Heather Rome is an international business professional and previously of Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). She has traveled the world for most of her professional life, and in doing so, Rome has acquired an appreciation for learning language and linguistic skills. She speaks both English and Spanish fluently. Only 20% of US residents are bilingual, but communicating in a second language is a valuable skill to learn. If you would like to join the bilingual population, below you will find a few language learning tips to help get you started:
- Find a conversation partner. In most cases, a conversation partner will benefit your linguistic aspirations more than only spending time in a classroom. Find someone who speaks your chosen second language better than you do, and engage in the enjoyable, yet sometimes challenging, conversations that will ensue. Language skills must be processed more than memorized, and a conversation partner will help with that progression.
- Start with 100 commonly-used words. If you look at any language, it will have words that are used several times more often than other words, and these will be the most valuable to you. Learning commonly-used words makes it easier to follow conversation and to assemble sentences.
- Put your ego aside. Learning a language is a humbling activity and you must accept that you will make grammatical errors. Linguistic mistakes happen, and they are part of the fluency learning process.
Learning languages can also help strengthen your brain and improve your creative thinking, regardless of who you are or where you live. When Heather Rome traveled the world during her time with Development Alternatives Inc (DAI), she experienced many linguistic opportunities in various languages and settings.