By Geralde Vincent-Bancroft
For language learners who have the goal of mastering a new language without enrolling in an expensive class, self-learning is the way to go. It requires a lot of dedication and commitment to learn something on your own, but it’s definitely worth it.
Here are 10 tips for learning effectively as a self-learner.
Tip 1: Set realistic self-learning goals.
You won’t be able to master the language overnight, so don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting unrealistic goals. Start small and build your way up gradually. Focus on what you can achieve today rather than what you want to achieve in the future.
Tip 2: Use different self-learning materials.
A great way to stay motivated and interested in learning is by using different resources such as books, online websites, podcasts, etc. This will help you keep track of all the information that you are learning and will help break up the monotony of studying from one source only.
Visual note-taking is equally a good resource. This method combines text and pictures or drawings based on the science that we tend to remember 80% of what we see, 10% of what we hear, and 20% of what we read. Visual note-taking is then an excellent aid in helping retain information for a longer period.
Tip 3: Practise with native speakers or other language learners.
One of the best ways to practise your newly acquired language skills is by speaking with native speakers or other people who are also learning the same language as you. Not only will this give you confidence when speaking with others but it will also give you more opportunities to practise and make mistakes without feeling judged or embarrassed.
Tip 4: Use of technology for self-learning.
Technology has made it easier than ever before to learn languages on your own. There are tons of apps available that can provide helpful tips and tricks for mastering a new language quickly and easily. Utilising these tools can be incredibly beneficial when starting out.
Tip 5: Take breaks regularly.
Studying for extended periods of time can be draining both mentally and physically, so be sure to take regular breaks throughout your studies so that you don’t get burned out too quickly.
Even just taking five minutes every thirty minutes can make all the difference when it comes to staying focused on what you’re doing!
Tip 6: Join online forums/groups dedicated to language learning.
Joining online groups or forums specifically dedicated to language learning can be incredibly helpful when trying to learn on your own. It is important that you apply your knowledge. It is the best way to remember your new vocabulary.
Not only will you get advice from more experienced learners that may give you access to materials unbeknown to you, but you may also find people who are at a similar level as yourself which could be beneficial in terms of motivation and accountability.
Tip 7: Be patient with yourself – Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Don’t expect perfection right away; give yourself time to adjust and learn at your own pace – everyone learns differently so don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s progress if they seem quicker than yours – focus on YOUR journey instead.
With patience comes progress – keep that in mind when things become difficult or overwhelming during your self-learning process!
Tip 8: Put in extra effort outside of self-learning scheduled study times
This makes all the difference – even if it’s just 10 minutes writing, reading and summarising a topic. Those extra few minutes add up over time will help solidify concepts and increase fluency much faster than anticipated (eureka!).
Tip 9: Have fun & reward yourself along the way
Celebrate small victories and set mini milestones (such as completing a chapter). This keeps motivation high and encourages further progress towards bigger goals (such as finishing an entire book).
Plus, having fun while learning helps make concepts easier and more enjoyable which leads us nicely into our last tip…
Tip 10: Learn through activities that bring joy
Find activities related to the language that bring joy & satisfaction such as watching movies/TV shows/videos (in target language), playing games (online/offline) etc.
These activities not only offer another outlet for practising but they also provide enjoyment while doing so thus making memorisation and understanding concepts much easier (which creates positive reinforcement).
Furthermore, they allow one to explore various cultural aspects specifically associated with said language which can lead down interesting paths full of discovery and growth possibilities. So have fun exploring 🙂
Self-learning effectively takes dedication and commitment—but it is absolutely possible if done properly with patience and determination.
The key is finding resources that work best for YOU. Everyone learns differently. Set manageable goals for yourself along each step of your journey so that success remains achievable no matter how long it takes.
With these 10 tips in hand, any aspiring learner should now have all they need to propel themselves forward towards their dream.
Good luck !!! 🙂