Language-related New Year Resolutions – A Three-Step Plan

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The New Year 2013 is only 8 days old so we still have 357 days left to start realising our resolutions however big or small they are. Isn’t this a wonderful opportunity?
Was there any language-related one among your New Year resolutions?

Most of the time people put “learn a new language” or “refresh my Spanish (replace by any language)” on their resolution lists. However, I have the feeling (or know for sure from own experience) that phrasing resolutions like this will not help changing them into plans that we are actually going to realise.

That’s why I came up with the idea of how to transform your blurry resolutions into a solid plan of three steps nice and easy to follow:

1. Rigid schedule
If you’re planning to learn on your own, the main advantage of such method mostly quoted is the flexibility of the time schedule. It is, however, at the same time the most risky element because if we’re flexible we tend to postpone everything forever. So schedule your language learning time with yourself: whether 5 or 30 minutes daily, every other day – this doesn’t matter (will obviously influence your learning progress speed) as long as you stick to your rules and ACTUALLY sit down to learn at the times you scheduled.

2. Plunge into the language
Try to surround yourself with the language you’re learning/refreshing: listen to music in this language, watch movies/series in the language or with subtitles in the language, label every-day items with their names in your target language, read news/magazines/books in the language. Use every waking moment of free time to plunge into the language – even if only subconsciously, in the background!

3. Find occasions to use the language
The real joy of learning languages lies in using them in real life! So try to find occasions to use the language. The best would be travelling to a country where “your” language is spoken, staying there longer – even better! Not everyone obviously has the opportunity to travel to or live in a foreign country. In this case – thank God for the Internet! Nowadays you don’t need to leave home to use the language you’re learning. You can talk to your friends – natives of the language via Internet and if you don’t have any foreign friends yet, you can also find them online! You can interact in online forums in this language, get involved in discussions, comment on news and exchange opinions while learning and expanding your “real-life” vocabulary.

I hope this post will be inspiration to stop wishful thinking and start realising your plan to learn a language. Good luck with that! And if you have any helpful advice of your own, please share it with us in comments!

[Polski]

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