Train your ear to understand a foreign language

Emanuel Longo | September 23, 2011
Train your ear to understand a foreign language

We’ve talked in the past about how to supplement your language classes at home, taking full advantage of free and easy-to-use resources.

A post on Lifehacker gives you a different way to learn a language on your own: dictation. By listening to a piece of audio in the language of your choice and writing down what you hear, you’ll improve your listening skills — and your ability to communicate with native speakers.

That’s because listening is essential for engaging in conversations with speakers of a foreign language — and with speakers of any language. One-sided conversations are great and all, don’t get me wrong, but isn’t it more entertaining and lively if both people understand the topic and can contribute to it?

Learning to read, write and speak a language is an impressive thing, but if you can’t understand it, what’s the point? Most people don’t spend time and money to learn a new language just for the sake of knowing another language; they want to be able to use the language.

The best way to learn the art of conversing in a new language is obviously to speak with speakers of the language (who are easy to find online now, thanks to sites such as Livemocha), but if you’re still too shy or not quite at the level to have a full-blown conversation, try your hand at this dictation method.

The method can be time-consuming, but for anyone who’s serious about learning a new language, the approach may be worth a shot.

Read the original article here: The Most Effective Method for Learning a Language Alone

Have you used a similar method for learning a language? Which is your favorite at-home language learning technique?

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