Adopt These 3 Habits to Learn Language Successfully

If you are one of the millions of people looking to learn a new language this year, then this article is for you. Regardless of your reason for learning, whether you are trying to improve your job prospects overseas, looking to move to a new country, or even just wanting to do better in school, intermittent sessions and cramming won’t cut it. Rather, learning a new language is a lot like losing weight, which we’ll explain below and then give you the 3 habits you need to adopt, to be successful.

Losing Weight is Akin to Learning a New Language?

You’re probably thinking, “yeah, right…” but hear us out. When you see language-learning services that claim they can have you fluent in a week just by passively listening to the lessons, do you believe them? Probably not. The same is for any fitness trainer or diet that says that you can lose those 10, 20, or 50 pounds in 1-2 months. Rather, you know that you need time, healthy eating, and regular workout sessions to lose the weight, just like you need time, routine, and regular study sessions to learn a new language. With this said, here are the 3 habits you should adopt.

Habit 1: Regularity & Routine Is Your Friend

One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to build a routine for yourself. Those who are able to stick with learning their language of choice, do so because they make sure to spend time on it every single day. Those who do not have a routine may find themselves slipping every few days because of other life commitments such as work or sheer forgetfulness to login to their app. Without a daily routine, it’s a lot easier to completely give up if you feel like you’ve lost a lot of progress already due to not practicing.

For instance, those who choose to only learn their chosen language on weekends or only study throughout the week when they have breaks between work, are far more likely to have other commitments that break their routine. Plus, in learning while you have other things on-the-go means you’re less likely to retain the information you’ve just learned. While those who use their language-learning apps at bedtime may have a higher proficiency at both learning and retaining the knowledge [1].

Habit 2: Use Distributed Practice Rather Than Cramming

We’ve all been there, cramming all night long right before a critical exam or test. And, while a lot of us think we’re doing a good thing by covering all the information at once, this actually reduces your ability to truly learn the information. This applies to anything, from test material to learning how to fly a plane.

To master a language, it is better to use distributed practice - short study sessions over a long period of time [2]. By using this method, it is not only easier to get your study session in because it is short (no one likes studying for hours on end) but, it also means you’re more likely to retain the information and not need to play catch-up. In not running long marathon study sessions, you’re more likely to stick with it and less likely to end up hating it.

Habit 3: Review Old Material

When we first start learning a new language, it’s so tempting to rush through the material to learn as much as possible. This is mainly driven by the excitement at learning something new and how rewarding it is to conquer a new word or phrase.

Unfortunately, over time you will gradually forget the initial things you’ve learned and as such, you need to review old material on a regular basis. If you engage in review, you help push the knowledge you’ve learned from your short-term memory into your long-term memory. The best time to go back and review old material is when you are at the cusp of forgetting it and recall is difficult but manageable.

Wrapping It Up

To make learning a new language easy and effective, just remember to establish a regular, daily routine that incorporates short study sessions and builds in review time for old material. Remember that in building up your new language skills, you must always go back through and keep the foundation strong. Finally, remember that it takes time, practice, and due-diligence.

Do you have what it takes to learn another language? Of course, just look at all those on Glotsalot doing it now. Get started today!