When it comes to trying to learn foreign languages it can be a very challenging task and quite difficult for some people. But, if you have the right kind of tools, learning a new language can not only be fun but it can be rewarding as well. You need to find language learning tools that will focus on the very principal components of whatever language that you want to learn. This would be reading, listening as well as speaking the language. You need tools that are very comprehensive and make learning the language easier and more effective.
When you start to learn a new language it is vital that you also learn to read the language. This is essential to your learning process and it will allow you to gain very important information about the language itself. When you read you are getting involved in a more interactive process where the different elements of the language appear in written form. For instance some use a Roman script which is very similar to our English alphabet and then there are others that use different scripts like Chinese or Arabic.
The best kind of reading tool you can get is one that will help you focus on the simple. Ones that often offer formulaic reading passages in the beginning and then will move onto far more complex as well as authentic texts. A course like “Teach Yourself” series is good for different kinds of reading texts. Also another good source would be online news sources that come in foreign languages. A good site for that would be http://www.dagbladet.no this for example would be for learning the Norwegian language. Reading online news in a different language is a great source for complex reading skills.
You really will need to have good listening skills in order to learn a foreign language. When you listen you involve active interpretation of the meaning in a language. You will be involved in both listening for the main idea and listening for specific details. These processes are called top-down listening and bottom-down listening and are very important in figuring out the meaning of the words and phrases in a language.
The easiest took to get for learning to listen are audio excerpts of native speakers in the language you are wanting to learn. These can be found online and are often free. If you are learning Greek for instance a good learning source to go to would be http://www.kypros.org/LearnGreek/ . Courses like Teach Yourself or the Simon and Schuser’s Pimseleur courses also have very extensive audio lessons that will help you with your listening skills.
Probably the most difficult part about learning a language would be the ability to develop intelligible skills for speaking the language. When you speak a language it involves very important cognitive processes. Plus there is the challenge of being able to actually pronounce the language properly. When you learn at the beginning you start with memorizing basic scripts and sets of expressions but later you need to be able to incorporate this into more complex speaking such as real life conversations with people, especially those who speak the language fluently.
Of course the best way to polish your speaking skills would be able to have regular conversations with someone that speaks the language fluently or is a native speaker of that language. This might not be the easiest thing to do, however there are some places online where you can try and get this kind of help. A couple of those would be My Language Exchange and italki. Here these sites will connect you with those that are native speakers and you can interactively work with those people to help improve your speaking skills.