When I say get into language learning. I don’t mean just start learning the language, I also I mean get into the language learning scene and how to generate a passion for the subject. You might not be interested in it and would prefer to just grind away at your target language, but I can tell you that I’ve learnt a ton from those with more than experience than me and have improved my efficiency infinitely.
**Follow some polyglots. **
What better way to learn about learning languages than from people that know multiple languages? Even if you aren’t planning to learn more than 1 foreign language, their experience is invaluable. Many write their own blogs, have their own books and advocate their own method of learning a language. Not all will applicable to you, so scout out a few you agree with and try out some of their techniques.
I’ve listed a few below and how I follow them:
**Follow those that are hack away at your target language **
There are polyglots who quickly learn lots of different languages and those that completely deconstruct one language. For mandarin there are a ton of foreign language learners that are doing just that. If you’re learning another language there almost definitely people that exist like this in your target language.
Hackingchinese by Olle Linge. Olle has been learning Chinese for about 6 years.
Sinosplice by John Pasden. John has been in china for over 10 years. He is one of the most famous foreign speakers of mandarin because of his role in chinesepod.com the leading Chinese learning website.
AJATT by Khatzumoto. This blog is well known for it’s motivational nature and Khatzumoto’s opinions on immersion. Worth a read even if you’re not learning Japanese.
Teach someone else
Teach someone your target language. This lets you understand language learning from the other perspective. I’ve begun teaching people web development as well as English. I also considering some of these blog posts I’ve been making educational, so I feel like I’m teaching a lot of things. The experience is also letting me test out my own hypothesises about learning, habits and motivation. It helps you to cement your own methods for learning by teaching it to someone else and helps your to iron out your own thought processes.
Meet other language learners in your area
Meet other language learners in your area. I met a guy recently that was impressed with my passion for learning languages. He seemed to admire how I wasn’t scared to use my language so quickly and go talk to people. Little did he know I was admiring how much time he spent learning to write and read the language as well as how he came up with his own methods to learn vocabulary. For both of it was an eye opening experience. Sometimes you don’t even need to learn anything new from them. You just need to share your own experience and you learn from it.
**Create your own methods for learning **
There is a lot you can learn from other people, but sometimes the best methods come from yourself. Sometimes it’s just a small thing such as I used to do flash cards on the train. It gave me a time, a place and a way to remember to do my flash cards. It can be as simple as that, or you can invent your own system for learning vocabulary. It might not be perfect, but you know yourself better than anyone else.
Keeping a maintainable routine is better than intense learning once in a while
Lastly one of the most important things I’ve learnt is that it’s better to do something everyday for a few minutes or half an hour, than doing it once a week for 7 times as long. This works with most things, but especially with languages, where there is so much you learn everyday (especially at the beginning) and by definition so much to forget.
Not only that, but it also enables you to create a habit and if you’ve read anything else on this blog you will know that habits are the building block to learning anything.