10 Ways to Amplify your Language Learning

‘How to Amplify your Language Learning’ is now available on Skillshare¬†ūüöĬ† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† http://skl.sh/2AFRVXG

Learning a language isn’t easy and it takes time, however, there are simple, yet very effective tools and techniques based on scientific principles that people can use to amplify their language learning…

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This post contains affiliate links. You don’t pay more, but I may receive a modest commission that supports the running costs of this site & the FREE content it has to offer!


1. Beware of fluency and perfectionism 

It is rather difficult to define what ‘fluency‘ actually is as it can mean different things to many different people. Languages evolve over time, therefore, the process of language learning is an ongoing¬†and exciting challenge. A good way to think of what fluency means for you is to ask yourself why you are learning the language in the first place. Is it for social reasons, business or educational? Depending on your why can really help you build the vocabulary that you actually require from day 1 of your learning.¬†Remember perfectionism can get in the way of language learning. It’s okay to make mistakes this is how we learn best. I encourage mistakes as if you are making mistakes that mean you are actively learning something new.

2. All about mindset and having a ‘go do‘ attitude¬†

No matter which learning tools you use, it‚Äôs crucial to practice your new language every single day even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Tell yourself you can and you will tell yourself you can’t and it’s likely you will lose motivation and eventually just give up. It’s really important to¬†manage unhelpful thoughts when learning a new language.

3. Make realistic, specific goals

Learning a new language becomes more manageable when it is broken down into smaller, manageable chunks that are achievable within a set timeframe. SMARTT is a popular goalsetting technique. Mainly used in business it is an excellent tool for personal self-development. You might be feeling rather optimistic when you first start learning a new language but aiming for fluency is not necessarily the way forward. Why not set yourself a target of being able to introduce yourself within 28 days, keep it simple and focused.

4. Learn vocabulary in context

‚ÄúA great way to build vocabulary is to make sure the lists you‚Äôre learning come from situations or texts that you have experienced yourself, so that the content is always relevant and connects to background experience.‚ÄĚ

– Ed Cooke, co-founder and chief executive of Memrise

Memorising lists of vocabulary can be challenging, and a rather boring task. Although this may work for some people, most people tend to learn best when actively using vocabulary in conversations, reading or writing. Anki is one of the most recommended tools for learning in general. The smart flashcards teach through repetition and adapt to your particular strong or weak points.

5. Online immersion 

There are 168 hours in a week and funny enough that’s the same for everyone! Now it’s how we utilize these hours that makes all the difference. According to research by Ofcom, the¬†average person spends about 20 hours a week online!¬†If you‚Äôre trying to learn a new language, turn that web browsing time into some valuable learning time.¬† The¬†Language Immersion extension for Chrome¬†can help you to build your vocabulary and language knowledge by¬†translating parts of the web page you‚Äôre browsing into your target language.¬†Readlang¬†is a similar¬†online tool and one I have used for many years, but it also creates flashcards for you and offers many other study tools too.

6. Use mobile apps as foreign language coaching 

Duolingo¬†has to be one of my favorite language learning apps. Similar language learning apps include Flash Academy¬†and Hello Chinese.Mobile apps can really help you to keep accountable, track your progress, tailor to your level of fluency, connect you with fellow language learners, and motivate you with virtual rewards. However, this method alone is not enough to learn a language. Apps are great when you are pushed for time and you could study for as little as 10 minutes per day or even on your daily commute…if you are using public transport and not driving!

7. Actively using the language 

Actively using a foreign language is key to not forgetting what you have learned. Benny Lewis the author of Fluent in 3 Months recommends speaking with a native speaker for at least 30 minutes a day if you can. If you don’t have anyone nearby to practice with check out Italki or the awesome Add 1 Challenge / Step Up Language Program on Facebook.

8. Change your language settings 

When you are feeling more confident with your target language why not set up your social media accounts and mobile in your target language.

9. Step out of your comfort zone

Willingness to make mistakes means being ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. This can be scary, but it’s the only way to develop and improve. The more often you do this, then the easier you will find new situations. Stepping out of your comfort zone is where the magic really happens.

10. Get a Journal 

Having a language Learning journal is one sure way to accelerate your language learning in a really flexible and creative way.

Inspired to learn a new language? Check out our supportive network of language learners in our Language Learning Amplified Facebook Group and join our official Facebook Page dedicated to language learners everywhere. 


