I’ve been studying languages continuously for about 3 years now. Just like everyone else I do get burned out at times. When I do I apply these simple principles to help get me back on track and moving along again.
1 Take a Structured Break
It is important to structure in regular breaks into your schedule. This not only helps you to feel more refreshed it means you are less likely to quit. It seems strange to schedule a break when you have fallen off the tracks! It is important to look after your own wellbeing and apply a more holistic approach to the way you learn languages.
2 It’s all About the Planning!
Why did you start learning the language in the first place? Travel? Business? Just for fun? It is very important to note down these reasons as a reminder for when you hit the language learning lows that may ‘throw’ you off track. I recommend reading 10 ways to use a bullet journal.
3 Set Goals
Set smaller more realistic goals that lead to the bigger goal of learning the specific language (or two). Big goals can be overwhelming. Use my 28DayLanguagePlannerwhere you can make a note of why language learning is so important to you and set out some clear goals for the next 28 days. Ensure you set some breaks every 5-7 days. For more information on setting goals read how to make SMART plans.
4 Get a Tutor
If you have not done so yet hire a private tutor. They do not have to be expensive and you can get an online language tutor too. To find out how to get the best tutor for you check out my Top 10 Tips for Finding a Language Tutor
5 Get Some Peer Support
Language Learners Journal is aimed more for independent language learners. Personally, I feel I did not start to excel at languages until I took control of my own learning! However, I also understand how important accountability is and that by joining forces with other language learners will help keep you on track. There are many online and offline groups or exchanges you can join and it is worth doing some research to see what is the best one for you.
Examples #SULP, #add1challenge, meetup or language exchanges on Italk.
6 Do a Course
These days there are plenty of languages courses available some free and some you have to pay for. Courses can be face-to-face or if like me you are really busy then invest in an online course or use an app like Duolingo or Memrise.
7 Make it FUN!
Play games in your target language, listen to music, read books and watch movies!
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they’re doing.” – Dale Carnegie
8 Review Progress
If you feel you are going off track with your learning have a little review and focus on the progress you have made. Although still make a note of areas you still need some practice on and put a plan in place. If you need a boost for your language learning get a copy of my book Positively Productive.
9 Doing Things Differently
I may say this a lot, but if something isn’t working for you then DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! We tend to go with what we know and this isn’t always the best option for us. By doing something different it does not mean you are falling off the track! It means you need a new route. Go back to your language plan and update it! If you want to make real progress you do need to step out of your comfort zone. Plan fresh activities to get you out of your comfort zone, but on a steady track.
10 Focus on What is Important to You
What are the main keywords you need to know? Focus on the aspects of the language you need first and put this into actual practice with a native speaker. This will give your greater confidence which in turn can help you stay on the right tracks.
Give these simple steps ago and let me know how they work for you? If you have any other tips you would like to share, please leave them in the comments section below.