Best Language Learning Method For Adults: Simple Guide In 9 Steps
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Are you in your 20s or 30s, even 40s, and you still have the desire to learn a foreign language? Have people around you been telling you that it’s too late to learn a language in your age? That it’s going to be very difficult?
In this article, I will convince you that none of this is true. In fact, anybody can learn a foreign language. No matter how old you are and where you are. You don’t need to have a special talent for languages. The only thing you only need is to follow a good language learning method, fall in love with learning languages, and stay motivated. This way, you’ll succeed.
This article will reveal to you the best language learning method for adults. So you can start learning your foreign language from now on.
Best Language Learning Method For Adults
I want to now share with you a method for learning languages as an adult. If you are a complete beginner and don’t know where to start, here is what you can do:
- Choose a language, write down your motivation & clear reasons
- Select 5 topics (situations) in which you want to learn vocabulary
- Choose words you’ll need to communicate in each situation
- Learn vocabulary within each topic
- Start listening to dialogues with a language app
- Stick to the language learning for at least 2 months
- Incorporate more language resources
- Practice speaking with a language partner
- Go on a trip overseas & practice your language skills
Step-By-Step Guide For Learning A Foreign Language As A Beginner Adult
I want to break each step down for you. You’ll find out what you need to do exactly to be successful in language learning.
1. Choose A Language & Write Down Your Motivation & Clear Reasons
So firstly, choose one language you want to learn. After, write down your motivation and reasons why you want to learn the language in your language notebook. Writing down your motivation is very important at the beginning of your language learning journey. It will keep you motivated when you feel like letting it go. Once you have it, think about clear reasons why you want to learn the language. It can be for travel, a job, working abroad, or just for fun.
You can now get my language travel notebook for free. It will help you to learn vocabulary efficiently. You can also write down your motivation and clear reasons. And it will help you to set up achievable language learning goals. All this will motivate you throughout your language learning process.
2. Select 5 Topics (Situations) In Which You’ll Lern Vocabulary
When you have the motivation, reasons, and goals, let’s start with our language learning.
The first thing I want you to do is to write down at least 5 topics (situations) within which you’ll speak the foreign language.
Example: Let’s say you want to learn a language for travel (that’s what I teach my audience here on this site). Think about topics (situations) in which you’ll speak the language when travelling. It can be: in a hotel, in a restaurant, booking a sightseeing tour, at the airport, or in a bakery. So my topics (situations) will be:
- Booking a sightseeing tour
The reason why I tell you to choose the topics is that it will keep you on track with your language learning, and you won’t get lost or unmotivated. This way, you’ll have a clear pathway of learning and where you are in the language process. In addition, it will give you motivation once you check off the one topic you’ve learned.
3. Choose Words You’ll Need To Communicate In Each Situation
Once you have your topics, it is time to get round to learning.
Choose one topic you want to start with. Then, think about all the words you’ll need to speak within that topic (situation). Next, write these words in your native language. After, translate these words into your target language using an online translator such as DeepL. Don’t forget to listen to the pronunciation of each word and repeat it. It is important to know how to pronounce these words correctly from the beginning.
Focus on 10 words per day. It is enough.
Don’t forget to listen to the pronunciation of each word and repeat it. It is important to know how to pronounce these words correctly from the beginning.
I guide you step-by-step through topic selection and writing specific vocabulary within the topic in my separate article. Check out the best way to learn a language by yourself to find out more.
4. Learn Vocabulary Within Each Topic
Once you have your 10 words written in your native language and translated into your target language, start learning these words. I have some great ideas for you to learn vocabulary fast and in a fun way. Check out my article about how to learn vocabulary fast and choose your favourite method to learn vocabulary.
You’ll create flashcards, play pexeso, associate words with images, and a lot more. All these techniques will help you to learn your new vocabulary.
Congratulations, you’re now fully learning your target language. It is time to add some resources.
5. Start Listening To Dialogues With Language App
You’ll need some good resources to boost your language process. I recommend you start with a language app. Another thing you should do is to focus on listening. It will help you to understand the language and catch the right pronunciation.
Use a language app to learn basic vocabulary
I always recommend LanguagePod101 to my readers. It is a language app that works with real-life conversations and is based on dialogues. It is amazing at the beginner stage of language learning. You’ll learn necessary words in context (in real dialogues), which will make it easier for you to understand. I don’t like to learn basic single words such as hello, how are you, goodbye just like that alone. It is better to listen to them in a conversation. That’s why I recommend you choose LanguagePod101.
It also provides you with flashcards for each dialogue, which I highly recommend using. I suggest you learn your topic words using flashcards. LanguagePod101 has flashcards for the basic words you’ll learn when listening to their conversations, so check it out. You don’t have to create them on your own.
Check out my article about the best language app and decide for yourself.
Keep writing down new vocabulary into your language notebook once you start listening to the dialogues with a language app. You don’t have to write every single word. Just write some that are important for you to remember.
