Our Guest Blogger is Emma, one of our great tutors!
Learning a new language comes with many challenges, from having to modify your way of thinking, struggling with difficult verb conjugations, and even motivating yourself to speak in the new language. Above all else, I’ve found that setting up a disciplined practice is key to succeeding in learning any language.
I don’t mean come up with a system of rewards or punishments (although you might reward yourself for learning a new language by taking a vacation to a country in which the language is spoken!). What I mean by a disciplined practice is that you must have a set schedule and regularly devote time to learning and speaking the language. This is why intensive language classes achieve such quick results—usually you are learning and practicing the language for multiple hours five days a week.
Especially as we grow older and have more responsibilities with family and work, finding free time in which to dedicate yourself to learning a new language can seem downright impossible, and enrolling in an intensive language course isn’t an option because of the time commitment or monetary cost. However, there are many ways to get around the need for an intensive language course if you simply practice discipline in your language learning routine.
During the weekends your practice might be studying grammar for an hour or two. During the weekdays there are many quick and easy ways to work language learning in to your daily routine. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, reading in a different language can vastly improve your vocabulary and confidence in speaking a language. It doesn’t take much effort to read a book for 30 minutes before going to sleep every night.
When it comes to speaking the language, you might think making time for practice would be more difficult—yet it doesn’t have to be. If you don’t know anyone with whom you can practice the new language, services such as PEERS edu offer many tutors who are fluent in a number of languages. Offering spoken classes that last just 25 minutes, it provides a quick and easy option to practice conversation in the language you want to learn—all you need is your computer with a webcam/microphone and a stable internet connection!
There is no excuse for not being able to learn a new language. It is true that it takes time, but not as much as you might think. With a disciplined practice that keeps you practicing and speaking the language a little bit every day, you can achieve fluency faster than you ever imagined!
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