Year after year, millions worldwide embark on this learning adventure, only to find themselves dropping the idea midway.
If you find yourself in this situation, I'll explain the best student behaviors to learn a language successfully.
Keep reading; at the end, I'll offer tips on how to improve your motivations and learning skills.
Imagine traveling to a new country for pleasure; how do you approach this? are you the kind of strategic planner thinking about every detail? Like whether it is challenging to get a visa or have friends visit there? Do you feel overwhelmed or feel this is the adventure of your life! The way you approach situations and your personality play a key role in your language learning ability.
So, having said this, here are my learning drivers insights:
Suppose you feel curious and attracted to a particular culture. You want to figure out the message in your favorite K-pop song and naturally get the dictionary or translator and enjoy doing this. In that case, the motivation comes within you. You probably won't see this as a burden and rather enjoyable.
If you are studying the language because you want to get a promotion at work, need to close a deal, or have a better grade at school, that's an external motivator.
Identify which one is predominant. Usually, external motivators drive us to finish when we have achieved the goal. Internal motivators will keep us more engaged with the language over the long term.
It is important to say if you are studying English because you want a better job, eventually, as things evolve, it could become an internal motivator, as you might find your new skills enjoyable.
2) How do you approach the language?
If you barely attend class and think this is good enough, you might rethink your approach.
3) How do you use the language?
|Is this a good use|
Do you make an effort to use the different symbols and language structures efficiently? Do you make an effort to use the grammar to the best of your capacity? Do you try to use the language according to the context? Do you try to understand the culture around your new language? Do you try to use the language according to its social meaning?
As you can see, it's not only about drilling words but putting them into context. The more effort you put into giving these new sounds and words true meaning, the easier learning will get.
4) Managing your emotions.
|Use them in your favor.|
Are you afraid of criticism? How do you react when you face a setback? If you got a bad grade on your test, is that an opportunity to improve?
Your attitude sets your learning pace. Healthy confidence develops growth. Even if you are mistaken, you should see it as a learning experience, not an embarrassment.
If you think what you are studying is impossible/possible, it will.
Get an encouraging coach if you feel anxious, use breathing techniques, or gradually expose yourself to the language.
5) Actively look for feedback.
|You can ask!|
As you can see, your attitude and motivation go a long way when learning a language; I think even more than your natural learning ability.
Learning is a two-way street, and a good tutor and methodology can help you achieve your learning goals. If you consider classes with a tutor, here is my summary of who you should be looking for. A good language tutor:
- Will be kind and never criticize you in a demeaning way.
- Will make an effort to know you better, what motivates you to learn.
- Will offer meaningful opportunities to make sense of the culture and context.
- Will offer suggestions on how to practice the language outside the classroom.
- Will encourage you not to be afraid of mistakes and ease your anxiety.
- Will celebrate your achievements.
My class methodology revolves around those points, and my students feel motivated and ready to communicate in English with confidence. If you want to learn more, let's get in touch!
And finally! Here are my tips on how you can improve your language learning experience.
- Set your video streaming account in the language you are learning. If you play online video games, interact with the group in the target language. Lookup for conversation clubs.
- Read articles, listen to music and watch videos in the target language.
- Try not to translate word by word. Instead, look at the situation as a whole.
- If you run out of words, use gestures!
- Be creative! If you can't find the correct sentences, use alternatives that have the same meaning.
- Set a learning goal, like a new word. If you achieve this, reward yourself! Get ice cream or a nice cup of coffee.
- If you are anxious, use the balloon breathing technique before speaking or taking a big test.
- If you don't understand, ask the other person to slow down or repeat themselves.
There you have it! Those tips will help you to improve your learning. Remember: when learning, attitude, and motivation are your big allies!
What are your learning strategies? What do you feel has helped you to learn? Share it here, so we learn from you!
Source: academia (2022, January) Technology and the Psychology of Second Language Learners and Users--The Interview [video] academia.edu. https://www.academia.edu/video/jYpp0k