Language Learning Goals for March
In March I’ll be continuing with Italian and Mandarin.
I’ll also be sharing the tools, techniques, and resources that I’m using to help me achieve my goals in language learning this month.
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I’ve been learning languages for a good few years now and if you count the time spent on learning French at school that would be well over a decade (or 2 hence the plus 😀) of language learning. I feel that the most important aspects of language learning are consistency, perseverance, and patience. Not giving up when things seem impossible to achieve, and having a good, regular study routine in place that includes a whole range of sensory resources.
Language learning takes time and effort it doesn’t happen overnight – was Rome built in a day?
Optimising your brain for language learning is really important if you want to enhance your ability! If traditional language learning methods are not working for you then maybe it is time to open your mind and try a more holistic approach to language learning! This includes paying attention to your mindset and physical wellbeing. Looking at environmental factors and social implications.
This month I am officially launching my brand new Udemy course on how to apply a more holistic approach to learning. The course is ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Holistic Learning’. In addition to this, I am releasing a series of blog posts on Lingohut regarding how I have applied the holistic approach to my own language learning.
Tools and Resources I plan to use for Learning Languages in March…
italki – Private Tutoring
italki is an excellent tutoring resource and I have used this to learn Chinese-Mandarin, Spanish, German and Italian. You can book sessions to suit that can last as long as 30, 45 to 60 minutes.
Cost: Can vary depending on tutor, time and type.
LingoHut – Vocabulary
LingoHut is a great site offering 12 languages.
Speechling – Pronunciation
Pronunciation is really important if you want to be understood! I must admit even in my native language I do mispronounce words, because of my British accent and context used people tend to work it out, but a mispronounced word with a thick foreign accent can be difficult. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE accents and it makes me sad when I read about people trying to ‘loose’ their accent, but pronunciation is really important and shouldn’t be neglected.
In my personal view, Speechling appears to be the best on the market in terms of recording yourself and getting quick feedback from a tutor on your pronunciation. It helps you learn with useful sentences and phrases or you can create your own!
Cost: Premium version $19.99, free version available.
Referral Code: TRISHA
Studying in Germany – Blog on Learning Germany
This blog is packed solid with articles and videos to help with learning German.
Memrise – PC, Tab & Mobile Learning
Memrise has courses in a multiverse of languages, it’s great because I can study on the go or when waiting for an appointment or meeting. I have used this for all the languages I have studied even British Sign Language (BSL).
Cost: Free, pro adds lots of additional features for $59/yr.
Games for Language – Vocabulary building (the fun way!)
Gamification of your language learning!
Language Hacking Series by Benny Lewis – Interactive Book
Easy to use interactive books that are great for beginners.
Language Hacking Series on Amazon – $19.97 or currency equivalent.
I am a big fan of Flash Academy and have been using this app for 8 months now to help with Spanish, German and now Italian.
Cost: Can vary but the best option is a years subscription for £35.99 (£3.00 a month that’s like a price of a coffee, bargain).
What about my other languages?
- Spanish: I can get by in ordering coffee and food so all good. I am using Spanish to help me learn Italian! So My tutorials are in Spanish and Italian.
- Mandarin: I can have general conversations but at a basic level. I still have some issues with pronunciation, but this is where Speechling will be most helpful.
- German: I still struggle a lot with basic conversation. German will be a language saved for later! Although that said I have discovered an awesome blog that has really helped me!
- French: I learned French at School and college. It takes me a couple of days to get back into this language, but I am at functional especially at reading level. My knowledge of French grammar is also a big help for learning Italian!
- Sign Language: I really do need to brush up on this as I am looking to do my level 2 (and maybe even 3) this year.
I’m finding the more languages I learn the faster I pick up related languages!
Any other Business
This month I’m looking forward to #WomeninLanguages Event on Facebook.
So in my decade-plus of language learning, I have learned that you need a variety of resources that stimulate different senses. You cannot rely on just one method alone, but at the same time, too many resources can be overwhelming so it’s finding a balance.
You also need to take a step back to see the bigger picture and work out the best learning style for you. Once you know your style its time to make sure you are setting the right study and even lifestyle habits. For example, cramming for hours once a week isn’t as efficient as studying 10 minutes daily at a regular time. A bad sleep routine can also wreak havoc with your ability to learn new things.
Finally, to learn a language you have to, HAVE TO speak it! Engaging in real conversations as soon as you can. If you want to learn a language you have to lose the perfectionism, be prepared to make some pretty awesome mistakes and step out of your comfort zone.