Learn To Speak A New Language Fluently In Six Months

Get on the fast track to accomplishing one of your bucket list items — learning another language. Chris Lonsdale's TEDx talk offers five principles and seven actions that will help anyone learn to speak a new language fluently within just six months.

In the 18-minute video, Lonsdale, who learnt to speak Chinese in half a year, busts some myths about language acquisition. For example, immersion per se won't necessarily help you learn the language, and learning a language isn't about acquiring knowledge. Instead, it's in large part about psychology and physiological training: becoming familiar with sounds that our brains tend to filter out if the sounds are unfamiliar and coordinating the muscles in our faces.

The principles and actions recommended here include many we've discussed before for learning several languages in a few years, as well as creating your own 90-day program, such as getting a language mentor and concentrating on the most-used words. Lonsdale also, however, emphasises very important communication and listening skills: listing a lot for patterns and rhythms, focusing on getting the meaning first even if you don't understand the words, copying the facial movements of someone speaking the new language, and using mental imagery to directly connect to the language.

Daring to Live Fully has a great summary of all the points in the video above if you don't feel like watching (though you really should).

How to learn any language in six months: Chris Londale at Lingnan University [YouTube via Daring to Live Fully]


Comments

    Great video.

    I know it's nitpicking, but this is an article about learning a language after all...

    @melanie_pinola: FYI, in China they speak a language called Mandarin (or Cantonese). Just like we speak English in Australia, Canada and America.

    Saying "... who learnt to speak Chinese in half a year" is like saying "... who learnt to speak Canadian in half a year".

    Lonsdale learnt to speak Mandorin fluently in half a year.

      Actually, Mandarin is a Chinese dialect. Cantonese is a different dialect, and there are others (Hokkien, for example).

      The author is correct in saying that the guy "learnt to speak Chinese", but they could be more correct in this particular case to say that he "learnt to speak Mandarin".

      Either way, interesting article! I've been trying to find the motivation to pick up a second language. I'll have to look into this!

      Mandarin*

    I'm fairly certain (as someone who took Italian in for a few years in primary school and knows "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and Pizza" in Italian, and took Indonesian for 3.5 years and can say "i am a toilet, very good, thank you" ) there is nothing short of a magic pill or brain implant that will get me to lean a language even remotely badly in under a year.

      Baik baik saja.

    @tim.. this sir defines awesome! Oh, and congratulations on becoming a toilet. Your Mistress must be delighted!

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