Did you know 100% of people choose ‘Learn a New Language’ as their New Years Resolution? Okay, so maybe that’s not entirely backed by science, but a lot of people do start the year with language learning in mind. Just look at Language Snaps… we’re a barely a week into the new year and all we can think of is English! English! English!
So here’s the deal: mastering a language is tough, and challenging, and time consuming but YOU CAN DO IT! And guess what? You can do it in 12 months or less. How, you say? By fully immersing yourself in the language you’re trying to learn. Although everyone’s path may be different, we put together a guide to make 2021 the year of fluency!
- Explore your reasons for studying English;
- Assess your level of fluency;
- Define learning goals;
As you think about your goals, explore English-language resources and activities. Is there a movie or TV show you’ve been meaning to watch? Or a book you always wanted to read? Immerse yourself in new experiences to find what you enjoy. Enjoyment is key to this process!
- Create concrete goals;
- Define main activities;
- Decide on a schedule;
Your January goals were probably broad. Maybe you chose ‘speak more confidently’ or ‘improve my vocabulary.’ Now it’s time to make a plan. If you chose speaking confidently, how will you achieve it? By signing up for conversation classes! If you chose vocabulary, how will you learn new and retain words? With daily reading, speaking, or listening! You catch our drift. Make a clear schedule and commit to it.
TIP: Alternate between passive and active activities. Feeling good? Watch a movie with intention. Feeling tired? Let it roll on the background.
March to May
- Continue to practice;
- Gradually remove ‘training wheels;’
As you continue to study, gradually remove aids. Turn off translated subtitles more frequently, commit to lengthier conversation classes, and write as freely as possible – even if it means making mistakes.
- Assess progress and fluency;
- Revisit general and concrete goals;
- Revise activities and schedule;
It’s time to evaluate how far you’ve come! Congratulate yourself on your excellent commitment and dedication and now look ahead: is there anything you need to adjust, change, or adapt? Spend this month trying out new activities to get out of your comfort zone.
July to November
- Increase conversation classes;
- Increase time spent actively listening;
- Grammar practice deep dive!
- Read real-world materials;
Note that ‘increase’ does not necessarily mean more time. Perhaps you keep the same conversation schedule, but spend more time speaking than your tutor. Perhaps you trade passive learning for active learning. Perhaps instead of grammar drills, you know think more critically about each concept. Real-world materials are also helpful!
It’s time to congratulate yourself on a year of hard work. Leave the analyzing and planning to January and enjoy your achievement. Re-watch movies you haven’t seen in a while, read writing prompts you wrote earlier in the year, and get in touch with each of your conversation partners. You will be amazed at how far you can go in twelve months!