For Learning A Foreign Language
If you want to learn a new language, then there are definitely a few tried and true strategies and tips that you can take advantage of to enhance your success and even have a bit more fun in the process! The thing about learning a new language is that time and repetition are key. The best ways to alleviate boredom and keep yourself on track (especially if you're doing it at home) are to have some fun and make the best use of your time.
1. If at all possible, watch TV or movies in the language that you're trying to learn. Really pay attention and try to understand on your own. Keep an ear out for words and phrases that you've learned. To make this easier, you can turn on English subtitles.
2. Read books / magazines / newspapers in the language of your choice. This is very similar to the first tip, but slightly different in that you'll be seeing the words in front of you and reading them, which is a slightly different learning method than listening.
3. Get a tutor! Look around for international college students in your area who might want to earn some extra money. Use them to help build your conversational skills. The best way to learn a language is to use it, and this is one of the best ways if you can't go to a place where the language is natively or frequently spoken.
4. Commit to at least an hour a day. Depending on how fast you want to learn a new language, commit yourself to spending an hour a day on it. This is how much time you'd be spending anyway if you were taking a class at school, so don't think you can get away with spending less time just because you're doing it from home. However, it's known that intensity tends to override time spent. For example, spending 4 hours a day for two weeks is better in the long run than spending 1 hour a day for eight weeks.
5. Start with the 100 most common words. A simple internet search will yield the most common words used in a language (or any language, for that matter). If you can't find a list in the language of your choice, then print out a list in English and do the translations by hand. This will give you the most useful words so that you can have even the most rudimentary of conversations.
6. Practice in your head when you can. This is one of the best ways to make use of spare time. If you're ordering a pizza, think about how you would say it in the language that you're learning. Even if you're going to turn off the lights in the bathroom, think about how you would say it! This is a great reinforcement technique.