Here are a few strategies to help pave the way to become fluent in that next language.
1. Watch Social Cues: Pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as gestures, pointing, and eye gaze. They can enhance your understanding of sounds, words, phrases, and even grammar. In Japanese, for example, the gestures for "Come here" looks like the American gesture for "Go Away."
2. Listen To Your Own Accent: You can improve your pronunciation by recording yourself in conversation and practicing with a native speaker.
3. Tune Out to Tune In: Listening to the new language spoken in the background while doing other activities or tasks can help you to learn to distinguish among similar sounds. So, feel free to put those telnovelas on while you cook dinner.
4. Sleep On It: Going to bed soon after you practicing a new language or drilling vocabulary can help you to consolidate what you have learned.
5. Say It Again: Hearing and repeating words and phrases helps you to learn them faster and commit them to memory more.
6. Immerse Yourself: Of course, we have all heard that nothing is more effective for learning a new language than complete immersion in the culture. Living and working with native speakers can round out this experience.