I’m happy to announce the first post of my language learning advice series. If you’re passionate about learning languages and would like to contribute feel free to leave a comment or direct message me on Instagram (rosajanelle.languages).
This post is written by my friend, Brayan Fajardo from Bogota, Colombia. He has been studying English like a full-time job and has committed countless hours to improving this year. He’s made a lot of progress, and has offered to share some awesome language learning advice. I’m glad he has contributed and added his perspective to my blog. Muchas gracias, Brayan.
Don’t watch your language learning as a task but as a journey.
If you see your learning like a task, sooner or later you will abandon your process. For that reason it’s very important that you include your learning in your daily routine, and apply it as much as you can.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner, you can adapt this to your needs. For example, if you have a break time or you are just chilling, you can use that time to try to do an inner conversation using your target language, and annotating those words or expressions that you don’t handle, you don’t know or even those that you’re not sure if they are well said. Another example of this is listening to music in your target language with lyrics and its translation. You can add all these kinds of routines to your language learning. Active learning is very important but you have to make a balance between your active and passive learning to keep your motivation up.
As we can see there are many options to include our language target in our daily routine without making it just a boring study task but becoming your learning into a habit.
It is important that you practice or study your language every day, practice and repetition is the way you will improve your language skills. It is not a secret we are humans and not every time we have our motivation in a maximum point, but it is always better to spend 10 minutes in your language than nothing. It’s better to take 1 hour per day than 7 hours just one day per week. You can use your favorite song as an excuse to have contact with your language, a movie, a blog or any source you really like, this is a very important point, especially if we are not in the country where that language is spoken.
Don’t rush your learning
Language learning is like a tree. It takes time for a tree to get big and strong, and the same thing happens with our languages. It takes time to become fluent and comfortable with a tongue. For that reason it’s important you do not be rush with your language journey, we all like fast results, but good things takes time and language is not the exception, for that reason is important that you don’t focus only on your objective but also in your path, you have to enjoy this trip and every step you take is a step closer to your goal.
You have to be very conscious about your process, and you can help yourself by recording your voice, writing down the general concepts that you learnt in a day or any other strategy to document the stages of your learning, so you can feel better taking a look at these things to realize how much you have advanced. Because when we try to rush our process or skip the steps we could delay our process and get the opposite result of what we were looking for.
Follow your personal style
Many of us have heard about a “perfect way to learn a language” but the reality is that doesn’t exist –a perfect method for everyone, so you have to find your personal method that works for you. For example there are many people who love to read classical literature books, but on the other hand there are many who prefer to listen to music, people who memorize easily with lists or even those who prefer learning through conversations and experiences. The more experience you gain, the more you realize what works better for you.
Another thing in this is you have to see what part of the day is better for you, some of us think better in the morning, other people at night and so on. This is important because you have to put those skills or activities that you find more difficult in the hours where your mind is more active and you have full attention.
When you will find the ways where you improve more easily and keep you motivated then this path would be more exciting.