Hi! Happy New Year! TODAY is a great time to create a strategy for your language learning in 2021! Write down your goals, think positive and watch this video for more tips to find success in 2021 language learning!
I cannot believe we are here at this point again, the beginning of a new year, a fresh start because 2020, let’s be real, it was a bit strange, very unexpected.
So it’s common here in America to set a New Year’s Resolution or goal, the most common being weight loss. But I think hey, let’s set a goal to learn a new language or English, if you don’t know it.
It can be intimidating, or overwhelming, or scary especially if you’re not sure of where to start, or how to go about it. I want to give you some tools to help set you up for success in this year, because learning a language is possible, and is also fun, and so rewarding.
You can do this!
Today we’ll talk about mindset and motivation, as well as goal setting and learning style.
- Goal Setting
- Learning Style
So there will be those four points, because all of these things are extremely important when it comes to language learning.
Mindset and motivation
I am convinced that so much of learning a language depends on our own motivation and mindset. Because if we are not motivated, we will be struggling to learn the language we’re trying to learn. So it’s very important to identify our why, why are you trying to learn english? Or whatever language you’re learning.
Is it because of school? Will it help you get a better job? Is it for fun?
Write down your reasons, so when it gets tough, which it does, you can keep moving forward remembering why you even started in the first place.
This is interesting:
You’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
So write them down!
I can’t tell you how many people have told me this phrase, “I’m sorry for my bad English”, but you guys, don’t be sorry for your English, please. I’m always like “Stop! you’re amazing, you’re learning English. It’s not your native language, you’re doing a great job! You can do this!”
So what are the thoughts in your head? Are they positive or negative? It’s so important to have a positive mindset going into the process of learning English or whatever language you’re trying to learn. So here are three phrases you can tell yourself, you can come up with your own if you want, but..
- I will learn English.
- I am smart, I can do this.
- Little by little, I will get this.
So tell yourself these things every day and see how it begins to transform your language learning journey, because it’s really helped with mine, as well.
Have a Plan of Action & know your learning style
After you’ve found your motivation and have your positive mindset, it’s important to have a plan, a plan of action. And to have a plan, it’s important to know your learning style, because we all learn differently, and how I learn a language may be different than how you learn a language. And that’s totally okay.
Here are some questions to help you identify your learning style:
- What time of day do you learn best? The morning, the afternoon, the evening
- Where do you study best? Out on a walk, at a desk, in bed, in the library?
- Do you learn best in a classroom setting, or studying by yourself?
- Do you enjoy writing things you learn on your phone or your computer, or handwriting in a notebook?
- Do you learn best with books or videos or audio or all of the above?
- Lastly, think of five ways that are fun for you to study.
For example, talking to natives, or listening to music, watching movies, planning a vacation to the place, things like that, because having fun while learning the language is going to be a key factor for your success.
Because if you’re hating what you’re doing to learn, you’re going to quit, you’re going to give up. So being able to recognize how you learn will help you to have a plan. For example, if you know that you do better with structure, maybe finding a classroom is a better option for you than studying all by yourself. Or if you know you study better in the morning, making that your daily study time instead of trying to do it at night.
So it’s these little things that really make the difference to your language learning success.
Diving into goal setting
Let’s talk a bit about goal setting. As I mentioned before, people that write down their goals are 42 percent more likely to achieve them. That is huge! So write down your goal, dream big, imagine where you want to be.
My goal with French for this year, 2021, is to be able to have phone calls with native speakers in French.
And for that to happen, I have to, I have to improve my spoken French and my listening skills, and I think I need to take that big goal and break it down into small more attainable goals, either by month, by week, or by day.
Whatever works best! I encourage you to do that with your goals as well. It’ll help you to feel like you have direction. And it also feels so good when you achieve your goals.
Coming into contact with the language every day is going to be so important. So how much time can you commit to daily studying? I would say to aim for 30 minutes to an hour or more if it’s possible.
And if you don’t have time to sit at a desk, use your car time when you’re commuting, or exercise time to listen to a podcast, or call a friend while cleaning your house. For me having three kids under six, I have to do these things in order to be able to learn the languages I’m trying to learn and maximize my time. So your goal might be learning English, but how can you break that down into monthly goals?
Some examples might be:
- Finish a series in English
- or finish a certain amount of Duolingo,
- Have four phone calls that month
- read two chapters in your book.
These are just some examples to start helping you to think, so set your own goals according to your learning style and schedule.
And then taking that monthly goal and writing them down into just attainable daily goals, which could look different from day to day.
I’ll give you a couple examples to get an idea. So a daily goal might look like this:
- I’m going to spend 45 minutes every evening studying english.
- 15 minutes watching youtube videos,
- 15 minutes on hellotalk,
- 15 minutes on duolingo,
- 15 minutes of reading in my target language.
These are just examples, but you have to do what works for you, what you’re motivated and excited to do, what you’re interested in doing, and your goals have to be attainable and measurable for you and your lifestyle, but time flies, so quickly, so use it wisely.
Sometimes it’s hard to see your day-to-day progress, but the month-to-month or the yearly progress will be so much easier to see. And it’s important to celebrate along the way, enjoy the journey, the people that you’ll meet!
Don’t let your fear of making mistakes stop you from learning the language.
This is normal, I’m giving you permission make a lot of mistakes in 2020. It’s okay. And I encourage you as well to reward yourself.
Every month look back on your progress. Are you able to introduce yourself now? Do you recognize the days of the week in the new language? Are you able to tell time? Are you able to have a small conversation?
It’s all of these small victories that add up and that really matter. Okay I could say more, as you know this is my passion, but I think today, I gave you guys some really good tools to get started. We covered motivation and mindset. We talked about learning style and goal setting, and these things are key and foundational to help you learn the language you’re trying to learn this year.
What are your language goals for this year?
I always love to hear from you guys, share this video with a friend that’s starting to learn a new language to encourage them and help set them up for success as well.
Tchau, ciao! You can do this!