Do you want to learn a foreign language in 2018? We know that fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions can be difficult, but it will be much easier if you follow the following tips.
It seems that the winds of change are blowing stronger as we approach the new year. With one more year behind us, we prepare ourselves to have great hopes in the coming year and in the possibilities of the 365 days that follow. And, as more and more people realize the benefits of mastering more than one language, learning a new language has become a common purpose. In any case, it does not matter how honest our intentions are for each month of January, since most of us abandon them in a short time: we have exaggerated expectations, we do not dedicate enough time or we get discouraged by the lack of time, but it does not always have to be this way!
Do you want to learn a new language in 2018? You have raised this challenge before, but then you surrendered? It is totally normal. Carrying out your goal of learning a foreign language can sometimes be difficult, but it will be much easier if you follow these tips.
1. Take it easy
- 1 1. Take it easy
- 2 2. Do not forget why your purpose
- 3 3. Do not give up when it gets difficult
- 4 4. Set realistic challenges to avoid disappointment
- 5 5. Reserve time to study, but be realistic
- 6 6. Learn what you are going to use … and use it!
- 7 7. Use tools that can help you
- 8 About Post Author
When it comes to purposes, we tend to exaggerate too much. We want to achieve everything we have not been able to do throughout our lives in the first 3 weeks of January.
To make up for all the time lost, you may decide that buying a lot of books and booking all winter to learn non-stop is the best. Come on! Are you really going to pause your whole life to learn a language?
The opposite is even more dangerous: “I start tomorrow” or “next week” or directly “next year”. And suddenly the next year arrives and, with the hangover of the parties, you decide to postpone it again. Why not the first Monday of the new year? Stop making excuses!
Fortunately, there is a logical path between both extremes. According to Babel’s team of linguists, it is much better to establish a study routine with a session of 15 or 20 minutes a day than to binge with 4 hours of study once a month. If you keep this habit for a whole year, you will fulfill your purpose without spilling a single drop of sweat.
The constancy is decisive to succeed! In addition to learning something new every day, dividing learning into short sessions gives our brain the opportunity to process and retain information better than if we tried to learn in a 5-hour marathon.
2. Do not forget why your purpose
Maintaining motivation is crucial to achieving your purpose. So, to maintain your enthusiasm, do not forget why you decided for this purpose. If you still need extra motivation, we can help you!
It’s good for your brain. So good that several studies have proven how you can prevent senile dementia and Alzheimer’s. You can boost your professional career and help you find the job of your dreams. Help to improve your traveling experience: you can save money in the places where you normally take advantage of tourists and discover secret places that are only found talking with the locals.
3. Do not give up when it gets difficult
Let’s clarify one thing first of all: learning a language is not like playing a video game. Unless you are a language genius, speaking another language fluently involves time, effort and planning. If you are starting from scratch, a few challenges await you along the way.
For example, “How can I learn to conjugate a verb without knowing yet the pronouns?” or “How can I practice talking, if I’m afraid of making mistakes all the time?” The lack of vocabulary and feeling intimidated are fears of those who learn a new language. But these are not insurmountable obstacles, but simple bumps in the road. So it’s not worth giving up! Realizing the small obstacles is nothing but progress in learning.
Do you not believe me? The next time you learn a language, look back and think of all the new things you have learned and that you did not know about a month ago. Did not you think they were difficult then? Well, they are not that difficult anymore, are they? So cheer up, celebrate your progress and do not torment yourself when you do not understand new things in the lessons, everything comes!
When it comes to learning a language, there are no disadvantages! You do not have to wait for the new year to start your purpose, you can start learning a language right now!
4. Set realistic challenges to avoid disappointment
The best way to avoid disappointment is to not have any expectations. If you have decided to learn a language, it is clear that you want to achieve something, right? Sure, let’s face it. Read more 5 business ideas in education of children
Expecting to speak fluently after studying for a week is simply absurd. So do not push yourself to achieve the impossible.
What would happen if we could order food at a restaurant after learning daily for about 3 weeks? Well, it’s possible!
5. Reserve time to study, but be realistic
I think that many of us know the problem of making lists of things to do: they may remind you what you have to do, but they do not tell you when.
If learning a language is one of your purposes for next year along with learning to program, go to the gym and see the new seasons of your favorite 27 series on Netflix; You’re going to have to prioritize.
Do not despair! As we said in Council # 1, the good news is that you will only have to spend 20 minutes a day to devote yourself to learning the new language, but you will really have to study 20 minutes every day, without exception!.
6. Learn what you are going to use … and use it!
If you want to be able to introduce yourself or ask for food, it does not make much sense that you learn to pronounce a tongue twister. So, if you want to start speaking the language immediately, learn to say things that will be useful in real life.
Start with basic words and simple phrases that are used in daily conversations and then learn to talk about things that interest you (movies, food, music, anything!).
After doing that, put into practice what you have learned! If you do not use your new language (whether reading, listening or speaking), you will never be able to memorize it and you will not have that feeling of success when applying your new knowledge to real life. Overcome the fear of making mistakes and you’ll see how nice and rewarding it is for someone to understand you in another language, even if it’s just the basic things at the beginning.
7. Use tools that can help you
There are several tools and techniques to learn languages that may be more or less effective, depending on the style of learning that suits you best. During the Scandinavian challenge at Babbel, my partner Nicky used some tricks that helped her learn much faster than me, such as memorizing vocabulary with cards in an organized way. This helped a lot since she is a visual learner, but if you learn better with audio, podcasts in the language you are learning may be the best option.
And, regardless of your learning technique, an app that includes different methods to develop your written and oral expression and comprehension will never hurt.
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