Essential Steps to Learning a Language

If you’re going to spend time learning a new language, there are several ways to go about it. You can do a crash course like an audio program in your car, Duolingo, or Rosetta Stone, but these cram too many elements all into one and it can get really confusing, especially at first.

Instead, here are six different areas you can work on simultaneously to help break down the different parts of learning a language.


You can get books on tape, listen to talk shows, sing songs, watch movies in the language, and so forth. It’s a good way to get started by listening for the overall flow and shape of the language. There are many podcasts that will help you listen in ways we never could before!


Vocab is going to be one of the areas you spend most of your time. If you don’t know the words, you can’t hope to understand what people are saying or writing. You can use tools like Memrise or Anki.


Find people to talk to in the language. You can do this through Verbling or by find a local group of people who enjoy speaking and helping others learn the language.


Reading is one way you’ll get exposed to many new words quickly. At first, you can use a grammar book for small passages, but eventually you want to read what the culture is reading, so you not only understand the language but also distinctions about their culture you can never get from a vocabulary list.


Writing is important to do as you work your way through your vocabulary so you understand how sentences are formed, where to put what when, and how. You With technology today, you can even try texting and translating messages to your new friends that you’ve met during your speaking groups!


Grammar is one of those things that you just can get around, and with a new language, it’s really important. Think of it as a reference book as you work your way through learning your language.