How to learn foreign languages the new way?

how-to-learn-languages-the-new-way

Hello everyone! My name is Natalia Kuznetsova, a professional Spanish and English private tutor on groupado. I chose groupado as a platform for online learning because I see so much potential in collaborating with a global community full of talented and inspiring personalities. Besides, as we can see, so many professional areas require speaking a foreign language fluently and confidently – this is where I step it to contribute to your development.

how to learn languages

Let me briefly introduce myself. Having 10 years of professional experience in teaching, I give individual and mini-group sessions to students aged 15+ and provide corporate lessons. Moreover, I have 3+ years of international corporate experience working in Mexico City, Miami, and Dubai, aiding in marketing, public relations, and business development. Currently, I am combining teaching languages with other projects: being a marketing specialist, business assistant, freelance translator, and content creator. I have visited 65+ countries, and I am more than happy to bring my international experience to the class if needed and advise you on preparing for a job interview, reviewing your CV and Cover Letter together – or simply talk about cultural adaptation and tips when moving to a new country. 

Another professional area that I truly love is event management. Having 5+ years of global event-management experience, I specialize in B2B-events and business meetings on the executive level, assisting at the negotiations. The brightest events I participated in are: Prosperity Capital Management Forum focused on finance and public investment opportunities, Antares Business Forum inspiring online business and creative solutions, or Aqdar World Summit in the UAE bringing together decision-making academics. Taking part in FIFA World Cup 2018 in Moscow as a VIP Travel Coordinator was something completely extraordinary: seeing so many people from all over the world cheering their national soccer teams gives you so much positive energy and endless opportunities to get to know other cultures. 

languages and event management

By the way, I speak 8 languages in total, including my mother tongue, Russian. Honestly, sometimes it feels a lot ☺ but at the same time I’m so glad to communicate with people and speak their language. To tell the truth, my favorite language is Spanish: passionate, melodic, the language of love and emotions. Besides, I also enjoy speaking English, Italian, French, German, and I am currently learning Portuguese and Arabic (which is the hardest language I have ever taken up).  However, I am not bilingual, and I have learned most of these languages by taking online classes – that’s why I see lots of potential in distance learning and studying even while staying at home during the lockdown: in my opinion, it’s time-efficient and convenient even for people with a very busy agenda. 

In this article, I’m sharing with you some tips and ideas to bring your studying process to the next level – and yield visible results while enjoying the language you have chosen and having fun. Let’s start!

Set your learning objectives together with your tutor

When we see learning languages as a marathon with a finish line to reach, we become more goal-oriented and focused on the results. Before starting the course, think about the achievements you’d like to get. The following questions may help you: 

  • What level am I currently on? 
  • What progress do I want to make within a given period (3 months | 6 months | 1 year)? 
  • What are the areas that require improvement in the first place in my case (Grammar | Communication | Writing skills)? 

Setting the objectives from the very beginning allows you to monitor your success and keep track of your sessions. Besides, it is always easier to move step by step when walking in the right direction. By the end of the month, I usually send out an individual progress report to my students: this way, we can see the material revised, new topics taken and vocabulary topics learned. Apart from that, we can also update current objectives and add up new sources of information and manuals if needed. 

Practice makes perfect

As much as it is tempting not to do your homework after the class, I’d advise you to put your attention to it, as long as your schedule allows. Learning something new at the lesson is always exciting – but an important part of the whole process is to retain the information and have additional practice at home, so that next time we can move forward faster. After each lesson, I normally give written and oral tasks to work on all language aspects. Actually, homework doesn’t mean being time-consuming and boring. Some tasks don’t take more than 15 minutes of your time, and they are usually creative and based on original texts and videos: speaking about national holidays and sharing interesting traditions, discussing Instagram bloggers and YouTube channels, watching TedTalks or motivational speeches. And if there is anything you have to do for the office – like preparing an impressive presentation or writing a persuasive email to your potential client – we can definitely work on it during the lesson, too!

Use the digital world at your advantage

Nowadays we have so many apps and technologies at our disposal – let’s take advantage of them and introduce them to the learning process! When starting to learn a language, I always advise watching movies in the original: on Netflix, YouTube, and other video platforms. You can work on your vocabulary thanks to such apps as LinguaLeo or DuoLingo, even when you are on the go. Besides, you can follow your favorite bloggers, opinion leaders, and motivational speakers on key social networks: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. This way, you can interact with engaging content and study at the same time! 

Be an active part of your learning experience

When teaching, I expect my students to be actively involved during the class – and this interaction usually brings the best results. Don’t be afraid to ask your tutor some questions, even when they are not directly related to the topic of your lesson. It’s always great to broaden the horizon and get feedback about the aspects you find important. For example, with some students I arrange a 5-minute Q&A session at the beginning of the class: this way, we can discuss the questions efficiently and move on to the main information of the lesson. 

Let your life experiences be your teacher

Your learning process does not finish outside the classroom: it can be boosted thanks to your lifestyle and activities! Try to use your target language in everyday situations to put it into practice: for instance, speak with the locals during your trips, talk to the aircraft crew or hotel personnel during vacations, or communicate with your overseas colleagues at conference meetings. In fact, the opportunities to use the language we learn can find us anywhere: the idea here is to forget about strict rules for some time and simply enjoy having a conversation. For me, nothing feels better than talking to people with different cultural backgrounds in their language and learn so much from them – and what about you guys? 

language practice

What ideas and techniques do you use to learn a foreign language? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear about your personal experience!

And in case you have some questions or doubts, I’m happy to offer an introductory 30-min session free of charge to discuss the program and your expectations, evaluate your current level and answer any questions you may have. Please DM me for any enquiries – I am keeping in touch with you.

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