I came across this article recently and even though by February a lot of resolutions have gone by the wayside, I feel that one of the most useful things I can do with this blog is help you think about how to get going, keep going, and make satisfying progress in learning Spanish. Hope you pick up an idea or two from it; used by permission. (I am not familiar with her particular approach.) — Rosana
How to Plan Your Language Learning in 2010
With 2010 well under way, it’s time to come up with your language learning plan for the year. It doesn’t need to be particularly elaborate, but you definitely need one if you want to stay on track and wrap up 2010 with great results.
Basically, what will benefit you most is a flexible language learning plan that will provide a detailed-enough answers to these 4 basic questions:
Your linguistic efforts require a conscious choice from you on which language(s) you want to focus on. You have to be crystal-clear on your direction, or you’re never reach your destination. You can’t expect to learn a language well, if you keep hopping from one to another without being able to really choose the one(s) that will have your absolute priority in a given period of time. When making this crucial decision, however, there are at least 3 factors you must consider:
- time on your hands – the more time you have to dedicate to language learning, the more foreign languages you can be learning;
- financial resources you can devote to your learning process; and
- costs versus benefits of learning a certain language.
The »why« is just as important as the »what«, since you won’t accomplish anything without a proper motivation. So, go ahead and ask yourself why you want to master the language(s) you’re choosing. Is it because you’re genuinely interested in the language, or you have to learn it because of some sort of external pressure on you, such as a job description you need to fit into? Be brutally honest. Being aware of the forces that drive you will help you set up a system that will support you and prevent you from quitting. You can go even further and put together a vision board that will showcase the importance and power of your future results. Think about all the possibilities you’ll have to monetize your knowledge, and imagine the feeling of achievement and self-confidence you’ll get from this language learning experience.
Now the juicy stuff kicks in. This is the part where you decide upon the tools and techniques you’ll use, the goal(s) you want to fulfill, and the time frame to get it all done. Try to dig deep and really jot down a plan provided with all the specifics you need – such as »Language Learning Magic« days of the week, the courses you want to attend, and/or the home study kits you’d like to follow. If you go for a live language course, be picky about it, and if you buy any programs or products for individual domestic use, only purchase those you’re 100% sure you’ll want to learn from. It might sound silly, but the structure of a manual, and even its font and colors, are things that will grab your attention, or lose it for good. If you ever doubt whether to go for something or not, just remember the keyword – FUN – and you’ll be OK. It’s a simple as that.
4. What if?
In case you’re wondering what if you get bored in the middle of the year, and want to change your »course of action«, I have great news for you – you’re the one and only commander of your Language Learning Magic Spaceship. You push all the buttons, so you can re-adjust your direction any time you need to. Likewise, you can drop out of courses that don’t work for you, or suddenly add new learning strategies to your plan. Flexibility is that one golden ticket you can’t afford to misplace.
Martina Srblin is the Language Learning Magician who will help you discover the language learning system that best fits your needs, skills and schedule, so you can stop wasting time, money and energy on language learning methods that – for you personally – are inefficient. For free resources and to sign up for a FREE report on “7 Key Steps to Smart Language Learning” and a FREE subscription to the Language Learning Magic Ezine, please visit Martina’s website http://www.martinasrblin.com.
Filed under: Learn Spanish