Learning a language can be a lot of things. It can be fun. It can be rewarding. It can be an opportunity for travel or career success. But one of the biggest myths about language learning is that it’s quick and easy. That’s not often true, even though some language schools, publishers and online course providers promise super-fast results. They claim they can accelerate the language-learning process, but the reality is that it happens at different speeds for different people.
Learning a second language is rarely quick and easy; in fact, it’s often slow and difficult. At the very least, it’s time-consuming. That’s one of the reasons that motivation is so important: it takes self-control, discipline and focus to learn a language, and some, if not all, of those things come in some way from motivation.
But what else can help the process, especially if you’re studying mostly or completely online? What habits can you adopt that will make you more successful? Here are three of our ideas.
1. Treat language learning like exercise
Are you ready for a ‘Learning workout’?
We all know that it’s important to exercise regularly; yet research shows that few of us follow that advice. That’s because most of us don’t enjoy exercise very much, even if we know how important it is. The thing is, once we start exercising, we soon see the benefits.
Similarly, some people don’t like learning languages, and that’s completely natural. (I did love learning languages at school, but I hated Maths; it’s rare for people to enjoy every academic subject, after all.) If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like learning languages very much, then it can help to treat your language learning like an exercise workout: