1. Start language learning from verbs in the present tense
Language learning should begin with verbs. Learn to conjugate verbs in the present tense, learn the verb “to be”, then learn conjugation in past and future tenses. Learn only one form of present/past/future tense in the beginning – in this step you need to be able to say only simple things. Other tenses will be later, just a bit later. Add modal verbs and reflexive verbs then, and after verbs add other parts of speech. If your target language has cases – learn them right after verbs. Then learn other tenses. Don’t learn the pronunciation of syllables, in the beginning, learn to pronounce only special characters that you didn’t know before, and read the rules of stressed syllables if they exist or if they are not long.
2. Draw a structured plan of essential grammar
Verbs in present/past/future tenses, then cases of nouns, then genders of adjectives, or anything that you want. This plan is not about “greetings, goodbyes, how are you’s”, this is about essential grammar. A language is a grammar tree, and words are only leaves. Draw a block scheme or write a list. If you have a ready plan – you see what you’re going to do, and it will take much less time to learn. Probably you know what it’s like to learn conjugation in past perfect tense today and future progressive tomorrow without knowing what to learn next. Just imagine, you have a plan, for example:
Day 1: Verbs in the present tense, in the past tense, in the future tense, modal verbs;
Day 2: genders of nouns and adjectives, cases;
Day 3: cases, progressive tenses” and so on, depending on your target language. It will shorten the process dramatically.
3. Listen from the beginning till the fluency
Passive listening is a controversial subject, there are many opinions about the usefulness of this method. Some people say it is helpful, some say the opposite. According to my experience – it helps a lot, maybe it works not for everybody, but also it is possible that a certain person can share the opposite opinion before reaching the result. The result will be not at once, but it should be. You will listen, in the first hours and days you will not catch words from speech, but in some days you will, probably. And you will hear word constructions and sentences, and it will get better and better. Once you will even start to understand songs in your target language. Do passive listening, it is analog to the language environment in your current location. Also, passive listening can be used for memorizing pronunciation instead of long and boring memorization of rules of pronunciation. Use language exchange chats.
4. Think in the target language
From the very beginning, start thinking in your target language using all that you know, even if you know three words only and only one tense. Change the words of your native language in your thoughts. If you don’t know how to say something, try to create good nonsense in your mind. For example, if you forgot the word “matches” – mind something like “stuff that makes fire”, do it in the target language.
5. Listen to songs in your target language!
There is a lot of music in all languages, not only in English and Spanish! When you learn a language, you can find a lot of songs that would become your favorite ones. And they will help you learn a language: find lyrics and translate all words that you don’t know yet, and then listen again sometimes, and you will increase your vocabulary and perception skills.
After reading and/or implementing these five things in language learning, it’s time to analyze the previous process and compare it with the current process. When you start to learn a new language, try starting from verbs, then make write a plan, do passive listening and think in your target language. Listen and translate songs in the target language. Then analyze the results! All of these tips will allow you to speak in hours, not years!