What does it take to be successful in learning a new language? Does it take patience, dedication and skill? Does it take some degree of natural ability? Does it take time, energy and tenacity to keep going after the end goal? It’s all those things and more. Here are six habits of successful language learners.
1. Review Before Learning
Effective language learners understand that what you don’t review, you will forever forget. When you forget, you’ve wasted precious time that you’ve spent over the last weeks or months honing a new skill. It’s important to prioritize reviewing above learning new material. Even if you’re too tired to move beyond the review, at least you know you haven’t regressed.
2. Study a Little Every Day
Binge learning offers an illusion of progress. Trying to memorize long vocab lists at one sitting or cramming for a test all night will only serve you in the short term, not the long. Break your learning into smaller chunks, making it a habit to study a little bit each day rather than binge learn once a week.
3. Incorporate Interests
It’s impossible to truly learn a language without motivation. Weave your interests into your learning. If you love sports, read through the sports sections of foreign newspapers and magazines to pull out words you’re learning. If it’s fashion that’s your passion, peruse fashion magazines from abroad. Whatever you love, bring it into your learning every day.
4. Stick with Effective Methods
Not everyone learns well using a textbook or flashcards. Many people learn best online, with an interactive classroom where they can learn from native speakers, such as with BRIC Language Learning. Others find using an app on their phone every day is effective. Whatever works for you, stick with it. Choose a methodology that works best for you, quickly, and then get started on the learning process.
5. Fail Often
Successful language learners fail – a lot. But they use this to push themselves further. Using it as an opportunity to learn from mistakes, they use misunderstandings to learn and improve. The only way you can truly fail is if you don’t learn from the mistakes and give up.
6. They Speak the Language
All too often, it’s easy to sit behind a computer or bury your nose in a textbook trying to learn the technicalities of a language. Successful language learners go beyond all that and immerse themselves in the language, imitating the way native speakers sound and act. They mimic expressions, gestures and pronunciations. By speaking the words out loud, you can get a better idea about how the language is supposed to feel.
Get started with BRIC today to see what we mean!