When language learning is your goal, how can you make sure you turn something new into a long-term habit in order to become fluent? Here are the top tips for ensuring you achieve your language learning New Year’s resolution.
6 ways to achieve your language learning New Year’s resolution
1. Set realistic milestones
No matter what goal you’d like to achieve, it has to be realistic, otherwise, you simply won’t complete it. When it comes to language learning, becoming fluent is indeed an extremely realistic goal, but in order for you to become fluent, you need to break the process down into realistic milestones.
However, you set up your milestones, and make sure that they’re doable for you on a long-term basis. It’s better to schedule classes less often that you’re sure to attend rather than scheduling too many classes, becoming overwhelmed, and quitting entirely. When beginning in January, I’d recommend starting off slower and determining what is doable for you, and then ramping up later on if you’d like to learn faster.
2. Integrate it with your routine
This point ties in directly with setting your milestones, because. While Owly Class helps with the online part so that you can learn anywhere, anytime, you still need to decide when is best for you individually to learn. If you’re a morning person, you might want to schedule your classes when you first wake up. Or if you know that Wednesdays are lighter work days, you might want to schedule your classes after work on Wednesdays.
Basically, the idea is that the schedule you set up doesn’t detract from other aspects of your life so that classes become overwhelming.
3. Do a little bit every day
While you may not necessarily need to attend classes every day to achieve your New Year’s resolution, it will certainly make reaching your goals easier if you do something small every day to move them forward. This can be something as simple as watching movies and TV series on Netflix in your target language (even with subtitles in your target language is ok, too). Or maybe you listen to a podcast while cooking or taking a walk. A little goes a long way. In fact, 15 minutes a day across a year adds up to 91 hours, so you can absolutely bet that makes a clear difference in improving your language skills.
4. Learn about topics you enjoy
Learning about topics we don’t enjoy is boring. And when something is boring, we quit. So the best way to complete your New Year’s resolution to learn a new language is to make it as fun as possible.
This was actually a method I used when I was teaching English to Germans when I was an English teacher. During our first lesson, I would ask the student what they needed to learn English for and what topics they were interested in (even outside of work). Then I would create our lessons based on those two goals. It worked well, because when you’re interested in a topic, it’s easier to talk about, so it feels less like “learning” and more like an “interesting conversation”.
If you learn with Owly class, this is easy for you to control, because you always choose the topics you learn about. I’d recommend scheduling a mix of topics depending on your goals. This can include business, grammar, speaking, writing, and even unique topics like mythology and philosophy.
5. Take small breaks
Never forget the power of a good holiday. This is of course true for a healthy work-life balance but also goes for language learning, particularly if you’re learning a new language rapidly and are trying to understand complex grammar.
6. Don’t become too strict
Funnily enough, the less that we’re expected to do something, the easier it becomes to actually get it done. To put this into perspective: think of it like your ideal supervisor at work. Very rarely do people work well when they’re put under tons of pressure to follow strict deadlines and are micromanaged. Most of us would rather set our own schedule and work in the manner that we are most comfortable with without someone constantly checking in on us.
My point here is don’t become your own micromanaging supervisor when trying to learn a language. Give yourself the freedom to adapt your schedule, make things fun, take breaks when you need to, and even make mistakes. Not only is this how we learn, but this is also your direct path to fulfilling your New Year’s language learning resolution for the upcoming year and every year after that.
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