You may think of learning a new language every now and then. It can only be considered as a spare-time activity or a personal interest for some while for others, the case is more serious. Nowadays, a lot of people decide to learn a new language for occupational purposes such as expanding one’s business worldwide. Some students also might be considering continuing their education in other countries and start learning a new language as a result. Regardless of what the purpose of learning a new language can be, it might seem a bit difficult to start. This is mainly because students do not know where to start or what factors to consider. In this article, we will introduce you to five general steps you need to take before starting to learn a new language.
Set Your Purpose
Before starting the process of learning a new language you need to specify your target and why you want to or need to learn a language. Whether it is a personal interest, occupational force, immigration requirement, or spare time hobby your goal has to be set clearly. This is because clear and well-defined goals will keep you going and motivated since learning a new skill can be tough at times. On the other hand, once you set your goals clearly, it is better to make plans.
Take an example of a person who needs to take an international exam in six months in order to be accepted into a university, compared with someone who only wants to spend his/her leisure time learning a new skill. These two people have to take completely different paths and steps to reach their goals. Therefore, it’s important to be frank and precise about your targets.
Search For Different Methods
Thanks to technology and modern life, traditional or in-person classes are no longer the only choice. There are several more flexible learning methods available for all kinds of people. Even though some people still prefer traditional methods, onsite classes can be a difficult choice for people with a busy lifestyle. With traditional in-person classes, you have to be present at a specific time during the week in order not to miss the lessons which can be difficult for some like parents with little children or employees who have to work late. With the new learning platforms such as online courses, offline video classes, podcasts, YouTube channels, websites, and so on, anyone can attend a class anywhere at any time. So before you head to the nearest language school, make sure which learning platform can work for you.
Trust The Process
Once you have chosen the best learning method considering your goals and conditions, you should stop doubting your process. A lot of students start doubting the books they are studying, courses they are taking or even their teachers’ knowledge only after a couple of weeks. They simply feel like this course is not going to work because they cannot see any sign of immediate progress. Remember that learning a new skill, especially a foreign language, is a time-consuming task. You cannot judge any course’s efficiency or any teacher’s knowledge just after a short time. Give yourself some time, follow the instructions, and trust the process. If after at least a couple of months you felt like not making any progress you can then consult your instructor and ask for help.
Another important point is that you should not quit studying only if you have made some mistakes or faced some challenges. Learning a language is a challenging process during which you are supposed to learn from your mistakes. Keep your attitude positive and remember that no one can speak a language flawlessly from the very beginning.
Surround Yourself With The Target Language
Do not leave everything to your books and teachers and participate in your learning process actively. Seize any possible opportunity to expand your knowledge of the language you are aiming to learn. Social media and language learning apps can help you contact native speakers and enforce your knowledge. Moreover, the internet has made it possible to find a variety of content in different languages. You can easily find movies, music, storybooks, podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs in the language you are learning. You can also ask your teachers to suggest some supplementary books if you have enough time to study. The more you surround yourself with the target language, the faster you will be able to use it practically.
Practice Makes Perfect
Learning is not enough when it comes to languages. You have to practice what you have just learned over and over again to transfer the newly settled information into your long-term memory. It does not matter if you have learned a grammatical rule, new vocabulary, or pronunciation. Without practice, you tend to forget it all. That is why all courses are always accompanied by several practices in the form of an assignment. Completing an assignment not only improves your performance but also provides an opportunity for your instructor to recognise your weaknesses and help you with them.
Constant feedback from your instructor is the key factor for accuracy. That is why even when there is little time for doing homework, you have to make it a priority to guarantee your success. It is also a good idea to start practising with a classmate or friend who is also interested in learning the same language. Having a studying partner motivates you and makes the process more fun.
Learning a new language can sometimes happen to be a hobby or a necessity. However, just like mastering any other skill, you need to have a clear mind map. We have all probably experienced unfinished language courses because we have not considered some factors. The next time you consider learning a new language, before rushing into the nearest language school, see if you have followed these steps. Make sure you have chosen the best way according to your life condition since learning a new language will take time. Clear goals, enough research, nonstop practice, and active involvement in the process will guarantee your success.