In our experience, we’ve noticed some common pitfalls that students, in general, tend to make. We will share some of these because it’s not hard and can help you improve your learning pursuits. One thing to note is that the principles embedded within these tips will work for any language.
As of today, here are a few winning strategies you can apply to your language learning routine.
Embrace your language mistakes
It can be beneficial to practice speaking or learning a language when you make mistakes. When you forget your words and are forced to speak imprecisely, you learn and improve your skills. Blurred pronunciation, mispronunciation, and poor understanding of the language are good because it makes opportunities for you to grow. We all make mistakes when we speak either in a foreign language or in our native tongue, so don’t give up your fight!
Never compare with other language learners
One of the most sought-after strategies for creating a successful language learning routine is to never compare yourself with anyone. Many students thought their English wasn’t at the level they felt it should have been. They felt their friends, siblings, or workmates were more advanced at an earlier stage. But it would help if you remembered that everybody is different; therefore, the way people learn languages is also different. Learning languages may come more easily to some than others, but this doesn’t mean they’re ‘better’ than you – just different! No matter what level you’re at with the English language, you have worked extremely hard.
It’s hard enough to attempt to learn a language without comparing yourself to other people. Comparing yourself negatively can cause jealousy, low self-confidence, and even depression. Everyone is different. Let go of those unnecessary feelings and focus on yourself instead.
Set reachable language goals
If you want to progress in life, write realistic goals and set achievable ones along the way. You may not be able to pass an IELTS test next week if you’ve just learned the alphabet this week. Maybe passing an IELTS test is your ultimate or main goal – and that’s a great goal to keep too! Goals should fit in with your schedule. For example, some of my previous students had the goal of learning one new word every day, but others set their goal to read an English newspaper every week to increase their vocabulary skills. Set goals that are important to you and help you achieve what matters in your life. Remember how good you’ll feel when you reach those goals!
Michael Phelps, an Olympic swimmer and 22-time medal winner has shown that goal setting is essential to success. He kept his goals on his bedside table, near his alarm clock, and he always saw them while turning off the alarm. Let’s see what Phelps has to say about goal setting and how it helped him reach those 22 medals. According to him, “nothing is impossible, and goals are what it takes” to achieve success. Goals are often a resource that helps us overcome obstacles when things get tough. Students who put their goals down in writing were 75% more likely to achieve their goals than students who didn’t write anything down! So if setting goals helps Michael Phelps race to victory in the pool, then you can be sure that goal setting is helpful across many areas of life, too – such as learning English!
You might find yourself giving up when you’re learning a language, and that feeling is understandable. It’s often discouraging, but it happens. Remember, though, you’re still learning a foreign language, and that’s pretty impressive! You deserve to be proud of yourself for all your hard work, determination, and perseverance.
Do not be afraid to speak out in your target language
It takes courage to speak out in a language that you don’t feel comfortable with can be difficult. But it’s the only way to improve and make progress. Don’t stress if you don’t find the right word or if your grammar or pronunciation is a little off. The important thing is that you’re trying. And the internet makes it possible to find tutors and language exchange partners at the click of a mouse, so there’s no excuse not to get some speaking practice!
Concerns that people who you are speaking a language may judge you won’t be an issue. When Bulgarian actress Mila Kunis first moved to America, she found it difficult to speak English and felt like she was “blind and deaf at age seven.” But now, after years of dedicated effort and hard work, she’s got perfect command of the language!
Language learning becomes an enjoyable journey for language learners who are making mistakes, setting goals realistic goals, and trying to speak in their target language as much as possible. With all the fun studying, you’ll come out on top! In the comments section below, don’t forget to share your strategies with other language learners.