Learn a new language
It might sound like an impossible task, but according to language experts, you can learn communication skills in weeks and master the basics of a foreign language in just a few months. While you might not reach the fluency that allows you to understand great foreign literature classics, you can still quickly master conversational skills that will meet most people’s needs for work or tourism.
It’s been proven that the fastest way to learn a new language is to just immerse yourself completely in the culture. But if you can’t take a few months off to go live overseas there are some other options that will help. Consume as much media in your chosen language as you can: read foreign language books and watch foreign language TV shows without the subtitles on. If you’re just starting out, read illustrated children’s books or watch familiar films so you know what’s going on.
One of the best ways to improve your skills is to regularly converse with native speakers - without resorting to English when you have trouble communicating. If you’re having trouble finding people that speak your language locally, check out italki.com, a language social network that connects native speakers and teachers with students.
Your smartphone can help too. Language apps like Duolingo, which uses a game-style system where users receive experience points for every correct answer, can make language learning more accessible and fun. Other useful apps include AnkiApp, which uses a more traditional flash-based memorization technique, and Babbel, which focuses more on recognition and repetition.