Planning to: Learn a Language

Updated: Mar 8


Learning a language is a very useful tool. It expands your social network by allowing you to communicate with more people. Learning a language also allows you to explore different cultures better. Many people think that learning a language at an older age can be challenging. However, the brain is a powerful muscle and can adapt to language learning if you are consistent with your learning. The more you learn, the easier it will get. If you wish to learn a language, here is how.


Apps are a good way to get a head start in learning languages. Apps like Duolingo, Memrise, Busuu teaches basic vocabulary and grammar structure and is a convenient way to practice a new language. Apps like HelloTalk also provide the opportunity to practice saying the language which can further enhance learning. There are different apps that cater to different learning styles and needs.


However, while apps are good for learning new knowledge, it is not as effective in correcting mistakes. Most language apps point out mistakes that have been made but it might not necessarily be able to explain why the user has gone wrong. Hence, language apps should be used to kick start your learning and as an accompaniment to other ways to learn a language.


There are various language centres in Singapore that offer a wide variety of languages that you can learn. Classes are a good way to keep yourself motivated and accountable for your learning. Learning in a formal group setting can make you want to work harder and drive your competitive spirit. Teachers also provide timely feedback that can improve your learning.


The cost of language classes can add up. Fortunately, many language classes are applicable for SkillFuture credits. You can take classes at a community centre or go to a language centre.


Which language you choose matters.

There are languages that are more difficult to learn than others. Languages like Arabic, Hungarian or Japanese have complicated writing systems and grammar rules. Certain languages are also related to each other as they are derived from the same ancestral language. For example, Spanish and French are similar in vocabulary and syntax because they are both derived from Latin. This means that if you have some knowledge of either language, picking up the other will be generally easier due to their similarities.


Practice speaking the language in different situations

Practice builds familiarity with the language. Saying the language also helps with pronunciation. Practicing is also a way to self-assess how much of the language you have picked up and able to recall in different situations. While you may be able to remember structures easily in class or in the apps, answering a question asked by a native is a different challenge. Practicing allows you to apply the language.


Read children’s books

Children’s books are a way for children to learn the language. They contain simple vocabulary and short sentence structures to teach the fundamentals of the language. They also have pictures or illustrations so that you will be able to guess the meaning of the words as well. It is a simple way to enhance your learning if you are a beginner.


Learning a language is a great way to spend your retirement. If there are other things you wish to do during retirement and know more about, email us at readyornot.sg@gmail.com!


Sources: studyinternational, Business Insider