Good or bad, behaviors are part of who we are, who we become and what we do. We spend time trying to eliminate bad habits and an equal amount of energy in establishing good habits. And when it comes to language learning, things are no different. Ensuring that we have
No, and here’s why.
Bad research habits really can hinder our development inside our target language, so it’s vital to develop good learning habits.
- Establishing Good Language Learning Habits
It’s been said that it requires about 21 times of consecutively doing something for this to become habit. Which means that when you can research every day for at least a quarter-hour for 21 times, you have a fairly good potential for it getting simpler to sit back and do frequently?
Just how do we make effective language research a habit?
If you desire to train you to ultimately develop good language learning behaviors, you will need to make it so that learning is something you’ll miss if you don’t get it done. Like brushing your teeth, eating dinner or your morning cup of coffee. There are a few “hacks” to make language study a more regular part of your routine. Here are just a few ideas.
- Check in with a tutor or language exchange partner to make sure you’re on track with your learning.
If you spend too much time wanting to work things out on your own, you may find you develop bad habits that hold you back or make certain aspects of your speaking/comprehension more difficult than they need to be. Someone who knows what they’re doing, like an instructor, can help you avoid this. As you invest additional time into your vocabulary studies, and also have a couple of years under your belt, you won’t should do this normally. But at the start when you’re starting out, specially when you’re still racking your brains on the type of language research works for you, it could be crucial.
An instant example I’ve has been one of my French students. He was learning French in college and was fighting successful on his research and examinations. After our first lesson, I understood a big part of his problem was that the group learning setting wasn’t working for him. As part of the class, he was too intimidated to ask the questions he needed to ask in front of his peers. But by working one-on-one with me, he was able to ask questions and work through exercises with me at his own pace, allowing him to pick up and understand the vocabulary and grammar he was likely to learn.
This student thought that he was bad at language learning, but this wasn’t the situation in any way. He actually found complex grammar guidelines and new vocabulary quite quickly. There is nothing incorrect with him as a learner, but only with the surroundings within which he was learning. Once he previously a teacher he could chat things out with, his capability in the vocabulary skyrocketed.
So, to produce a long tale short, if you discover that you’re struggling, it’s definitely value checking along with someone every occasionally to help give you some direction. If you don’t do this, especially at the beginning, you can simply develop bad study habits and burn yourself out.
- Set goals and make plans.
One of the best ways to make sure that your study practices are good practices, is by setting goals. Goals are your last destination and programs are your roadmap to make it happen. Knowing what it is you want to attain as a vocabulary learner, you can create the steps you will need to try make it happen. And these steps offer the information you will need to create language learning behaviors that raise the probability of your success.
- Set aside a specific time for language study.
Among the techniques I’ve seen often as a suggestion for developing good practices is to set aside a specific time in your routine every day just for whatever habit it is that you’re trying to establish. In this case, language study. The mornings are often best because you haven’t yet become overwhelmed with other part projects, tasks, calls or emails. But sometimes the evening works too.
With this method, the most important thing is to pick a block of time and stick with it. If you consistently sit down to study your language at a set time, your brain and body become so used to doing it that they automatically switch into study mode at that specific time. It almost becomes second nature to study when that time rolls around.
- Create a specific place just for language study.
Another method, if you have the space, is to create a dedicated study area free from distractions so that each time you step into that area, you know what you’re there to do. When you’re in this space (or when it’s your dedicated time), make sure that others (parents, siblings, spouses) know not to disturb you.
When you have trouble focusing, try learning for shorter spurts of your time rather than looking to survive one hour long learning program. If you force you to ultimately sit for too much time while your brain and body are fighting against it, you’re heading to come from your studies a lot more tired than necessary and you also won’t anticipate another one. If you begin to dread your research time, you’ll quickly end up skipping classes and ruining all the task you’ve placed into building your research habits.
- Leave off at a place that makes it easy to pick your studies back up the next day.
When your study time is over, try to make a note of things you’d like to work on the next time so you have a place to start the next time you sit down to work on your target language. Sometimes one of the hardest things about learning a language is choosing exactly what to study. By keeping a study journal and making notes as you work, you can eliminate this lack of direction so that you always have something to work on. This will also help prevent you from hitting a plateau.
Another technique that you can try is to leave off in the middle of the resource that you’re using. So, rather than ending your study session by the end of a section, go a full page or two in to the next section so you are less intimidated by picking right up where you remaining off. There’s something about having already began another section which makes getting back to it a bit easier.
- Start small.
If you aren’t used to learning regularly, it’s more challenging to remain on the right track. You might not have the stamina quite yet so don’t press yourself too much. If you do, you risk burning up out and giving up language study completely.
That said, you won’t enjoy everyday of your studies, but that’s not reason to dread it or stop altogether! In the event that you get too frustrated, overwhelmed, or uninterested generally, you’re likely carrying it out wrong.
You don’t have to be a specialist in your target language immediately – it’s something you’ll always work at. So rather than looking to get fluent fast, simply take small, regular steps towards small, daily improvements.
Arranged small goals you understand that you can accomplish and finally work towards much longer study sessions.
Focus on just quarter-hour each day and then after a few weeks, increase it to thirty minutes, then 45, then one hour, etc. And that 45 minutes or hour don’t have to be a solid block of time. You can practice 15 minutes thrice a day to get to 45 total minutes or 45 minutes once and the 15 minutes once to get to an hour. Regardless of how you go about it, make an effort to slowly increase the total amount of time you spend per day.
If you do this right, you’ll eventually find that an entire hour has slipped by without notice and you’ll no longer find yourself counting down the minutes until your study session is supposed to be “over.”
- Experiment with different kinds of practice
If you start to find studying stale, to the point that you have a hard time keeping it up regularly, try changing up your routine with different types of study. If you normally focus on hearing comprehension, try intensive reading. If you normally focus on speaking, try authoring the subject areas you’d normally discuss. If you normally read in your focus on language, try viewing a television show in your focus on language.
- Listen to more audio in your target language
Like a musician, I can’t help but believe that sound input has an enormous benefit to you as a learner. Actively listening is one of the best ways to learn. In order to truly improve your comprehension (and accent, pronunciation, and even vocabulary/grammar), you must listen to as much as you can in your target language.
Pay attention to the speakers – what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. And the more you listen, the more accents and speaking styles you’ll be exposed to. Listen to female speakers, male speakers, adult speakers, adolescents – you get the idea!
- If inspiration hits you, don’t let the moment escape you.
If the inspiration suddenly hits you to
- Be patient
Success in habit building doesn’t happen overnight. Just do what you can to set up regular work each day. That persistence, even if it’s a little little bit at the same time, will accumulate. You are able to move mountains, but only 1 wheelbarrow filled with earth at the same time.