6 tips on learning Tagalog on your own

Frederik De Vos

Actionable tips to learn Tagalog efficiently

By Frederik De Vos

“One always has enough time, if one uses it well.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Self-instruction with a good language course can be a wonderful and flexible way to learn Tagalog. However, unlike classroom courses or a fixed appointment with a tutor, you will have to decide for yourself when and how you’ll go about it.

Here are a few tips to learn Tagalog effectively.

Tip #1. Make learning the language a part of your daily routine.

The easiest way to fit it into your daily life, is to do it before something you wouldn’t forget to do, such as eating dinner or watching TV. You might want to place a note next to your TV or on your dining table to remind yourself in the beginning.

There are many advantages to spending 15 to 30 minutes on your language learning every day:

Tip #2. Listen to the audio recordings whenever you can. For example, while doing the dishes, on the way to work, or taking a relaxing bath—anytime you get the chance. Repeating the sentences out loud is a very effective way to train all parts of your mind and body that are involved in speaking.

Tip #3. Put post-its in your bathroom with words or expressions you keep forgetting until you know them by heart. Then, replace them with new words.

Tip #4. Write down the sentences in a notebook as you repeat them out loud while learning. Doing this activates other parts of your brain and helps you remember via 4 sensory channels rather than 2 or 3 — hearing, reading, repeating aloud and copying on paper.

Tip #5. Take a small notebook with you. Write down any new words or phrases you encounter. Then, when you get home, look them up. Review your list once in a while to refresh your memory. This habit has helped me a lot!

Tip #6. Keep it fun and light. Remember, this is meant to make your life more enjoyable! Laugh at your mistakes. Making mistakes is part of learning.

Of all the tips above, Tip #1 is by far the most important for language learning. Learn Tagalog every day!

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