10 Study Tips to learn languages
Learning a new language can be hard but there are ways you can trick your brain into learning faster without any extra effort from you! Traditional methods used to a study a new language only use parts of your brain and leave the rest of that brainpower idle. But what if you could engage other parts of your brain to help you learn simultaneously? Neuroscience has discovered that by using these tricks and brain hacks, you can learn a language faster and more easily and you’ll remember what you studied longer. IF you like our language learning secrets, don’t forget to share this article!
- DRUMMING – Did you know that infants can distinguish the sound of their native language, even before they can understand that language? Studies have shown that babies turn their heads toward the sound of people speaking their native language but don’t react to people speaking a different language. Scientists have discovered that’s because babies recognize the rhythm of their own language because they’ve heard their mother speaking it even since before birth. Additionally, some children who have learning differences, delays or disabilities and cannot talk have trouble understanding the rhythm of speech. Speech therapists sometimes use drumming to help these children learn to differentiate the rhythm of speech and to learn new words. Rhythm is biologically tied into our brains’ ability to recognize, repeat and recall words and sentences. But when we learn a new language, we often have to learn to recognize a new rhythm of speech, which can make pronunciation and comprehension difficult.
Tip: You can use drumming to help you learn a new language! When studying, you can listen to a low beat in the background to engage the parts of your brain that process rhythm. Or even better, you can drum a beat as you read words out loud. This engages your motor processes as well as the rhythm centers of your brain. When trying to learn to pronounce difficult words, drum the soft and loud emphasis to help rewire your brain to the new accent. You can use an actual drum of course, but clapping your hands, patting your legs or tapping your pen on a table all work as well.
- SMELL – Did you ever smell a certain scent such as a perfume or flowery soap and suddenly recall your grandmother? Do you smell certain foods cooking and have a flashback memory of spending the holidays with your family? What about smelling raw fish and having a memory of fishing or passing a fish market as a child? There’s a reason that smells are so closely and powerfully linked to memory. In your brain, two of the main parts that are involved in making and storing memories – the amygdala and the hippocampus – are located next to parts of the brain the process smells. When one is powerfully affected, sometimes the other is affected as well! That means you can use smell to trick your brain into learning!
Tip: When you are ready to study a language or practice your language skills, light a scented candle or incense, or spray some perfume. The smells will wake up the olfactory or smells-processing parts of your brain and cause a greater surge of brain power to the memory-storing sections of your brain, meaning you may retain that information longer and more easily without any extra effort on your part!
- EAT AND LEARN: While you’re studying, try eating to learn more. This one works hand in hand with learning while smelling, since the parts of the brain that process taste and smell are closely associated. Eating while studying also activates the “reward” focused parts of your brain that are associated with yummy tastes and calories.
Tip: When you study new words, eat something with a strong smell or taste. You can also try quizzing yourself on vocabulary and then rewarding yourself with a little snack, such as something sweet or salty, when you get a right answer.
- TALK TO YOURSELF – Did you know you can learn by listening to your own voice? Science says that may be a great way to trick your brain into learning more! There’s evidence suggesting that listening to your own voice out loud mimics “hearing” your internal dialogue, tricking multiple parts of your brain into focusing on the words. Studies have shown that you pay more attention to the sound of your own voice speaking than to others’ voices so you can keep your attention focused longer without getting distracted. This language learning secret could help you learn faster, but also help those with short attention spans, such as people with ADHD or help people who want to boost their memory to memorize a lot of information in a short time. Many professional actors and actresses who need to learn lines use this method of memorization because it’s so effective.
Tip: Record yourself reading the words or sentences you want to learn out loud. Play that recording to yourself over and over, several times a day, for a few days while you do other things. Very quickly, you’ll have learned the new words and won’t easily forget them.
- REPEAT AGAIN AND AGAIN – Did you know you can use your subconscious to learn a language? Focusing your attention on studying can be tiresome and take a long time, But your brain also learns even when you aren’t focused. You can play a recording of language in the background while you do other things and part of your brain will still listen and learn. The trick is you have to play it over and over until your subconscious picks it up.
Tip: You can use language learning software or you can use free resources that are available. YouTube is an invaluable tool for learning language. Check out the YouTube channel Education World for hundreds of free language learning videos.
- BE MUSICAL – Have you ever listened to a song in another language an you can sing all the words, even if you don’t know what they mean? How about songs that were on your favorite TV shows when you were a child. You can remember the exact words even years later! That’s because music is an extremely powerful way to learn a new language and remember it long term. MRI imaging has shown that when you listen to music, multiple areas of the brain “light up” all at once, showing that music processing is a “whole brain phenomenon”, according to the National Institutes for Health. Music engages multiple areas of your brain that deal with auditory processing, motor planning, emotional response and memory. Music makes your whole brain work together and you can use that to learn a language more easily!
Tip: You can play instrumental music and speak or sing the words you want to learn out loud with the music, since it will help stimulate your brain. You can also listen to a song with the words you want to learn or make up your own song and sing it to yourself.
- CHANT – Chanting is one of the best ways to memorize a new language. That’s why you can remember every word of the clapping chants you sang as a child in the schoolyard even many years later. This also works like drumming, by engaging the brain’s rhythm and motor processing powers in the parietal lobe, which helps you remember and recognize the information for a long time.
Tip: If you want to memorize something easily, chant it repeatedly out loud while clapping or drumming the rhythm with your hands.
- MNEMONIC DEVICS: Ever get stuck trying to remember which verbs are regular and which are irregular? Mnemonic devices can help! They are techniques you can use to help you recall complex information easily, such as a new language’s grammar rules. The trick is to associate the information with something else, such as words, sentence, a little story, a rhyme or a joke. A good mnemonic should be short, easy to recall and even funny.
Tip: Organize the information into a format you can remember. You can make an acronym, such as taking the first letters of the words you need to remember and make them spell a word, then you only need to recall the word. Or take the first letters of each word you need to remember and make up a little sentence.
- USE YOUR EMOTIONS: Think of a few personal memories from childhood you can clearly recall. They probably all have one thing in common. Many memories are associated with strong emotions such as fear, laughter, joy or anger. Our brains process strong emotional responses in the limbic system, which is one of the most ancient parts of the brain. It’s the same part of the brain where we process and store memories. You can use this to your advantage when learning a new language!
Tip: When you’re studying try to make yourself feel a strong emotion. For example, you can take a break while studying to read a couple of jokes or watch a short, funny video clip. Or study a list of words and then remember a situation where you had a strong emotional response. The feelings can help you internalize that information more effectively.
- MOVE AND SEE: We all know that taking notes can help us learn and remember a new language, but did you know that writing it down makes multiple parts of your brain work? When you write information, it makes multiple parts of your brain work. The parts that process visual input, the parts that process motor coordination and muscle movements and the parts that process language all get involved! Moving your body actually helps you learn a language better.
Tip: Get moving! You can take notes, but you can also draw pictures or graphs or write outlines or flashcards. You can even dance while studying! Anything that gets your body involved will help.
We hope this article about secret tricks and tips to make you learn a language faster was helpful. Using these science-based methods can help you learn a language faster, remember vocabulary and improve your ability to speak a different language just with these easy study techniques. If you like our articles, don’t forget to share and check out more articles for language learning tips.
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