 

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‘How to Amplify your Language Learning’ now available on Skillshare¬†ūüöĬ†New videos to be uploaded every Monday!¬†‚ě°ÔłŹ¬†http://skl.sh/2AFRVXG

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How to Set Language Learning Goals in Your Bullet Journal

Have you ever planned your language learning goals for the year ahead? Now I am not a fan of New Year‚Äôs resolutions, but I do like a plan! A plan for accomplishing my language learning goals, etc, etc… for the next 12 months, but broken down into manageable 28-day chunks with some break days in-between.¬†Daily and monthly goals are part of¬†bullet journaling, but annual goals now they require more planning and organizational techniques.

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This post contains affiliate links. You don’t pay more, but I may receive a modest commission that supports the running costs of this site & the FREE content it has to offer!


HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE GOALS

Estée Janssens / Unsplash

It’s tempting to choose a language that will really impress your friends and family.  However, unless that language is something you really want to achieve, you probably won’t have the motivation to make it a reality. Before setting any language goals it can be really helpful to discover what kind of learner you are? When you are aware of your learning style you can better plan your goals and will be more likely to succeed in achieving them.

MINDFUL LEARNING 

I believe in a more holistic approach to languages that incorporate positive thinking strategies and Mindful learning. You should start with thinking about what language you would like to learn and why? Meditate on it and visualize it. What would it be like to be able to speak that language?

SET S.M.A.R.T.T. GOALS 

Another common guide¬†to goal setting is¬†the S.M.A.R.T.T acronym. SMART has been used in the world of business for years, although the last ‘T‘ is a fairly new addition. It can be used as a practical guide for setting focused language learning goals. Grab some scrap paper and set some S.M.A.R.T.T goals.

S.M.A.R.T.T. JOURNALING

Got your S.M.A.R.T.T. goals sorted? Now get them written in your journal. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer¬†the physical feel of paper and pens. Need some inspiration check¬†¬†20 Inspiring Bullet Journals for Language learning¬†and¬†10 Ways to use a Bullet Journal to Improve Language Learning.

SETTING GOALS IN YOUR MONTHLY SPREADS

The first Sunday of the month is when I create my monthly spread. I take a few minutes to consider any unaccomplished tasks from the previous month and check my language learning goals to check that I am on track.

Language Learning Goals into Your Bullet Journal
Estée Janssens / Unsplash

POSITIVITY PRODUCTIVE

Staying motivated can be really difficult. I’ve found that giving myself regular structured breaks can help energize me and make my language learning goals feel more attainable again.

Reward yourself, use affirmations, set daily reminders, take part in challenges and post in supportive language learning groups. Doing all this will help with motivation, accountability and energize you towards achieving your set goals. I also keep a list of inspirational quotes, so if I’m having a particularly bad day, I can add a positive boost to my daily pages.

Setting Language Learning Goals into Your Bullet Journal
Estée Janssens / Unsplash

PRINTABLE 28 DAY LANGUAGE PLANNER!  

My PDF worksheet will help guide you through creating your own language learning goals for the next 28 days ahead. Download the free 28 Day Language Planner Printable.  The planner also will help you to plan for any obstacles that may come your way.

***Psst*** I have a special goal-setting toolkit only for my subscribers. Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get language learning news and freebies each month.


Remember that when it comes to learning a new language, goal setting¬†is only the starting point! You need to be dedicated to your goals. They need to mean something to you. Write that reason in your journal.¬† Take at least 20-40 minutes each day to meeting your language learning goals.¬† You might not always reach your goals for various reasons so don’t be too hard on yourself just pick things up from where you left off and start again.

Good luck and best wishes for the year ahead!

Do you set language learning goals in your journal? What are your favorite ways to stay motivated when working toward a long-term goal? Do you have a language journal? Share your pictures of it on our social media sites or comment below. 


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20 Inspiring Bullet Journals for Language learning

Bullet Journaling was created by digital product designer Ryder Carroll back in 2013 and they seem to be taking the language learning communities by storm!

Here are 20 inspiring and beautiful bullet journals that are used for¬†language learning…

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From Pillar to Posts.

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Inspired to give this a try? Need some ideas on how you can use a journal for language learning check out 10 Ways to use a Bullet Journal to Improve Language Learning. 

With special thanks to the awesome Bullet Journalling for Language Learners community on Facebook and the other contributors from around the web. Most of these images were sent to me directly, but there are a few from the web. I have made every effort to contact the owners to ask for permission for use.

Do you keep a language journal? If so how has it helped you with languages? Comment below or join in the discussion on our social media channels #LanguageJournals

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Feeling inspired and want to start journaling? Check out our Official Language Learners Journal collection…¬†

 

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