Fri, 02 Feb 2018 12:36:09 +0000Geralde Vincent-BancroftIt is very common nowadays to see people deciding to take matter into their hands and start learning a language by themselves. It is perfectly understandable, they don’t always have the time to attend a brick and mortar language school at the end of their busy day.
You may have decided to embark…
It is very common nowadays to see people deciding to take matter into their hands and start learning a language by themselves. It is perfectly understandable, they don’t always have the time to attend a brick and mortar language school at the end of their busy day.
You may have decided to embark on a self-guided language journey; fair enough, but there are a few things that you should think about before you do so.
It’s not an easy path, so you should plan ahead.
1- Define your goals
it is necessary that you define your goals, this will help you succeed. The first question to be answered is the reason why you want to learn this language. Is it to improve work opportunities? Is it because you plan to move to the country? Are you planning a holiday?
Whatever the reason, it should be good enough to get you going when you’re facing some setbacks.
Once the general goal is defined, you should plan the paths to achieve it. It is useful to set up a series of achievable mini-goals related to the means of learning. These goals must be Specific, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound ( SMART).
For example, instead of saying: ” I want to learn German”, which is a very vague statement with total lack of accountability, say :” I will study a lesson in my German book every day after work, for 15 minutes, during the next 6 months”. Can you see the difference? This is SMART. You know, what, when, how long. There is accountability.
2- Celebrate your progress
Every little win counts. Celebrate it when you stick to your daily study commitment, as well as when you notice that your vocabulary pool is increasing. Be happy and acknowledge your effort when you start communicating in your new language. Make the most of the journey even though you’ve not yet arrived to the destination.
3- Make new friends
As I always say, learning on your own shouldn’t be a lonely activity, at the contrary, especially nowadays with the help of technology.Interaction is paramount in the acquisition of new languages. Find native speakers or online language partners with whom to practice.
4- Think of language learning as an adventure
Language learning is an open door to new people and their ways of thinking, behaving, interacting, briefly you get familiar to their culture. You become acquainted to their food, their music and when you visit their country, you’ll have the chance to make friends for life, why not?
5- Make your study exciting
The fun is in the variety. Use different learning methods: textbooks,audio, videos, music. Engage in activities in your target language that you enjoy, the type that you would do anyway in your own language.
Remember it’s your choice, learning a language should be enjoyable not a burden.
6- create good language habits
Most polyglots when interviewed stress that learning a language should lead to a lifestyle change. Create language habits that you can incorporate in your daily life , the type that you can follow even when you’re tired.
7- be consistent
Little and often. Commit to a small amount of study every day. Use the “dead time” we all have when commuting to and from work, when waiting at the doctor’s office, or on a line for the movie tickets. There are lots of language activities that require 10 minutes or less that you can include in these slots ( flashcards, podcasts, songs etc ).
Consistency will inevitably lead to success.
What other language hack do you have? Feel free to hit the comments button.
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