Learning A Language? You Should Practice Everywhere

You're learning a lot of great stuff. In fact, if you've been following along with me for the past couple of weeks, you should already be surprised with how much you've already learned!

But don't forget to use it! Always remember that it's not a race, and that there are no points given to the guy who finishes the lesson first. The winner is all of us, when we can talk to more people because we've learned a new language, and the only way to get there is by practice!

Remind yourself at every opportunity — at least for a few minutes each day, but more if you can remember — to practice your new words and phrases! When you arrive at work in the morning, don't say "good morning", say Buongiorno! When you pass someone, don't say "excuse me", say scusi!

Look around you when you're at the red light and think, "hmmm how do I say red light?" You already know "red", so when you get a moment, go look up "light!" When you're at Starbucks, take note of the fact that grande means "big", caffè means "coffee", and macchiato means "stained", so when you're ordering a grande caffè macchiato, you're really asking for "a large coffee, with a blot of milk".

Try reading addresses, or posted speed limit signs in Italian. Try naming the professions of people you see: policeman, teacher, bus driver, doctor. These are all words that you have probably learned by now. Use them!


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Author: Yearlyglot
I'll lead you through a 12 month journey from knowing absolutely nothing about a language to having professional fluency.

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  • Do you start off saying these small words and phrases and then slowly build up from there, until you are saying just about everything to yourself in your target language? The problem I have is I believe that I can only start thinking in the language when I know enough.

  • Talk to myself as much as I can, and as soon as I can.I have a lot of "alone time" in my schedule (when I'm at the gym, when I'm on the bus, when I'm walking here or there) and I try to fill this alone time up with as much useful language practice as possible.In the first days or weeks, that might only amount to constructing different "hi, how are you" dialogues in as many random configurations as I can. Later, when I've learned a few basic nouns and verbs, that turns into "I see a man. A man is crossing the street. I see the man crossing the street. What is that man doing? He is crossing the street. Which man is crossing the street? That man." Etc.The biggest key to what I'm trying to do, even at the very start, is changing it up. Changing the subject, changing the predicate, changing the order in which the information is asked and answered. It may be the simplest of vocabulary, but I try to think about it in as many different contexts as possible.Naturally, when you learn more, the ability to be more elaborate increases. But there's no reason you should have to wait.Start with "man" and "street". Learn to say "walk, walks, walking". Learn to say "a", "the", "that". There's a lot you can do with very few words.Thinking in a new language comes as a result of applying many contexts, so that your brain is able to properly file the concept of a word. That's why tons of input and output are so necessary, and why the limited context of a flashcard is so bad.Or, another way to think about it... is your cup half empty or half full? The scarcity mindset says "I don't know enough", whereas the abundance mindset says "wow, just look at all the things I can do with these few words!" :)

  • I think that is why michel thomas is so popular. I have only used some pdf files I found on the internet because of the price tag but you start off with a simple word (it is) and then go onto to say things like it is possible, it is not possible, it is not possible for you etc.

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