When learning a new language, keep in mind that you are never alone in this regard. There is always somebody somewhere who is learning the same language as you are. And chances are, they too may need some help with their learning. Find out what your needs are, where your weaknesses lie and write them down.
What is your goal for learning a language? What do you want to accomplish at the end of your studies? The answer you give is your long-term goal. In order to get there, se if you can break it down into smaller goals. What do you want to be able to do in half the time, or a month from now? Then see if you can break them down into even smaller goals – what do you want to accomplish by the end of the week? What do you want to accomplish today? Maybe write these down in your learning notebook and use them as a map to your learning.
While you’re at it, compare where you are now with where you were the last time you assessed yourself. Is there anything that worked well and you were able to progress? Is there anything didn’t work that you’re still stuck on? Go ahead make the adjustments and set new goals for the next month or two. Learning is always about flexibility and adjusting to your needs.
Applying These Techniques
Whatever strategies you have discovered that was successful, share them with others who are learning the language. When you get together with others, take a few minutes to talk about how you are learning as well as what you are learning. Ask what worked for them, and what didn’t. Give your own thoughts and experiences. What information can you take and use it with your own studies?
Assess your knowledge of grammar by doing exercises in any grammar book you have and by having your language helper check them for you. Keep in mind, though, the exercises in a language course book are just testing what you know about the language in an academic sense. How well you can use it in a conversation is a whole different game. So be sure you use the language at every opportunity to help you get the practice you need.
If you are not getting the results you want, then take a break for a little bit. See if there’s something in a past lesson you may have missed or forgotten. Or check out the archives of our blog postings and see what you can find to help you along. But most of all, if you have language learning partner, then practice with each other as often as you can get together. It will benefit you, and others.
Get with our communities
We have pages on Facebook for over 20 languages. Why not visit the one for the language you’re learning and just jump in and start making friends? Feel free to ask questions about languages and learning them. While you’re at it, let us help you learn a language with our Before You Know It Express software. It’s free to download and free to use. You may also want to sign up with our Connect program where you’ll be able to talk with a live instructor and get help where you need it.