Sunday, February 5, 2023

5 tips for learning a new language

Foreign language skills in high demand

By Victoria T. Davis


Communication, teamwork and problem solving skills make the list of the top 10 skills employers seek in prospective employees according to Forbes. While these skills may be typical, another skill set is in high demand and reports find most job seekers who possess this skill can trade in their talents for higher salaries. Knowledge of any foreign language can help boost your value as a professional and help companies reach an audience they may not have previously had access to.

Indiana Minority Business Magazine spoke with Rebecca Buchan, director of ASL and education at Luna Language Services to obtain advice for those looking to learn a new language to further their career or personal connections.


Tip 1: Revisit your first language

“Make sure you’re strong in your first language. If you have a weak foundation in your native language, then your ability to learn other languages can be difficult. Those who strive to become interpreters forget that native language component. We all want to know ‘What’s the word for this or the sign for that’ but we’re forgetting we work in English just as much as we do other languages.”


Tip 2: Learn the culture along

with the language

“Language is not void of culture because they cannot be separated. You should learn and honor that culture.”

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Tip 3: Find a language mentor

“Find somebody who is fluent, preferably someone who is native to the language you are learning and sit down with them one on one. Conversations just aren’t about linguistics or dialogue because there is a cultural component. The more you understand the entire context, the easier and more authentic acquisition will be.”


Tip 4: Be a learner of the language then share it

I’m a big advocate for learning a language and then finding someone you can teach it to. It can be a child or a coworker, just anyone you can share that information with. It reinforces our adult learning. You learn it, you process it and then you process it again but not as the learner but as the teacher.”


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Tip 5: Show passion and emotion

behind language

“Make sure there is passion and emotion behind your language. If you don’t have any, it just becomes words on a paper. With sign language, the signer’s sign space becomes really big and they sign larger when they are provoking heavy emotion.” I


For more information on learning a new language, visit


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