In today’s global market, being bilingual can put you ahead of the competition. The ability to express yourself in another language means you can communicate with a far wider network of contacts, customers, and clients. It’s easy to see how your second language skills can provide your employer with an increase in revenue and a savings in resources. But it’s more personal than that; being bilingual increases your value to the company, offers exciting new opportunities both at home and abroad, and has the potential to influence salary in a positive way. It might be overwhelming to start a language study program, but if you keep your goals in mind, this is an achievable project. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. When choosing a language to study, consider the news of the day. Look for growing foreign markets, political developments, and even conflicts in, or with, other parts of the world. The ability to speak the language in any of these arenas is where the demand lies.
2. Look for a traditional face-to-face class in your chosen language. This is the most reliable method of study, but using CDs and other materials will also develop your vocabulary and provide good practice in pronunciation.
3. Don’t take shortcuts. Rote memorization has its place in all study programs, but it is most important to build a strong foundation in the structure of the language. This means you must learn the rules of grammar, punctuation, and correct word choice.
4. Be persistent. Language learning does not happen over night. That’s why acquainting yourself with fellow language learners provide a great support system for you. If you get discouraged, it is easier to remember your goals and to restore your enthusiasm if you are part of a group of similar-minded people. Having a good mentor is another way to get that encouragement. A good teacher can fill that role and provide you with ways to circumvent any setbacks. And don’t forget to stay informed through language learning blogs, articles, and other internet resources; these can provide support as well through success stories, study tips, and a sense of community.
5. Study abroad. Whether you have only just begun to study or if you have advanced significantly in your new language, nothing beats language immersion for true language acquisition. Going on a study abroad program puts you face to face with native speakers, acquaints you with the culture in which your second language predominates, and helps you to learn moment to moment as you engage others in your new language. You’ll be testing your skills, and you will be rewarded well for your efforts.
As with all new undertakings, the best way to begin is to take that first step. That step could be to determine your goals, or to pick your language, or to sign up for a class. You’ll find that each successful step leads you to further success; before you know it you will be well on your way to becoming bilingual. Don’t let monolingualism be a set back in your life. Let us know if we can be of assistance to you. We offer a variety of programs and live classes at reasonable prices. Begin learning your second language today!