How to learn a Foreign Language this year
It is that time of year again – the time when we make New Year’s resolutions. I heard on the radio this morning that gym memberships surge in January – only to be left unused a few weeks later. Keeping up with our resolutions is tough.
But not impossible.
Finding Motivation to learn a language
Helpfully on the same Radio Show (BBC Radio 5 Live), there was a sports psychologist to inform us how to keep up with our resolutions. He helps athletes reach their goals and believes the same principles can be used in all walks of life. Two points were especially pertinent. Firstly, we need to be genuinely excited about achieving our aim and we should imagine how we would feel if we reached our target. As an athlete you might imagine yourself on the podium, receiving your medal and the adulation of the crowd. For language learning you might imagine travelling to the country of the language you are learning and speaking fluently to the locals! I love the idea of switching between languages fluidly, translating for family and friends and making new friends in foreign countries. This provides the motivation.
Make a Language Learning Plan
Secondly create a route map to success. How will you do it? How much time can you dedicate? What tools will you use? When will you schedule it? Make the plan achievable and realistic. For language learning you will need regular slots to learn. When a plan is written down you are much more likely to stick by it. No plan, no way.
Use the Right MFL Language Resources
You won’t be stuck for choice in terms of what MFL resources you can use. Far from it. The problem is that many of these resources are poor and not based on sound language learning principles. Please look at my previous blogs on this matter. I’ll also be sharing in my blog some of the great MFL resources I have used soon. Suffice to say that choosing the wrong language tools is akin to playing tennis with a golf club….almost impossible.
May I wish you the best of luck. Learning a language is a challenge but can be fun and even addictive – in the same of way that crosswords and Sudoku problems are. It gets under your skin – and that’s a good thing! I find myself circling back on Italian, not as a chore but as a challenge I want to succeed at.
French and Spanish Games you might consider
If you’re learning French or Spanish take a look at our award-winning language games. They make learning fast and easy and within seconds you’ll be able to make thousands of sentences to score points. It’s true – really.
Watch this 2 minute video.