6 Tips to Help You Accomplish Your Language Learning Goals in 2018
So you’ve decided to take the leap and learn a new language in 2018. This can be both an exhilarating and terrifying prospect, and you might be worried about how exactly you’re going to accomplish this goal. Don’t give up on your language learning resolution before the new year has really started. Instead, read on for some solid tips on how to accomplish those language acquisition goals in 2018!
1. Remember why
You’ve got to keep yourself motivated if you want to successfully learn that new language, so find practical ways to remind yourself why you wanted to do it in the first place. I like to pin up post-it notes with inspiring quotes and words of encouragement. Whenever I lose sight of my goals or start to get discouraged, I look at them and remember why exactly I wanted to learn that language in the first place. These little tidbits of motivation go a long way to helping keep me on track!
2. Find immersion
A lot of people will tell you that the only way to learn a new language is through immersion, and this might leave you feeling like you’ve lost at the language game before you’ve even started playing. While immersion is an amazing way to acquire language skills, you don’t actually need to travel overseas to find it. With all the technology we have at our disposal these days, it’s easier than ever to find creative ways to incorporate a language into your daily life—no matter where you live.
3. Don’t give up
Look, learning a new language isn’t going to be easy and if anyone has told you otherwise they’re lying to you. A lot of learners hit a brick wall where they feel that they’re not accomplishing anything language-wise. We stress about not having a big enough vocabulary, or making too many mistakes when we speak, or not picking up more complex grammar quickly enough. Instead of letting these things drive you to giving up on your dream of speaking a foreign tongue, how about taking a look back on your language journey thus far? Even glancing back to the last month you’ll realize that you’ve actually made progress. What weren’t you able to do then that you can do now? You’ll be surprised to note you’ve been moving forward without even knowing it!
4. Create priorities
Learning a new language might not be your only New Year’s resolution, but if you pack in too much on your to-do list you’re sure to struggle at accomplishing anything. Learn to prioritize what really matters. This may mean you’ll have to make some sacrifices, but in the end it’s totally worth it! So, instead of spending those extra 30 minutes watching Netflix, why not use them to study up on your German? Instead of listening to music on the way to work, how about tuning in to a Spanish podcast? These small shifts in priorities will add up to big results, trust me!
4. Manage expectations
I know it’s difficult, but try to avoid creating too big expectations in your language learning. You may say you’re going to be fluent in Russian in 6 months, but accomplishing it is a whole different game. If you set unrealistic expectations, you’ll get overwhelmed and are much more likely to quit halfway. Instead, give yourself manageable expectations, like learning how to order a meal in French in 3 weeks, or being able to have a basic conversation in Mandarin in a month. Avoid large, overarching goals, and aim instead for small, easily digestible ones!
5. Utilize tools
Technology has made language learning so much easier. Gone are the days where we had to rely on textbooks or limit ourselves to tutors who live in our area. These days you can find the best tutors online and take classes from anywhere in the world! You can connect with native speakers and do language exchange, or use online games, podcasts, and other tools to keep your learning on the right track. Take advantage of all these tools because there’s never been a better time to learn a new language!
Want to find out how you’re doing? Take a free language test to see how your level measures up!
Are you planning on learning a new language in 2018? How do you hope to accomplish that goal? Share a few of your tips and tricks with us below!