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What study strategies can I use to learn a new language?

I have had interest in foreign languages for a long time now. Therefore, I decided to start teaching myself Latin a few weeks ago during my free time. This, of course, is with the help of one the Latin study tools available online. However, my progress is quite slow. I am so discouraged and almost giving up. I am wondering whether there are study strategies people use to learn and speak new languages? Please help, I can barely answer a Latin study quiz without seeking help on the internet.

Curtis Rhodes

in Studying

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Donald Ward on March 2, 2018

Learning Latin is definitely hard, however with these studying strategies you see regular improvement and get on the path speaking the language fluently.

1. Motivate yourself

Learning a new language is a lot of work and will definitely take a lot of time. Motivate yourself by studying when you are energetic and fresh.

2. Start with the frequently used words

This is a good way to begin. Look for some simple and most frequently used words. A Latin study tool can help you with this. This is because these common words are the ones you will likely use first.

3. Read and write often in Latin

Read as much as you can in Latin. This should include books and articles. Try to write down what you read to see if you get the spelling correct.

4. Look for a highly skilled speaker

The best way to practice a language you are learning is to have conversations with someone else. It would be preferable to talk to someone speaking this language so that you can master the correct pronunciation and word intonation. However, Latin is not very common. But still try to look for someone who uses it.

5. Do not be afraid to make mistakes

We all learn by making mistakes. Do not be embarrassed as you will make plenty of them along the way. It is the only way you will learn. However, when you realize you have made a mistake, go back to your resources and correct yourself. Try to do this immediately not to forget.

6. Schedule frequent practice sessions

It would be more efficient to have several short language learning sessions with study quizzes than have one long session. When you wake up, take a few minutes to focus on learning Latin.

7. Become a good listener

By listening, I mean audio material in the language. Look for audio study material and listen to it frequently. You can find plenty of these online. Whenever you are bored or tired put it on and just listen.

8. Aim to learn something new every day

This is a good way to keep you on track. Make sure that a day doesn’t end without learning a new word. This will greatly build your vocabulary. Good luck!

Emily Alexandera year ago

These are excellent study strategies. I believe you will be good in Latin before you even know it. Here are some additional tips you can use:

  • Create flashcards: flashcards are easy to make, portable and efficient in learning new things. You can create these and test yourself during the day before you go to the next class or during lunch at work.
  • Always carry a dictionary with you: this is important as you can look up translations for new words. There are small pocket size dictionaries available in bookstores.
  • Download an App to monitor your progress: there are Apps that are designed for users who want to track their learning process. Look for one that is appropriate for you and download it on your phone.
  • Share your progress with friends and family: keep the people close to you in the loop for encouragement purposes.


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