If you see the words all the time they'll stick in your head!
2. Find someone to talk to in the language. You could find someone who speaks the language and is learning your language to video chat with. Or if you're shy you could use a messenger or chat room like Espanglish Chat.
3. Make flashcards. You can get Flashcards at a local store in the school supply section fairly cheap usually. They should be a dollar or less for the kind that have lines on one side. Make a bunch of cards using fat black marker so the words are easy to see.
4. Use the flashcards for games. Play different games with the flashcards. You can play Memory.
For Memory write the word in your target language on one card and your native language on a separate card. Lay the cards out in a grid or have someone do it for you. To play, you have to match the word in the target language with the word meaning the same thing in the native language.
Fishing For Words
This one is a little messier. It's a bit sillier and might be easier for younger kids. You could play it against a friend.
For this one you only need cards with the word on the front and back. Throw all of the cards into a pile. This is the lake. Now take turns picking up a card. Guess what the word means. If you get it right you get to to keep the card. The person with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
5. Invest in a dictionary. If you speak English and are learning Spanish then invest in a Spanish-English dictionary. You get the idea. Whenever you are writing or practicing and you need to look a word up you can just open your dictionary and search for it.
6. Find a show to watch in the language. When I was learning German I found a show called Lauras Stern which I watched on Youtube. I watched one episode after every German lesson I took. I think it boosted my comprehension quite a bit! It also gave me a confidence boost when I understood a lot of what they were saying.
7. Writing exercise are a must! You can disagree with me, but didn't you use writing exercises in school to learn your first language? If you are shy you can simply do writing exercise and write what you know down on a piece of paper. If you are feeling brave you can post your writing exercise on http://www.lang-8.com which is a site specifically for language learners to do writing exercises.
8. Read in the language. It's important to be able to read in your target language, especially if you are interested in its literature. Reading can also help you understand spelling and word pronunciations that might have confused you otherwise. You can read books in different languages at http://www.childrenslibrary.org. They have books in several language. Or you can search for books in your target language on eBay.
9. Talk to your dog in the target language! Or your cat. Or your pet goldfish. Or your favourite stuffed animal. Yes, it sounds silly. But you probably talk to your pet all the time anyway, so why not talk to them in your target language? They won't judge you and this provides a judgement-free way to practice the language. Go for it!
10. Don't stop studying! Keep practicing. Because a foreign language is a garden that needs to be watered or it will die. If people don't use a foreign language they often forget it. Just ask your parents if they remember anything from their high school language class. So study a little bit every day.
I hope these language learning tips help you!