I have many years of working experience in multinational companies that use English as my foreign language. English has helped me become a global citizen, empowered my credibility so I know how important it is to be able to excel at a second language.
The question is: Do you believe you can learn 3 different languages at the same time to achieve more success in life and business?
Today, I've been blessed to become friend with a professional language coach, May Lau, founder of Easy Language Coaching, with the ability to speak three different languages - Chinese, Japanese, English - fluently. She sweetly agreed to take a few minutes to share her tips for my readers in language learning. Let's listen to her:
May Lau: My tips to learn 3 different languages at the same time.
We are living in the world with supporting of high technology and internet help us to get information and knowledge from any subject of any country. And, the connection with people all over the world has never been easy like this before. The massive investment into oversea markets of thousands of big companies brings a lot of career opportunities to people in those countries.
Learning foreign language becomes important and necessary for those who want to have a big change in their future career. Language is not only a communication tool but also a main bridge leading to the endless knowledge source of human wisdom. I am now sharing with you 3 tips - a simple and easy way to master new languages in short time.
#1: Find a reason to love new languages
It is very hard for those who do not have any idea of how to be interested in languages, but please remember it is the most important factor. The truth is you cannot focus and do anything by your all heart without passion. If even you try but still cannot love it, you have to set up obvious -short time-goals. You have to clearly specify skills and progress you want to achieve in the period of 6 months or 1 year.
Write down the goals on notebook or somewhere you can read it every day to remind you there is an uncompleted task you have to keep going on. After period, review the progress, and set next goals.
- Reason to love language: I love to know about the cultural aspects of other countries. By learning languages, I absolutely obtain the fastest way to access to those countries' cultural sources. Furthermore, if you communicate with people from those countries and speak the same languages as they speak, you unlock their heart and of course they open up to you.
#2: Listen, listen and listen
The best way to increase your vocabularies and common used grammars in daily life is to listening to all the available programs you find on the internet, such as the news, music or radio programs. You need to create a habit to listen it every day. You need to bring up a strong will and perseverant mind to stick to the goal. 5am in the morning is the best time to practice listening. In the first 3 months, make a habit to wake up at 5pm and do the very first thing on day by listening to the news or programs in 30 minutes.
Do not care too much about the meaning of the story you listen, because in this stage, you just like "make friend" with languages, you listen to be familiar with the pronunciation of the natives. You have to listen at least 3 times for every topic with the rule as below:
First listening: Turn off transcript, try to catch the main idea of the topic.
Second listening: Turn on transcript, give pause to any new word, search its meaning and take note on your notebook.
Third listening: Read out the story based on transcript without any pause.
My experience (university time):
- From 5:00 to 5:30am: English, 5:30-6:00am: Chinese.
- When I started learning Japanese, listening schedule was like: 5:00 to 5:30am: English, 5:30-6:00am: Japanese, 6:00-6:15am: Chinese.
- At the moment: 5:00-5:30am: English, 5:30-6:30am: Japanese, 6:30-6:45am: Chinese.
#3: Speak out and write down anytime and anywhere
Most of beginners are too shy to speak or write to other people in foreign languages, just because they are afraid of making mistakes and being laughed at. If you are in that situation, you definitely have to remove that thought right away from your head, then you can find the giant within awaken. The biggest difficulty for beginners is how to overcome psychological barrier which created by their own shyness.
There is a very simple way you can make "that little shy guy" disappear from your all life:
Speak out and write down whenever you want to without any caution or well preparation.
The fact is people tend to have confidence in communication if their language skills are good enough or even perfect. And the truth is no one can define what good or perfect skills look like. Therefore, just try out what have on your hands. Nobody laughs at you when you have mistake, on the contrary, they are willing to correct it for you. Now, cheer your confidence up and follow these steps:
- Do it now. Never is too late to start new thing, especially learning a new language. What you have to do is just "Do it now", make it happen immediately. Do not delay or hesitate for any reason.
- Join any language group or club you know, make friend and stay in touch with proactive people.
- Try to think and name everything in foreign language. This way will help you remember new vocabulary easily.
- Text to people in foreign language. When you text to someone in foreign language, there is a high possibility he will reply you in the same language. It called similar reaction between those who have common ground.
- Take note in foreign language. Try to write any note in work, study, daily life in foreign language and review it time by time.
- Get a job in foreign language speaking environment. The most effective way to skill up language is to communicate with native people every day.
- Skill up English by getting a part time job as a Sales Tour/Tour Guide in a travel company.
- Skill up Chinese by speaking to friends and family.
- Skill up Japanese by working full time for a Japanese company.