Tips on Becoming Conversational in a Language

While attending Oberlin College in Ohio, Andrew Whiteman of Michigan studied German. Previously a student of German at Royal Oak High School in Michigan, Andrew Whiteman is now conversational in the language. During high school, he travelled to Germany with other students through the German American Partnership Program.

When learning a new language, practice is key. Experienced language learners suggest a minimum of an hour per day of using the language in a focused manner. This means speaking it to other people in a back-and-forth situation where you need to communicate something in particular. Ideally, the person you are conversing with will help you to fill in any gaps in your knowledge. Each learning moment will boost your conversational abilities.

According to US News and World Report, friendships with native speakers also play a key role in becoming conversational. Social interactions help you as a language learner to integrate the language with the culture and respond more effectively to social cues. Native-speaking friends may also be willing to give you tips and pronunciation corrections to help you along. And while entertainment is no substitute for human interaction, watching movies and television shows in the language you are learning also provides you with insight into the culture and how native speakers use the language.

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