How to keep and develop your language skills for your job?

June 15, 2022
Juan Bravo

Learning a new language requires a lot of dedication and effort. However, learning a language is not the only challenge, retaining language proficiency and keeping skills up to date is the next major issue, especially if the language is your source of income. Even after achieving fluency, most language learners must continue to discover methods to apply and practice what they have learned.

For this, we found some tips and tactics that will help us maintain language proficiency.

Learning a language

How to maintain language proficiency?

Break through the learning barrier

Most language learners reach a point where they are unsure what to do next. They cease learning as rapidly because they don’t feel like they are developing. Those who have acquired an intermediate level of fluency are more likely to experience this downturn. It is inescapable, but the good news is that you can overcome it.

The key to maintaining enthusiasm for learning a foreign language is to employ innovative approaches and strategies. Without subtitles, watch TV episodes and movies. Make up a brief narrative. Continue to stretch yourself by acquiring new phrases, idioms, and colloquial terminology. Languages change throughout time, so there will always be new words and phrases to learn. Maintain your knowledge by conversing with individuals of all ages. To break through the plateau, enhance the depth and breadth of your vocabulary. You will be astonished at how much more there is to learn.

Concentrate on your weak points and work to improve them. If you have difficulty communicating, attend expat gatherings or volunteer as a local tour guide to communicate with a native speaker online or in person. If you are shy, sing in front of a mirror or repeat after your favorite performers on TV to practice speaking alone. You only need to move your lips to practice speaking because it is a muscle! Finally, if writing is not your strong suit, consider maintaining a daily notebook.

Reconsider your long-term objectives

Setting clear and attainable goals might help you keep to healthy learning habits until they become second nature. Do you intend to take a proficiency exam in the near future? Do you wish to work as a language teacher for children? Do you want to work as a qualified translator one day? Or do you want to translate it into many languages? These are just a few of the objectives that will motivate you to continue studying and honing your language abilities.

Maintaining and improving your language skills is essential, especially if you earn a living on your language ability. Improving second language abilities might lead to additional revenue opportunities. For example, if you are now translating into your first language, you can work to develop your abilities so that you can someday translate into your second. Once you have mastered the talent, you may start marketing it to get additional money.

Consistency

Maintaining language competency requires attention, consistency, and the development of strong learning habits. Language skills, like muscles, must be exercised on a regular basis to avoid degeneration. “If you are persistent, you will get it,” as this quotation says. You’ll keep it if you are consistent.” Regularly engaging in a linguistic activity can have a significant impact.

Making studying a part of your daily life is one of the language learning methods we previously mentioned. During your morning commute, listen to music or podcasts, read for at least 15 minutes each day, or review vocabulary every night. It’s much easier to review and re-learn at your leisure now that innovative language learning tools are available. Setting a daily review reminder is also beneficial.

These suggestions also apply to multilingual who live abroad and are exposed to a foreign language but seldom speak their own tongue. Your original language, too, requires upkeep since you might lose competence over time. Read the news in your original language on a daily basis, hold frequent discussions and video calls with friends and family, see the newest movies, and listen to your favorite music.


Additional tips for language improvement

1. Immerse yourself with news written in English

Make an effort to read a variety of English-language newspapers, including broadsheets, magazines, and tabloids. This collection of news sources will not only keep you informed about current events but will also help you increase your vocabulary. Another advantage is that you will become more familiar with how words are spelled and how they are used in different contexts.

2. Practice

Let’s face it: academic sentences are not going to fall from the sky and into your head. Even if your English is excellent, do not become comfortable and disregard stressful variables such as exam time pressure. You must practice regardless of how much time remains before your big day. Make a word of the day and attempt to use it as much as possible. Don’t waste time on incredibly precise terms you will never use if you do this. Instead, concentrate on conversational English, which will most likely come up in the exam.

3. Have fun

If learning English feels like a chore, it will become tedious and you will not perform as well. This is why staying motivated and enjoying the process of learning a new language is critical. Find methods to include fun into your academics, such as playing word games with your pals to improve your critical thinking abilities.

4. Write a vocabulary book

Make a collection of helpful terms and phrases, either in a notebook or on your computer. Make a mental note every time you hear or see a word you are unfamiliar with. Do not just look for the word itself; look for synonyms and sentences that contain it. After all, you may know what words like “precedence” and “tantalizing” imply, but do you know how to correctly employ them?

5. Be curios

You should ask and answer a lot of questions if you want to develop quickly. Read more than simply phrases. Ask why they are utilized the way they are, whether there are other options, and don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Of course, it’s easy to settle with the first Google result, but you’ll get more benefits if you exercise some curiosity.

6. Have conversations in English

As beneficial as listening and reading exercises are, you must also engage with English and develop your own speaking abilities. If you are lucky, you will know a few native English speakers who can assist you, but if not, try meeting up with someone who is learning English. Another alternative is to videotape yourself or chat to yourself in the mirror. Listening to the sound of your own speech may be uncomfortable at first, but you will be able to detect errors you were previously unaware of.

7. Watch English movies

While watching Netflix shows will not necessarily increase your debate abilities or formal register, it will help you better grasp the language, become accustomed to colloquial, conversational forms of English, and gain an implicit sense of the language. You might also try to pick out terms that seem really casual and check them up in a dictionary. Of course, there is a myriad of documentaries available online (try anything by David Attenborough to get started). Exposure to a language over the duration of a film may assist you in genuinely thinking in English.


Conclusion

Learning a new language is obviously a long-term undertaking, which can bring you not only knowledge, but also a highly adaptable mindset.

You cannot expect to start from scratch and write an academic article in a week. However, if you start with a good foundation, you may get excellent outcomes quickly if you put in the effort. Especially for tests like the IELTS, you should be well-versed in the kind of questions that will be asked, the forms that will be used, and how to approach the various tasks. Rather than hastily attempting to catch up with everything at once, try to stay focused and enhance select aspects.

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