6. Stick To The Language Learning For At Least 2 Months
I recommend you stick to these learning processes for at least two months as an absolute beginner. Focus on your topic specific vocabulary you write down and listen to the conversation from LanguagePod101 each day. Either you can listen to 1 conversation per day or focus on 1 conversation for 2 days. Leave yourself as much time as you need. The most important thing here is to catch as many basic words as possible and remember them.
How to work with a language app
For example, you can listen to one dialogue in a day and write important vocabulary into your notebook. The next day, listen to the same dialogue and verify if you remember the words and understand the context of the dialogue. If you feel comfortable with the dialogue, go for the next one. Don’t rush. Just make sure your brain processes the dialogues in a way you understand and remember the words.
Additionally, I recommend you play with the dialogue a bit. Listen to the dialogue and then repeat each sentence out loud. Use voice recognition to practice the pronunciation of the words from the dialogue. Make sure to learn how the words and sentences are pronounced. Don’t only focus on learning vocabulary. This is very important.
7. Incorporate More Language Resources
Once you learn the basics of your foreign language, it will be time to incorporate more resources into your language learning.
Choose a language book
I recommend you choose one book and start reading. Keep up with listening to the podcasts (conversations) from LanguagePod101. And add one book you can read in the language. I suggest you read the 101 Conversations in Simple ‘Language.’ It is best to start with as a beginner. The book uses simple and everyday vocabulary that will be useful. Check out my article about the best foreign language books and choose an interesting book for you.
Choose a language magazine
Also, you can use foreign language magazines as a great source for reading. They are full of pictures and interesting texts about culture, events, and traditions from particular countries. You can also cut the pictures and create your own flashcards to learn new words. Possibilities are endless. Pick your favourite foreign language magazine and learn how to use it to learn a language.
When reading books and magazines, I also recommend you write new vocabulary down into your language notebook. This will help you to memorize the words. But don’t write too many words. You don’t have to understand everything from the beginning. Instead, always focus on a few words and try to memorize them using techniques for vocabulary learning.
Language podcasts & more
After you read your first book, you can incorporate other language resources such as the best language learning podcasts and do your favorite activity in the foreign language. Get inspiration for other language resources and choose your perfect match. Remember to enjoy the learning process. So choose resources that will help you love the learning process.
8. Practice speaking with a language partner
Congratulations. You’ve learned a lot and made a big step ahead in your language learning. Whenever you feel comfortable and have learned the basics of your foreign language, it’s time to practice speaking.
Speaking is one of the most important skills of language learning. I recommend you start practicing it as soon as possible. The trick here is to learn basic vocabulary such as greetings, basic sentence structure, colours, food and drinks, a few adjectives. You can learn all of this with the language app. And, of course, learn words within the topics (situations) you chose at the beginning. Once you know these basics, it is time to practice speaking.
Practice speaking on iTalki
The best way to practice your speaking skills is on iTalki. You can choose your language partner and start speaking for the price of a cup of coffee. I always use iTalki when learning a new language. It motivates me with interesting conversations I have with my tutors. And it gives me confidence in speaking.
You can now get 10$ credit after your first lesson on iTalki when you use this link to sign up for it. So find a tutor for your language and register for a free lesson with him. After, you can decide whether you like it or not. If you don’t like it, you can change your tutor. Or you can simply continue practicing with the same tutor.
Learn more about iTalki and how it works in my separate article. Or register and get 10$ credit after your first lesson.
9. Go on a trip overseas & practice your language skills
Amazing. Congratulations. You’ve now made it. You have done everything to learn your foreign language. You’ve put effort into learning vocabulary. You’ve been listening to dialogues and reading books and language magazines. And most importantly, you’ve been practicing your speaking skills.
When you feel like it’s time to take your language learning to the next level, go to the country where your language is spoken, and practice it with locals.
Travel abroad & practice speaking in each situation
I recommend traveling abroad and practicing your language in the situations you’ve initially written down into your language travel notebook. Practice the vocabulary in each topic (the situation you chose). Book a hotel online in a foreign language. Go to the airport and speak in the language. After, do check-in in a hotel speaking the language. And order food in a restaurant in your foreign language. You’ll see how satisfying it is.
This is the best language learning method for adults and the way how I learn foreign languages. It has helped me learn 3 for the past 6 years (German, Spanish, English). I simply follow this method I’ve explained to you. Once I can and feel like I’ve learned everything within my topics (situations), I book a flight or a train to the destination and practice the language in each situation.
It is so satisfying and rewarding. If you need inspiration for things to do in European countries, check out my travel itineraries. I designed these travel itineraries for a few days in each country so that you can get the most out of your trip.
More Tips On Language Learning
This is the best language learning method for adults. And it really works. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Tell me which language you want to learn and how you’re progressing with the method.
If you need a travel itinerary for a country to practice your language, you can always contact me. I’ll design a travel itinerary based on your interests and needs.
If you’d like to know how much it takes to learn a language on each language level, read my article about language learning goals. At the end of this article, I explain how long it takes to get to each language level.
Check out the best app to watch TV shows in different languages. It’ll help you to learn new vocabulary in context, which is the best way to learn any languge.
Happy Language Learning!