I’ve always been intrigued by language. Having been a fan of the subject English from a young age, in particular creative writing, and evidently still being one, the art of language is something that has captured me in the same way that others are captured by modern art, or poetry.
Not being a stranger to different languages, I have a basic knowledge of Italian, which I kept learning intermittently after taking the subject at GCSE, though in the last 12 months, I fear I have forgotten a lot. I also have a basic knowledge of B.S.L, which stands for British Sign Language. Last summer I decided to learn the visual language through songs that I would teach myself through YouTube videos and B.S.L apps on my phone.
My goal for this year is to learn Spanish. Though it may be February, it is still early in the year and so I name it my “February Year Resolution”. The resolution you can make after a busy January that sees you break all your resolutions as you focus on post-Christmas routines.
So why am I set on learning a new language?
Apart from me simply having a clear love of languages, learning a new language also has many benefits for oneself too, certainly mentally. As the below infographic mentions, a second language can increase your brainpower, help you to develop a better knowledge of cultural diversity, and certainly opens up options for travel to areas where English is not widely spoken.
How do I plan to learn Spanish?
Like many people, repetition, and learning through different learning styles works best for me. Thus, I plan to learn Spanish in a range of ways.
Whilst I’m busy, I plan to often listen to Spanish music in the background. Though it is unlikely that I may pick up new words this way, what I can do is get used to the sound of the language.
When I’m not so busy, and have time to really focus on picking the language up, I plan to use the app Duolingo, which many have recommended to me. The mobile app helped me pick Italian back up previously, so I know it can really help.
Secondly, I will look at finding YouTubers, specifically YouTubers who help English speaking people to learn Italian. What’s great about learning through video form, is that not only can you listen to Italian, but quite often YouTubers may pop the words on the screen too, so you learn pronunciation of words at the same time. It’s fun, it’s snappy, and it has a personal feel.
As well as the above techniques, I’m looking at enrolling onto an online course. Online courses in modern foreign languages tend to be really helpful. Some offer end of module quizzes and scores, which can help you to easily identify what you have done well, and what you need to go away and focus more on, both of which help you to form a better understanding of the language. At the end of most online courses, you are often rewarded with a certificate too, to prove the skill that you have learnt. It’s certainly a skill that can be handy for as long as you let it be.