One of the popular language-learning applications, Memrise, is getting more attention in today’s generation. Whenever you want to learn a new language as a beginner, you always opt for the easiest and most convenient way — and that’s where Memrise stands out. This platform will surely help you learn about 2000-3000 words and phrases of your chosen language; anytime and anywhere!
But once you’ve finished the lessons in Memrise, what’s next?
Surely you already know several words by now. It’s the main purpose of Memrise to teach you the basics of a language. Even though you memorized thousands of new words, it won’t help you perfect the language if you just stop right HERE, because you’re done with Memrise. Once you’ve completed all the lessons, you need to continue learning more. Your next goal is to improve your reading, speaking, writing, and listening skills — with the help of what you’ve learned from Memrise.
But of course, just because you’re done with Memrise doesn’t mean that you’ll abandon this platform. Remember, Memrise was your best friend when you were still ignorant about a language.
Let’s pretend that “Memrise” is a human name — your best friend’s name. Even though both of you are way too busy with your own lives, you still have the time to meet or at least talk over the phone. That’s what you should also do. Study the lessons again (particularly the ones that were difficult for you) once or twice a week. This is one of the effective ways to review the new words you’ve learned.
Improve Your Vocabulary and Grammar
First things first, you need to practice everything that Memrise taught you, starting with vocabulary and correct grammar use. To do that, you need to study like a child.
What I mean here is that you should start with the basics. Learn new vocabularies one by one with the help of children’s books, flashcards, and kid’s dictionaries. Yes, Memrise already taught you about 3,000 words. Dude, that’s only 3,000! That’s not even half of the final count! Let’s take Spanish as an example. The Spanish language has about 150,000 official words! Do you think 3000 words are enough to say that you’re Spanish is proficient? I bet not. That’s why you need to learn new words every day. Memrise is just your head start. You still need to continue studying. You’re now like a 2-year-old kid who’s still learning new words one by one.
Now that you know how to improve your vocabulary, the next question here is how to improve my grammar?
That’s a great question. How do you think 2-year-old kids improve their grammar? Yes, it’s because their parents taught them. They slowly learned how to make a sentence because of their environment — from their families and from what they can hear around them.
However, you’re an adult now. You cannot ask your parents, “Hey mom, could you please help me make a sentence using these words?” What you should do here is to find a language coach who can personally teach you. If it’s inconvenient for you to attend one-on-one classes every day, you can try learning a language in the best language exchange sites. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways on how to improve your grammar. The tutors will teach you the grammar rules and correct you if you have any mistakes.
Another way is to enroll in a learning institute. You will meet some friends who are studying the same language as yours. That way, you can help each other in learning especially on the most difficult rules of grammar.
Those are just some of the effective ways on how to improve your grammar. But I’m not saying that you need to spend money just to improve your vocabulary and grammar. Having a tutor is a plus, but you can still study a language without having one. You might want to check out this article: Do You Need A Tutor To Learn A Language?
Moving on, you can also watch online classes on YouTube. There are recorded videos which are similar to a one-on-one session with your coach and your online classes — but they can’t answer your questions when you’re having troubles with your studies. Not a big deal though since you can watch hundreds of learning videos from the internet, and I’m pretty sure that at least one of those will answer your question.
Improve Your Reading, Speaking, Listening, and Writing Skills
Once you’ve improved your vocabulary and grammar, it’s time to improve your reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills. This will turn you into a proficient language speaker. What’s the use if you know how to speak the language but don’t know how to read or write it? What happens if you can speak the words which are difficult for you to understand when spoken by a native speaker? What will you do if you can read a sentence but can’t understand its meaning?
Let’s discuss these questions briefly.
Reading and Speaking
As mentioned above, Memrise will teach you some new vocabulary words, but those aren’t enough. Once you have a real conversation with a native speaker of the language you’re learning, you will realize that you’re just somewhat of a novice.
In learning a language, reading and speaking are both important. Reading will introduce you to new words while speaking will help you practice pronunciation and intonation. There are many ways on how to improve your reading and speaking skills. We know that Memrise has started teaching you the basics, now it’s your turn to enhance your skills.
As mentioned, you now only know about 3,000 words of the language you’re learning. You’ve been reading and speaking “only” 3,000 words. That amount is enough to participate in a casual conversation, but not sufficient to talk about different topics, particularly advanced ones. Reading will help you become smarter in that language, and speaking will build up your conversational skills. Click on this link to know more about the importance of reading and speaking in learning a language as well as how to practice them.
Apart from reading and speaking, you also need to improve your listening skills. Why? Say, for example, you’re learning Japanese, and now you’re talking to a native Japanese speaker. There are probably some words and phrases which you can’t understand clearly. What’s more surprising is that you know those words, but you’re having a hard time understanding them because of the native speaker’s accent.
That’s why you need to improve your listening skills. Even if you already know all of the words in a particular language, you should consider that there are different accents, too. A Japanese living in Hokkaido might have a different accent to a Japanese living in Okinawa or Tokyo.
Also, you can learn more just by listening. You might want to check out this article: Can You Learn A Language Just By Listening? To know more about how listening can help you in your language-learning process.
Of course, if you know how to read, speak, and listen, you MUST also know how to write it! Certainly, there are some instances where you’ll communicate only by writing. Not only the literal ‘pen and paper’ but also writing emails and chat messages.
In this case, you should improve your writing skills. First, you need to make sure that your writing and spelling are correct. If you keep reading, you will then be familiar with the correct spelling of words and how to properly write them. This might be more challenging for you, especially if the writing system of the language that you’re learning is far more different compared to your native language, like an English speaker learning Mandarin.
But improving your writing skills isn’t difficult since you’ll be acquainted enough with the words as you keep learning. When you were still studying at Memrise, you’ve probably been dealing with the same words and phrases for countless times. As time goes by, you’ll unknowingly be familiar with the writing system of the language.
The Final Verdict
Learning a new language will sometimes make you feel like giving up, especially for languages that are completely different from your mother tongue. When you reach the point of quitting, try to remember the hardships you went through and the reward you’ll get once you become fluent in it. There’s no shortcut in fluency. Did you become fluent in your language when you were two years old? No, and I think no one will.
But if you keep striving for the best, you’ll find the best ways on how to improve your language skills. It differs from one learner to another, for example, reading books might be the best way for you to learn, but watching videos might work best for others. It’s just like ordering a cup of coffee… you have your favorite taste.
And to begin with, learning a new language will be easy if you start with learning platforms like Memrise — which helps you learn the basics of the language at your convenience before jumping into the next levels of studying. Once you’re done with Memrise, remember to visit the platform. Good luck!