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7 Essential Habits to Help You Master a New Language

Do you ever feel like you aren’t learning your target language quickly enough? That all those hours of studying aren’t helping at all?

Well, you might need to change your technique!

To master a language, you need good learning habits. Try these 7 tips to become a more effective language learner!

1. Have a Clear Goal

Before starting a language course, make sure you know what you want to achieve. Saying that you want to speak a new language is too general; think about why you want to speak it. Maybe you’d like to understand literature in the target language, work in a foreign country, or make new friends. By knowing your goals, you’ll save time by focusing on materials and methods that will help you reach those goals.

2. Make It a Routine

Making language learning a regular part of your daily schedule will help you stay on track. Try to schedule your study sessions for the same time each day so they really become part of your routine. This will also help you avoid cramming (trying to memorize large amounts of information in a short time).

3. Include It in Your Everyday Life

Study sessions are important; they allow you to focus on new material. But you need to do more! You should make your practice part of your everyday activities. Try shopping at a store where you’ll have to use the target language, going to see a new movie in that language, or having coffee and a chat with another language learner. There are a lot of opportunities to practice in the “real world.”

4. Know Your Learning Style

Do you need to look at words, symbols, or charts to understand an idea? You might prefer listening to someone speaking about a topic. Or maybe you learn best by actively participating. When you understand your learning style, you can choose materials that will help you study more effectively.

5. Review to Remember

Trying to rush through new topics isn’t a useful way to learn. You’ll remember the material for a short time, but you’ll soon forget. Part of effective learning is review. By reviewing regularly, you’ll help move the information from your short-term to long-term memory. Try starting each study session with a 10-minute review of what you learned the previous day. 

6. Welcome Mistakes

Nobody likes making mistakes. In fact, most people try very hard to avoid them. But mistakes are great teachers. Making an error, focusing on it, and correcting it can actually help you learn. When you make and correct a language mistake, you’ll remember it later and will be less likely to repeat it. 

7. Observe Native Speakers

To truly master a language, you need to think about more than just grammar and sentence structure. Watch and listen to native speakers’ use of slang, intonation, body language, hand gestures, and eye contact. These are the things that can bring your language skills to the next level.

Conclusion

Trying to become fluent in a new language can be slow and frustrating. Luckily, there are things you can do to improve your experience. Try adopting these habits to learn better and more easily.

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.

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