“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” – Flora Lewis
Number 1: Successful language learners have patience! If you do not understand native speakers after only 1-2 semesters of classes, it doesn’t mean you should just give up. Keep track of your victories. Learning a new language is not an overnight process.
Number 2: Successful learners have a routine. The foreign language you are learning should be blended into your everyday life. Set your phone in the language, download language learning apps, and add music in the language you are learning to your phone. Every day you should spend a few minutes hearing, reading, speaking or writing the language. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes.
Number 3: Organization is key. Languages are composed of thousands and thousands of words. There are also numerous grammar rules. Having a notebook in which you record new words and new grammar structures will save you the frustration of keeping up with several lists. You will use your time more wisely when you can review everything with just one, personalized book!
Number 4: Next is repetition. Having organized notes will help you to memorize new things, but you have to repeat them. Use different exercises books, watch educational videos, but don’t forget to repeat.
Number 5: Motivation– If you’re not motivated about learning the language, you’re not going to show it the love and discipline needed to one day understand and speak it. Think about all you have learned so far. Think about that happy feeling you got after your first short conversation in your target language. Keep your motivation up! A positive approach is more effective than a negative attitude.
Number 6: One good way to keep yourself motivated is to set little goals for the day or week such as: “completing all exercises in chapter 2” or “learning 20 new vocabulary words.” Big goals are also important. Do you want to read literature in the original language? Do you want to travel abroad and speak the language with natives? Make small goals to keep yourself busy and big goals to keep you looking forward to your success.
“The only bad [language] workout is the one that you didn’t do.” -anonymous