Tips to Learn a Foreign Language Fast: Tasks
Tasks are relevant and set you up to learn exactly what you need. They are one of my very favorite tips to learn a language fast. Use tasks to test and build your fluency.
Tasks are the successful learner and teacher’s secret weapon. A task is a specific communicative function. For example, a task might be as simple as greeting someone. It can be much more complicated, like explaining your political views in great detail. Tasks shift the focus of language learning to what you CAN do, and not on what you CAN’T do. They keep all of your learning goals firmly focused on communication.
Tasks keep every bit of vocabulary and grammar learned in context. And the best part? Each task you learn and master spills over into others. For example, learning how to make polite requests at a restaurant transfers over into making polite requests at hotels, at the doctor’s or at a store. Each word you learn can be useful in multiple contexts. Learn enough tasks and you will be able to express whatever you wish in your target language.
Use for speaking or writing, or mix it up. Writing is the last skill we master in languages. With that said, you can use that skill you already have in your own language to learn a new one. I love to journal to learn new languages. Short periods of time work well. Choose a topic, set a timer, and write. When assessing, I don’t allow myself dictionaries or translator apps. This shows me where my gaps are. When using to actively learn a task, I allow myself whatever tools I need.
Talking to yourself is a great way to build fluency. I love to use the recording apps I listed. The recordings are a great way to hear your progress. I share mine each five weeks on my blog. You will hear mistakes and awkward pauses. It is strange to talk to yourself at first! However, it works. You will be blown away the progress you hear by talking to yourself and recording it regularly.
Use this tip to learn a foreign language fast. Get something to express yourself to (a person, a notebook, a recording app) and get expressing yourself. I love https://vocaroo.com/ and Voice Memos.
Here are some practice tasks that will help you start expressing yourself in words and phrases:
Organize a party or other special event. Describe it in as much detail as possible.
Describe in detail the foods for this party or special event.
Describe in detail what you will wear to this special event.
Create an invitation to this event.
Politely decline an event that you were invited to. Say how much you wish you could go.
Invite friends out for dinner. Propose several options for foods, venues and dates.
Describe places you normally go shopping.
Describe what you are wearing.
Describe different departments of a store.
Describe methods of payment.
Ask where an item is.
Ask a shop clerk about a specific item.
Ask how much something costs.
List as many items of clothing as you can.
Describe your tastes in clothing in as much detail as possible.
Talk about what you bought the last time you went shopping.
Talk about the sizes you take in the target language.
Talk about your favorite materials.
Talk about something you would like to buy and why.
Describe your daily routine with as much detail as possible.
Describe items you use to get ready.
Talk about where you went yesterday.
Talk about where you went last weekend.
Talk about where you went last summer.
Talk about what you did this morning.
Talk about what you did last night.
Talk about what you did last week.
Talk about what you did last summer.
Talk about what you ate last night.
Talk about what you ate last week.
Talk about what you ate on your last vacation.
Talk about an exciting vacation you took.
Describe a typical day’s menu.
Describe items available in a supermarket.
As a shop clerk where something is in a shop.
Talk about the best meal you ever had.
Describe your typical routine for shopping.
Describe your typical routine for preparing food.
Talk in great detail about your tastes and likes with regard to eating and drinking.
Talk about a great holiday meal you have had.
Describe the process to make a dish you like.
Describe a dish that sounds interesting from the target culture.
Name ten dishes you know you would never eat.
Name ten dishes you would love to try from another country.
Describe your physical appearance in great detail.
Describe the physical appearance of four people you know in great detail.
Describe what looks you think are popular today.
Describe what looks you think were popular a hundred years ago.
Describe what looks you think are popular in the target culture.
Name a famous person from the target culture.
Name someone famous you would like to meet. Why would you like to meet them?
Select a famous artist from the target culture. Describe in detail one of their works.
Describe your personality in great detail.
Describe the personality of a famous person or character in great detail.
Talk about a great celebration you have experienced.
Talk about a meal you had while camping.
Talk about a meal you had outdoors (i.e. a picnic or a barbecue).
Order food in a restaurant.
Ask for the bill in a restaurant.
Ask to pay the bill in a restaurant.
I hope you find these tips to learn a foreign language fast helpful.
Want more ways to make fast progress? Click here. This workbook has more tips to learn a foreign language fast.