How ready are you to start learning a language?
I can imagine this would sound funny to you. I mean, if you are reading this post and you are on my blog it means you have taken the first and most important step; deciding to take up a new language. However, there are so many other factors that should be taken into consideration.
As an educator myself, time and time again I have witnessed new students give up after a while. Of course, when the parents are the one encouraging and in some cases “pressuring” the child to do the lessons; then things are different.
“You have to do it” they say. So, in these cases you don’t really have a choice. Now if the child likes it or excels in the target language, is another story which I will cover in another post.
Coming back to you, the mature individual who has the freedom to make their own decisions. I imagine you are excited to begin your journey into learning the language.
If you have the correct mind set and are familiar with what is to come, then you have nothing to fear. Your journey will be amazing and you will enjoy every minute of it. But, if you haven’t given any thought about time dedication, learning strategies, and learning environment then you might be in for a surprise.
In this post, I will go over the first 3 most important factors you need to consider and some info why they are important.
There are 2 important questions to ask yourself.
Consider the following
- How much time can you spend daily or weekly studying?
The state.gov has divided languages into categories according to their level of difficulty and the time required to achieve a professional working proficiency. There are 4 categories in total.
- Category 1 – Languages more similar to English
- Category 2 – Languages that are a bit more difficult than English
- Category 3 – (Hard languages) – Languages with significant linguistic and/or cultural differences from English.
- Category 4 – (Super-hard languages) – Languages which are exceptionally difficult for native English speakers.
Here you can check a more detailed list of Languages!
Research has shown that to achieve fluency in group 1 languages you have to dedicate 600-750 hours, whereas in group 2-4 languages the hours can jump to approximately 2200. Now that’s what I call dedication. Knowing the hours, you must put in, is essential for your dedication.
I know that looking at the hours required might be off putting but think about it. You have been using your mother tongue for many years, since you were born to be exact😊. I assume you have also gone to school and learnt it there too. You have done the hours, so now the same is required for the new language.
- What are your intentions?
When it comes to your intentions you need to be honest with yourself. The language you learn and how you learn it depends on your personal motivations.
If you are a professional who need to be able to communicate with some colleagues speaking Chinese, then this becomes an important to learn. What if your extended family members speak Arabic or you simply want to say some basic words to your in-laws.
Your intentions matter and play a huge role when it comes to planning an efficient and productive schedule. A daily routine practicing the target language is ideal.When your true intentions for learning a language have been identified, you can plan an efficient schedule! Click To Tweet
If you are not aware of the time you need to dedicate or why you want to learn the language then it is very likely that you might give up when things start getting difficult.
The truth is they will get and when you have been true to yourself from the get go you will be able to stick it out even when things get though.
Implementing learning strategies has been proven to produce better, faster, and more efficient results!
- Are you a more visual learner, do you enjoy reading about a new fact or watching a video about it?
We all learn in different ways, what works for me might not work for you! Finding which way you learn best is curtail for the ultimate result. This way you utilize all the time you spend studying.
Discuss this with your teacher if you have one, I am sure he/she will make the effort to assist your needs and help you with your language learning experience.
- Do you learn best after a walk?
Experiment with different situations and see the result, you will be shocked how a 5 min meditation can influence your learning process.
We are all uniquely different so knowing the best strategies that are helpful to you and applying them to the learning process will make your life way easier!
Consider what works for you as an individual. Many times, my students would ask me “what is the recipe for success”. There is no such thing as a mapped-out path which is “one size fits all”. I know I have said this before but the truth is that it is different for every learner.There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to learning! Consider what works for you as an individual! Click To Tweet
Consider the flowing
- Are you more concentrated while listening to music?
Some people can multitask just fine while listening to music. Others, can’t really concentrate with any noise around.
Recently, I discovered that I am able to block outside noise from a nearby construction by listening to music on my earphones! I was able to write a whole post doing that. Isn’t that amazing!
- Do you like a messy or a tidy desk?
Back in the day there was this idea that a tidy desk helps learners acquire knowledge better, but recent studies have debunked it, so it is entirely up to what works best for you.
- Is a crowded cafe “the spot” for you?
If that is the case then just go for it. Ignore what might people say or anything else that might be stopping from doing that. Remember that your learning process is essential for YOU!
When you answer these questions you will be able to figure out the learning environment which will be beneficial for your learning process! Then all you have to do is plan accordingly or not depending on your situation😊.
From a personal experience I believe these are the first factors to be considered in the beginning of your language learning adventure.
- Time dedication
- Learning Strategies
- Learning Environment
It should be also noted that there are numerous other methods that are involved into learning a new language.
As I see it, learning is a solely individual process. It is extremely personal and unique for everyone.
If you like this post, please share it on social media! You can also connect with me!
What do you think of my top most important factors when starting your leaning journey? Do you have any other suggestions? What is your process? Let me know in the comments below!
I am a life long-learner with multiple interests and passions. Due to being an overthinker, I tend to research and explore any topic to the fullest and share this research with all my readers. All tips and knowledge shared are from years of personal and professional experience. Check my About page for more info.