Some people need to learn a foreign language to get a better job, some learn languages for better traveling experience. For some learning a language is learning a little more about this world we live in. But whatever the reason, language learning is a long process and it’s not an easy one. Many people get discouraged by the challenges it brings. If you are not one of these, here are several tips on how to make your learning more effective.
1. Set realistic, attainable goals
Learning a language is much easier when you choose goals that are perfectly reasonable and attainable. As a rule, a realistic goal is one you can achieve in a month or less. It’s a great way to motivate yourself and give yourself a reason to move on.
People usually feel optimistic and motivated when they start learning a language, but many of them lose motivation after they face first difficulties and get frustrated by them – just because other goals do not give them enough incentive to go on. A goal like “I want to learn to speak this language fluently” isn’t the best one. Make your goals perceivable and concrete, for example, “I want to read my favorite book in its original language”.
2. Remind yourself why you learn in the first place
While it may seem obvious, understanding why exactly you want to learn a language is really important. First thing you need to do is to find proper motivation, especially if you learn a language on your own.
To keep yourself motivated, write down 10 reasons why you’ve started learning a foreign language and keep it somewhere you can see it. Look at it each time you feel like you’re losing your motivation. If you feel like it, you can do a little custom essay writing to explain why it’s important to you.
3. Focus on what you really want to learn.
Use a learning style and techniques that suit you personally. It doesn’t matter whether you use online or offline resources, learn writing techniques first or just listen to audio lessons – what matters if whether it works for you.
When you choose a learning method, think of what this separate style or technique means and whether it will help you to achieve your goals.
4. Read for pleasure
There’s a reason why many experts believe that reading isn’t just an important success factor, but a process that brings the greatest satisfaction during the entire learning process.
Reading for pleasure opens up all types of vocabularies that you may not find in your everyday life, it helps understanding grammatical structures. As a result, you improve writing skills as well. The first book you ever read in a foreign language is a great achievement you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
5. Learn your words in a context
Memorizing vocabularies may be hard and tedious. Using associations may be the key element of memorizing new words easily.
The best way to enhance your vocabulary is to make sure that the words you learn are connected to certain situations or texts.
6. Ignore the age limit myth. Age is just a number
It’s a common myth that the older a person becomes, the harder it gets to learn a language.
While children and adults may learn differently, age doesn’t impair your ability to learn in any way. No matter what your age is, it only depends on you whether you are ready to go from reading simple texts to expressive writing in a foreign language.
7. Understand your own language
You can’t learn a foreign language successfully without understanding your native language. This understanding, as well as understanding how it works is an important step to take even before you start filling your memory with foreign words and phrases.
8. Spare some time for translation
Various stages of language learning may require various methods. It’s normal to feel that the learning process slows down as soon as you reach a certain stage.
Translation is a very important tool that will help you make it through this slowdown.
9. Be careful with the “language fluency” concept
Language fluency is something many of us aspire for when learning a foreign language, but this concept is not just difficult to define, it’s also an unrealistic and exaggerated goal. The process of learning never stops, because learning a language is learning about culture, history. It’s neverending growth and self-improvement.
10. Go to a place where they speak the language you want to learn
Of course, this may not be an easy option for everyone, but if you are serious about learning a language and getting real satisfaction from what you’ve learned, you might want to go to a place where they speak this language.
Traveling makes learning more complete. Textbooks and charts, writing stories and listening to dialogues may be an easy way to motivate you to learn a language at home, but meeting people who speak it, diving in the culture will surpass it all.
Language learning is a complex, life-long process that takes a lot of effort. But it’s one of the most exciting ways to help yourself grow.