What Are The 5 Easy Tips For Consistency In Language Learning?

Tips For Consistency In Language Learning_Ling app_featured image

I have been a language enthusiast since always and tried to teach new languages to myself as a high schooler, through popular songs and movies. But it was years later that I picked up language learning seriously. Do you know what made me learn a new language confidently? Consistency provided by a language learning app!

Yes, I never missed a day of learning French – even on the busiest days of my life – all thanks to the language-learning apps I have been using. They really helped me be consistent and how! So, in this blog post, I’ll share the tips for consistency in language learning. Let me tell you how it all worked for me and how it could work for you too!

How Can I Stay Consistent With Language Learning?

As a serious language learner, to stay consistent with language learning, the most important thing to do is to tie your learning with a goal. This is the fundamental rule of any kind of serious and dedicated learning.

For instance, I started learning French in 2021 because I was working from home for a few months – thanks to Covid19 – and had some free time in hand. I returned to my old ways of learning – through YouTube videos, songs, etc. But, of course, I couldn’t sustain it because of so many distractions. However, I soon got the opportunity to tie my language learning to a goal! I had to take a TCF test to show my French proficiency in my Canada PR application.

So, I enrolled myself in an online Alliance Française class and set myself a goal – to reach the B2 level within 18 months. My teacher suggested that I complement my twice-a-week online classes with daily self-study. 2020-2021 was also when many language-learning apps popped up. That’s when I downloaded some French learning apps and today I have an almost 1000-day streak on Duolingo!

What Challenges Might I Face In Language Learning?

To understand what kind of challenges one can face during language learning, I will classify them into two categories: language-related and learning-related. Let’s see what are these challenges.

  • Unfamiliar sounds and pronunciation: It takes immense effort to distinguish and then produce new speech sounds and intonation patterns that are completely different from your native language. It took me so much time and effort to pronounce the guttural ‘r’ sound in French.
  • Complex grammar and sentence structures: To grasp grammar rules of a new language that is widely different from your native tongue can be confusing, no doubt.
  • Extensive vocabulary learning: It is quite well known how memorizing and recalling a vast number of new words and sentences and their meanings is a daunting task, especially if learned without context.
  • Interference from the native language: Ah, yes! Many times our tendencies to apply the rules and patterns of our native language can negatively influence our learning of the target language. Sample this, I kept pronouncing the name of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok as Su-var-na-bhu-mi while the actual pronunciation was Su-van-na-phoom. Mind blown? Mine was too! That’s because I was applying the Hindi/Sanskrit rules of pronunciation since this is a Sanskrit term. What I didn’t remember is that in Thai, you generally do not stress on the last syllable.
  • Understanding idiomatic expressions and slang: It is challenging to grasp the nuances and cultural references of the idiomatic expression of the target language. This could result in feeling demotivated.
  • Integrating language learning into daily life: To seamlessly incorporate language practice into your routine and find opportunities for immersion outside of dedicated study times, you definitely need time, effort, and creativity.
  • Retaining and applying learned material: Committing new information to long-term memory and effectively using it in practical situations requires consistent effort. Daily practice of even 10 minutes on a language learning app addresses this challenge effectively.
  • Developing listening comprehension skills: Training the ear to understand native speakers at natural speeds and deciphering unfamiliar accents can be challenging in a classroom or outside of the regions where the target language is spoken.

All these challenges are linguistic. It means that they can be resolved using appropriate tools and techniques for learning new languages. For instance, I faced the biggest linguistic challenge when I was moving from level B1 to B2. I had a hard time understanding the idiomatic expressions and slang that I encountered in my study material. Being an Indian, I had no cultural context to relate to those expressions. I had to look up examples in various resources to understand the context.

However, this challenge found a resolution when I started learning Thai this year. The culture notes feature in the Ling app allowed me to understand the cultural context behind many new phrases, and expressions that are used in daily Thai conversations. What a win! This clearly shows that linguistic challenges can be resolved using the correct platform, tools and techniques.

