7 Tips for Successful Language Learning

  • Make Mistakes. Contrary to what comes naturally to us adults, making mistakes in language learning is the best thing that can happen, especially when someone else points them out.  The sooner you give yourselves permission to make mistakes (lots and lots of mistakes), the sooner you can move on to the real process of learning a language.  Plus, laughing at your own mistakes makes for so much family fun.
  • Speaking. Speak the language as much as possible!  Our students have the platform to do this all the time without caring whether the words are correctly pronounced or not and whether they know exactly what all of them mean.  The language is so very lovely and they love to let it roll off the tongue. Often we will put on a podcast of some random dialog  and allow them to just repeat the words and sentences whether they recognize them or not.
  • Be Inefficient! It can be so hard to get out of our “training” which says that we need to be efficient and moving forward in an accountable way.  Throw that out the window if it starts to discourage you!  This is not school and you have no one to answer to but yourselves and your own family.
  • Learn From One Another. One of the best parts about learning a language together with your family is the give and take between each other.  Each one is in a situation of correcting another family member.  It is fabulous!  Not only does this help  feel empowered by your language learning, it puts you all on a level playing field where you can truly share in the experience as equals.
  • Learning Styles. We definitely each have different ways of learning.  The joy of learning a language with your family is seeing how each of you responds to language differently.  Some prefer visual input, others audio and some by writing things down.  Sometimes having a translation is beneficial, other times just listening even when you don’t understand is most enjoyable.
  • Emotion. Learning a language can be very emotional – in fact, I believe it should be to some degree to really have an impact.  There is so much more to the whole experience of learning a language than the language itself.  Culture, music, food and more all come along with the language by default and have an impact on you.  And you should remember that as it is very personal, this means you need to accept the fact that each of you will experience it differently and on your own terms.
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