How to learn a language

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm convinced that when it comes to being a "missionary" (we're all missionaries as Christians) that language is crucial. Here in Nashville we are surrounded by people from all over the world. Nashville has the largest Kurdish population in the United States and there are more Nepali and Burmese people here than I've ever seen anywhere else. 

It's really hard to share the Gospel with these people if we can't speak their language. It has made me realize how important the language will be when we move to Guatemala in September.  

I know many of my readers aren't in the same shoes I'm in. You're probably not gearing up to move to another country anytime soon. But that's ok. I'm going to share some language tips with you anyway :) 

Learning another language, or just brushing up on the Spanish you were taught in high school, can be helpful even if you aren't planning on living in another country. 

Mitch and I are by no means language experts, but here are some tips that have helped us. 

1. Go to your local library and begin reading children's books in another language. 
2. Watch your favorite tv show's or movies in another language and/or with subtitles. 
3. Make a LiveMocha account. 
4. Set your phone, Facebook, or any other media site to the language you're wanting to learn. 
5. Listen to music in a different language. 
6. Practice reading out loud in the language you're trying to learn. This will help with pronunciation. 
7. Label your apartment/home with sticky notes. 
8. Download apps for your iphone or android.
9. Buy some workbooks and practice working through them. 
10. Memorize a lot of vocab! Here is a link to more specific ways to do so: vocabulary
11. Study, study, study! Language is repetition and if you don't use it, you'll lose it! 

I hope these tips can be useful to someone out there. Please pray for Mitch and I as we continue to study Spanish. Most people consider us to be fluent, however we have not yet reached our goal of what we consider fluency. We want to effectively be able to communicate the Gospel in Spanish! 

Antigua, Guatemala

Dios te bendiga (God bless you),

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