6 tips to help you improve your language learning
Learning a language can be tough. It takes time, effort and often money too. It doesn’t have to be terrible though. The key to reaching your goals is to find ways to learn that you enjoy.
Here are some tips for learning English that can help you to keep going.
1. Watch series online
Rewatch your favourite shows again in English if you have already seen them in another language. You already know the story which helps you to understand a lot and it will help you learn new vocabulary. Don’t be afraid to turn on the subtitles if you want to. Studies have shown it can help! I recommend starting off with them in your native language and when you feel more confident, switch to English.
2. Set Goals
Why are you learning a language? Is it for work? Or for a holiday? What level are you at now and where do you need to be? According to research, it takes on average around 100 hours of study to move up a language level. How much time can you give to learning?
Do you need a certificate or is it just for your own peace of mind? Do you know what your level is now? When is the big presentation or job interview? Do you want to learn intensively or more leisurely? Once you sit down and think about what you really want, you are a big step towards achieving it.
3. Connect it to your hobbies
I love football, the one with the round ball, and when I moved to Germany, I was lucky to move to an area that loved it too. The only problem was I couldn’t speak any German at all. But with some good use of body language and a shared appreciation of the sport I was able to have conversations with people. They were basic in the beginning but practice makes perfect and when it is so easy to talk about your passion, you are almost learning by accident.
4. Use technology
When you can practise every day, that’s when the improvements start to come quicker. This is where language apps come in. In my classes, I create individual apps for my students to focus on their own lists of words, as well as working with existing well known companies to find which ones work best for you. For those who don’t like using learning apps, I recommend writing a daily journal in English. 15 minutes learning every day can go a long way.
5. Find a Friend
Having someone who is on the same journey as you can really help. I have used a tandem, where my partner teaches me German and I teach them English, as well as a pure learning friendship, where we are both around the same level in German. I like them both. Some people think you need to learn from an expert, and while that will definitely be helpful, when it comes to practising, it can be much easier to understand a Non-native person. Don’t worry about picking up bad habits, focus on improving your confidence and fluency.
6. Go to class
Maybe this one is cheating, but a teacher can really help you along the way. When it comes to group courses, you get to meet other people and building these relationships can help you stay motivated. One-to-One means you get your teachers full attention. With my students, I am always reachable when they have specific problems, and I can provide help because I know so much about what they are dealing with. Structure from your teacher can really help you and when you find a teacher you like, it makes all the difference. This is why I would always recommend making use of a free trial if the teacher or school offers it.
All in all I think learning a language is a bit like being sporty. If you exercise often you will improve. If you stop, then you lose a bit of your progress. It doesn’t matter if you run in the gym (like a classroom) or in the park (by yourself) as long as you run. It’s good to have a trainer but you need to do some of the hard work on your own. When you have a good mix, everything is more fun and that makes your target seem much easier to reach.