  • Motivation and consistency: It is, at times, difficult to sustain the drive and regular practice due to a lack of motivation. For people who are not naturally inclined towards language learning, this lack of drive becomes all the more challenging.
  • Time management and balancing commitments: With our busy lifestyle, it is indeed a challenge to allocate dedicated and sufficient time for language learning.
  • Overcoming language learning plateaus: Periods of stagnation or slow progress can be discouraging. I learned this firsthand when I was in limbo between levels B1 and B2 in my French learning journey. It requires a lot of perseverance to ignore that little voice that tells you that you are not moving forward as you should be.
  • Dealing with frustration and discouragement: Maintaining a positive mindset in the face of setbacks (less than expected grades in French writing exam was a big blow to my confidence) or perceived lack of progress can become a real challenge.
  • Adapting to different learning styles: Finding the most effective methods and approaches that align with your individual learning preferences can be a tedious and time-consuming task. That’s why apps like Ling, which allow you the freedom to create and customize your learning graph, are such great blessings.
  • Building confidence in speaking and overcoming the fear of making mistakes: Overcoming fear and self-consciousness when practicing conversational skills is any day a daunting task, especially so for introverts or for people who are not naturally inclined towards language learning.
5 tips for consistency in language learning

5 Practical Tips For Consistency In Language Learning

The biggest question that pops up in every learner’s mind is “How do I overcome challenges in language learning?” Well, as clearly discussed above, consistency is the key to success in language learning.

Whether you’re a seasoned polyglot or a beginner who is charting his or her linguistic journey, maintaining a regular practice routine is essential for learning any new language. However, staying consistent can be a significant challenge, especially when faced with the demands of everyday life. This is where language learning apps can be a game-changer. For people who ask, “Do language learning apps work?” The answer is a resounding yes! That’s because they provide a convenient and accessible platform for continuous progress.

Let’s see how you can overcome these challenges and stay on track with your language learning goals.

1. Set Realistic Goals

One of the most common pitfalls in language learning is setting unrealistic expectations, which can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation. I learned this the hard way. As I shared with you earlier, I had a goal to score well in the TCF exam to be able to attach my score to my Canada PR application. So, I unrealistically set the initial goal of reaching level B2 from scratch in just 12 months. Now, this might not be unrealistic for everyone but for me – someone with a full-time job and other commitments – this was torture! I was burning myself out and crashed within a month!

To maintain consistency, it’s crucial to define achievable targets that align with your schedule and learning pace. You can start by identifying a specific proficiency level you’d like to attain and set incremental goals along the way. When you setup your profile in the Ling app, it allows you to set your own learning goal! This way, you break down your overall objective into smaller, manageable milestones. For example, you can set goals such as spending 10, 15, or 30 minutes each day on the app. Or you can focus on mastering a certain number of vocabulary words in a week or completing a specific course module each day or each week.

And as I said, it’s also essential to balance your language learning commitments with other aspects of your life. Overloading yourself with too many tasks can lead to burnout and inconsistency.

2. Develop A Routine

Consistency thrives on routine. Establishing a dedicated time and place for language learning can help reinforce the habit and make it a natural part of your daily rhythm. I grew up with the habit of reading something before falling asleep. While learning French and Thai, I replaced books with the Ling app. Now I spend a minimum of 15 minutes every night without fail on language lessons.

In fact, you can start by identifying the optimal times when you’re most focused and productive – whether it’s early in the morning, during your lunch break, or in the evening after work.

Incorporating language learning into existing habits can also facilitate consistency and focus. Ling’s co-founder, Simon Bacher, shares a valuable tip that helped him learn Thai consistently. “For me, habit chaining has been a game changer. I exercise most mornings, so I made it a habit to do my Ling lesson right after the shower after exercise,” he says. You could follow this tip too!

Setting reminders and involving an accountability partner, such as a language learning buddy or a supportive friend, can also reinforce your routine and keep you motivated.

3. Find Ways To Stay Motivated

One effective strategy to maintain motivation is to celebrate small victories along the way. Acknowledge and reward yourself for milestones reached. For example, I treat myself to my favorite ice cream every time I reach a milestone streak. These small wins can provide a sense of accomplishment and fuel your motivation to keep pushing forward.

Another tip that Simon shares is to immerse yourself in the language and culture as much as possible. “It helped enormously that our nanny doesn’t speak English. So, the only way to talk to her was to improve my Thai. That was my motivation! If possible immerse yourself as much as possible in the target language,” he shares.

