When learning a language, books and self-practice can only take you so far. That’s why you must have that language practice buddy. But there’s one other important thing that I do. I speak Hindi whenever I get the chance!
Whenever I meet an Indian person during my day, I turn on Hindi mode. All-day every day I’m using others to practice my Hindi, and they’re always so happy to hear and help someone learning their language.
Of course, I live in India, so this is easy. But it’s nearly as easy back home in New Zealand.
Most of us live in countries where we come across Indian people in our daily lives. In New Zealand, it’s usually store owners I practice with. These interactions are worth their weight in gold because they help the language get stuck in your head and you get to feel the benefits of speaking another language.
Even if you only know a few words, use them with a stranger and you’ll realize how good it feels to be communicating in another language. These interactions are such positive experiences that they keep driving you to learn and speak more.
Research has shown that beginning to speak straight away and practising speaking as much as you can is how we learn languages.
Think about how a child learns his or her mother tongue. They’re repeating words and sentences all day long and trying to communicate. They say something, mess it up, and try again. It’s a loop they’re going through all day: Practice > Fail > Learn or Practice > Success > Learn. This is the attitude we too need to cultivate and keep in mind to learn a language faster.
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