Because of my passion for hot air ballooning and learning, I have friends from all over the world, many of whom speak primarily in their native tongue. I always admire them for trying their best to speak my language. At this stage in life, I’m interested in learning more about theirs. I liked this TEDx talk on How to Learn Any Language in Six Months, by Chris Lonsdale, Managing Director of Chris Lonsdale & Associates. The video transcripts are online in PDF format at The Third Ear. Lonsdale introduces five (5) learning principles and suggests seven (7) action steps to accomplish the task. (Video Time – 18:26 min. Over 450,00 views when I first found the video on YouTube.)
The five principles:
- Focus on language content relative to you.
- Use the new language as communication tool from the day you start to learn it.
- When you begin to understand the new language you will begin to master it unconsciously (process often referred to as comprehensible input).
- Speak the language by hearing it. The more you hear sounds, the more familiar they become.
- Make sure you are in a learning receptive state. Your psychological and physiological state makes a difference in your ability to learn. Make sure your mind is in an alpha state.
Recommended action steps:
- Listen intently to the new language being spoken.
- Understand the meaning, even before you learn to pronounce the word.
- Start building phrases and sentences by mixing up the words (subject, verb, etc.) and tie them together.
- Build more complex sentences and practice speaking them in the new language.
- Get someone to speak with you in the new language you are learning. (Skype is a great tool to aid with this when your friends live around the world).
- Copy facial expressions of people speaking the language you are learning. Get your facial muscles and body language moving in the rhythm of their speaking.
- Practice “direct connect” by connecting what you are saying to mental images and direct experiences.