Learn Any Language

Written by Nicole Scheidl

February 2, 2011

How to Learn Any Language by Barry Farber is an engaging, entertaining and most importantly effective approach to learning any language. He outlines four simple concepts that can have you speaking, reading, writing and enjoying any foreign language fairly quickly. For some individuals learning a new language may be necessary for professional reasons, for others the reasons are more social or cultural. There is nothing like gaining insight into a culture by learning its language. This is a simple overview of his approach:

Concept One: The Multi-Track Attack. By using all the latest language tools such as podcasts, CDs, flash cards, dictionaries and grammar books an individual will accelerate their learning and eliminate boredom. Barry sets out a systematic method to using all these tools to increase the tempo of language learning and keep you motivated to continue.

Concept Two: Harnessing Hidden Moments. Take your flash cards wherever you go and harness those hidden moments. Whenever you find yourself waiting, for the elevator, in the grocery checkout, for an appointment, even for the person on the other end of the phone to say hello; if you have five seconds you have enough time to pull out the flash cards.

Concept Three: The Magic Memory System. In the book he outlines Harry Lorayne’s Magic Memory Aid. It enables you to learn vocabulary through a unique word capture system. Essentially using the power of story-telling to aid your memory, you embed the word into your mind with a humorous image or story. The image or story will eventually disappear but the word will stay.

Concept Four: Take the Plunge. His final piece of advice is to talk, write and continue to learn. Learn a few utility phrases in your language of choice – “I don’t speak your language well”, “Please speak more slowly”, “Sorry, I don’t understand” and then find a native speaker and launch into the world of your new language. Use those moments when you are speaking with a native speaker to ask for new words, explanations of words or phrases you don’t understand and have them correct your pronunciation. While you may have a repertoire in that language the person you are speaking to inevitably has a greater one, so reach in and help yourself.

Whatever your reason for learning a new language, your brain will certainly be stronger and healthier for engaging in the process and the doors it will open for you will enrich your life.

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