You can also make it a party for two by involving your partner or your favorite person in your language study. Wanting to spend time with them could be your motivation. Just saying!

Language learning tools

4. Overcome Obstacles By Managing Distractions

The most common hurdle in any kind of learning is overcoming procrastination. To overcome procrastination when learning a new language, psychologist Fuschia Sirois suggests finding personal meaning in the task. “You’ve got to dig a little deeper and find some personal meaning in that task,” she notes in Psychology Today, indicating that connecting emotionally with the purpose of learning can help the brain break the cycle of procrastination​

Language learning apps can help combat this by providing bite-sized lessons and exercises that can be easily integrated into short pockets of free time throughout the day.

Frustration and plateaus in language class are also common challenges faced by language learners. When progress seems to stall, it’s essential to remember that learning is a non-linear process. It has periods of rapid growth followed by periods of feeling stuck. When this happened to me, I learned to stop fighting the frustration and found alternatives. I started focusing more on listening skills. Since the audio lessons in the Ling app are recorded by native speakers, it became easier to get used to understanding the pronunciation. But not even natives sound the same so, I also found podcasts by Thai speakers to up the ante.

5. Leverage Gamified Language Learning Apps

Popular language learning apps like Ling and Duolingo offer gamification with a streak and reward system. This adds a fun element to your learning. Earning points, unlocking achievements, or advancing through levels honestly provides a sense of accomplishment and incentivizes regular practice. That’s why I never miss a day of practice – a habit that started with Duolingo and continued with Ling.

These apps also offer a variety of engaging content, such as interactive games, immersive stories, and multimedia resources. Ling goes a step further and offers features like dedicated grammar lessons and culture notes for some of its top niche languages. The biggest flex it has is the finger tracing method to learn writing the alphabets of languages that are written in non-Latin scripts.

You can also track your progress and identify areas for improvement, celebrate milestones, and stay motivated to maintain your learning consistency.

How To Be More Consistent In Language Learning?

To be more consistent, follow these tips:

  • Set realistic goals
  • Develop a routine by dedicating specific times for practice
  • Track your progress to stay motivated
  • Integrate learning into daily activities like commuting or exercising.

How Do I Not Get Bored In Learning A New Language?

To escape boredom while learning a new language, you can vary your learning materials. Maybe try different approaches like apps, podcasts, watch movies, and songs? Also, ensure that you set small, achievable goals to experience better progress. You can also join language meetups like Ling discord to find your community. But most importantly, make it fun by exploring topics that genuinely interest you.

How Do I Focus On Learning A Language?

To stay focused, eliminate distractions, schedule dedicated learning time, set specific goals for each session, and use techniques like the Pomodoro method – 25 minutes of learning followed by five minutes of break time. Break complex topics into manageable chunks, and reward yourself for achieved milestones to maintain motivation and concentration.

How Can An App Help Me Focus On Learning A New Language?

Language learning apps offer structured lessons, gamification, progress tracking, and multimedia resources in bite-sized formats. They provide a focused environment tailored for learning. They also offer you immersive activities – Ling offers culture notes to understand language beyond words. Plus, you can practice anytime, anywhere due to their ease of accessibility.

Make Consistency Your Focus In Learning A New Language

Is it hard learning a new language? Remember, learning a language is a marathon, not a sprint. Language learning apps are your cheerleaders who actively hand you tools to support your learning journey. You can make the most of these tools, like the Ling app, by setting realistic goals, developing a routine, staying motivated, and overcoming distractions and obstacles.

By following these tips and using these apps, you can maintain momentum and achieve your goals. So why not embrace the process, celebrate your progress, and keep pushing forward? The rewards of being multilingual are well worth the effort!

Spend 15 Minutes A Day On Ling!

Now that you are well aware of overcoming language learning challenges with commitment and consistency, why not give the Ling app a try? It is as good as being a stepping stone in your language learning journey as it is being a complementary tool to your online/ in-person language classes.

Spend just 15 minutes a day on Ling and you’ll start seeing the difference in a very short time. I know I did, within a week! So, download the app from Google Play Store or App Store and signup for a free trial today! Let Ling be your consistent study buddy.

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