Berlitz Blog

Published : Mon, Apr 20, 2020 4:00 PM GMT

Staying engaged while learning a second language

There are sometimes ups and downs for even the best language students using the best learning approach. A key is, don’t let the down points stop your progress.

Keep going.

Here are some keys for staying motivated in your language learning and, they can be fun.

Divide your language learning time

There are few things more boring, and less productive, than spending hours pouring over verb tables. Divide whatever time among various topics. For example, spending 20 minutes studying grammar, another 20 minutes reading out loud (particularly effective if you read into a voice recorder and play it back), 20 minutes role playing (putting yourself in a real-life situation and describing how you would respond to it), etc.

Also, it’s often more productive to spend an hour or half hour working each day on your second language rather than hours at a time. Fatigue kicks in, and much of your time may be useless.

There are entertaining way to learn the basics

It’s easy to find foreign language publications, books on virtually every topic and foreign language newspapers free online. Print a few stories and try reading them—even if you’re not an advanced student.

This helps you understand what you don’t know. Going back and studying those can be useful in fine-tuning sentence structure, grammar, improving vocabulary and better understanding verb usage. Reading about a topic that interests you, such as the history or culture of the language you’re studying makes learning more fun.

Writing helps you speak

Even if your goal is to be conversational, writing in your foreign language helps you learn to speak.

Writing helps you think more spontaneously. If you’re having trouble writing (or saying) something, think of another way. As in your native language, there are many ways to say the same thing. Writing also provides many of the same benefits as reading and speaking, improved sentence structure, vocabulary and grammar.

One suggestion about speaking, do it! It’s typical for language students at first to be embarrassed to talk because comprehension usually comes first. Speaking will become fun and educational.

Don’t let COVID-19 slow your progress

Most people now can’t attend classes or meet in person their instructor, and are turning to online learning. Now, there is even another way to stay motivated and have fun—the Berlitz Online Community. And, it’s free.

Twice a week French and English learners can drop into an online session to connect and converse with others. There’s a session for beginners and one for intermediate in each language. Join the conversation today.

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