Had language learning been an easy affair the entire world would have been multilingual. Since that is not the case, we need effective strategies to not only help us navigate the difficult terrain of learning the language, but also stay sane and motivated throughout the process. We should remember that language learning is a process and not a target that we can achieve. Language learning is a continuous process and we have compiled a list of strategies to help you gain mastery. Let’s dive right in.
- The Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 rule emphasizes that roughly 80 percent of the consequences come from 20 percent of the causes. Applying this to your language learning scheme, you can:
- Identify the activities that you do each day, even if they are most non-significant like brushing your teeth and do it for a week to get a fair idea.
- You can then strike off any activity that is not leading to the result you want for yourself, basically any activity that you see as meaningless.
- Prioritise the leftover activities and find out how you can do them best. If language learning is your priority, find out which 20% of the areas- new vocabulary, sentence structuring, grammar, adverbs etc.-you can focus most on gaining mastery in 80% of the language.
And there you have it, a lean structure of not only your day but also of your study programme. If you are targeting Haitian Creole, you can opt in to Learn Haitian Creole Adverbs from CreoleTutors.com.
- Allot a chunk of time to Language Study
As per language experts, the best time to study languages or any left-brain activity is as soon as you wake up or near bedtime. This is because the mind is relatively less inclined to contain any additional information and is less alert to distracting stimuli, therefore you can focus most of your energies on studying. You can also do it both in the morning and night to fully utilise the power of your subconscious brain as the body sleeps. The subconscious brain laps up the information before sleep and commits it to long term memory helping you retain better parts of your session. Allotting a chunk of time for language studies will help you make good progress each day which will in turn fuel your motivation to study further.
- Track your progress
Tracking your progress will help you notice how far you have come rather than focusing on the progress of an individual day. You can do this by noting down the grammar chapters you have covered or the number of words you have learnt. Mobile applications automatically note down your progress by gamifying the whole experience; however, if you are learning using an online platform, you can make your own progress charts. Online platforms such as Creole Tutors give you detailed progress reports if you complete a module to say, Learn Haitian Creole Adverbs from CreoleTutors.com. These reports end up building confidence in yourself and your learning ability.
- Combine language learning with activities such as driving
Combining two unrelated activities will help you have fun in the process and also give you the illusion that you did not really have to chunk out time for a specific activity. Although the learning will be less, you can optimise it by actively listening and paying attention to the podcast or an audiobook while driving.
The biggest secret of staying motivated to learn a language is to know your objective. If you know your ‘why’ you will never stray off the path and become a multilingual person in no time.