I imagine that many people now have a lot of free time on their hands. I know that I do. I find that if I am not doing something productive with my time, I feel this guilt inside me that I am wasting my time. While it is good to take a break every so often, keeping some kind of routine or plan can be very beneficial. This is true when it comes to language learning too. I wanted to go over how to make a language learning plan to help you remember better and give yourself the best chance of success.
Learning a new language doesn’t have to be hard. I mean sure, it certainly isn’t easy, but there are many different ways you can reduce the difficulty of the process. We have spoken before about how to start learning Thai, where we explain how to get started. So what happens once you are in the process of learning and how do you keep that momentum going?
The key to learning a new language is consistency. If you take some time everyday to practise, you stand a much better chance of retaining the vocabulary or grammar you want to remember. Therefore, maintaining a consistent schedule is very beneficial and something you must consider when making your plan.
Setting goals that you can reach for is also important. Seeing your progress can be very empowering. At the same time, having goals gives you focus and structure to your learning. Of course, you need to think about how fast you will realistically progress. Having goals that are too ambitious may lead you to failure and demotivate you.
Finally, as much as I would like to give you a schedule for you to follow, learning is very much an individual pursuit. Everyone learns differently and has different schedules for their everyday life. Therefore, their language learning schedule will also be different. You will need to think for yourself how much time you can put towards it and how often. I hope that with these tips will have at least some idea of how to do that for yourself. Just try to spare around 15 minutes to 1 hour every day or so.
Now that we know some of the basic elements of learning a language, we can move on to making the learning plan. Here are some tips that you can keep in mind when creating yours.
As confident as you may feel right as you psyche yourself up to get started, you need to think about where to start. If you jump head first into learning the complexities of Thai grammar, then you will quickly feel overwhelmed. Try to think of somewhere suitable to begin your language learning journey.
There are a few different areas where you can start. For example, you can learn some basic vocabulary like greetings or numbers. If you visiting the country, you can start by learning the important travel phrases that you will actually be using while you are there. Basically, you need to find something relatively simple that is also interesting enough to keep you focused.
The main idea behind the plan is so you can keep track of your progress. This works great when you need motivation as you can look back at everything you have learned. Also, structure can be very helpful in creating focus, just like when you were at school.
Don’t forget that your plan can be in any form. You can physically write it out on your calendar or set alarms on your phone. Just choose one that works best to get you working. Bear in mind that the timing doesn’t have to be 100% set.
I know as well as anyone that there are times where my mind is just blank and I can’t remember anything I read. Just make sure you set aside some time so that when you are feeling more productive, you can get to work. Try to keep it at regular intervals too.
For those days where you are just not in the mood, you can shift things around. Instead of learning vocabulary for a new topic or something else that require a lot of effort and attention, you can instead go back and reread some vocabulary you have looked at before.
Yes, it can be really annoying when you are really not in the mood. However, if you are not sick and do not have any other reason that you cannot learn, then you will need to push yourself on days like these. Even just a few minutes of focus will help at least keep your mind sharp and can be the difference to successfully learning a language. This is why apps like Ling are so helpful, as you can use it on your phone whenever you find yourself with a few minutes of free time.
The thing about language learning is that everyone learns best in different ways. Some people prefer reading while others work best when watching videos. Ideally you should use a mixture of different methods but use your favorite way the most often. You will need to cover a range of different elements relating to the language such as reading, writing and speaking, so varying your language learning resources to reflect that is a necessity.
Don’t forget to also mix up what you are learning. It is safe to say that some parts of language learning are really boring. While they may be necessary to learn, you can try giving yourself a break from the boring stuff by doing something different in between. Learning vocabulary is a good choice and is very practical. Don’t forget however that you will still need to look back every so often to make sure you remember everything.
For many people, language learning is a hobby that they do in their free time. That is true for me too, especially in these current circumstances. However, sometimes having some structure can go a long way to helping you succeed. There is a reason schools have rigid schedules for classes. This will especially come in useful for the days where you feel less motivated. Seeing your plan written out can be enough to give you the will power to push through and learn. Whichever way you go about it, I wish you good luck!
The Ling app can be a very useful companion to your language learning. Try it out and fit it into your learning plan even if just for a few minutes a day. See how much difference it can make and test yourself often.