Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have an easier time learning new languages than others? Many assume that the ability to learn a language can be effortless and straightforward. However, this is a misconception. Even individuals blessed with natural linguistic talents invest significant effort and time. The real key to mastering a new language lies in consistent practice, patience, and employing effective learning strategies.

In this blog, I will share proven techniques and insights from my own experiences as a multilingual speaker (fluent in six languages and currently learning Icelandic, my seventh language) that can make your language learning journey both efficient and enjoyable.

  • Enjoy Learning… Just Like Any Other Activity You Love! Language learning requires effort and time, but the rewards are immense. Engaging in conversations with locals and understanding a new culture is a joy unlike any other. When you treat language learning like a beloved hobby, the process becomes more pleasurable. It’s normal to experience a mix of good days where progress feels exhilarating and bad days where motivation wanes. The key to overcoming this is consistency.

Tip: Make learning a daily habit by dedicating 15-20 minutes each day or engaging in 30-minute sessions three to four times a week. Follow a structured syllabus that outlines topics that you can cover over weeks and months, making sure to track your progress (use our free study plan). This approach helps maintain momentum and ensures steady progress.

  • Sign Up For A Class. Motivation plays a crucial role in language acquisition. Self-motivation is excellent, but if you struggle to stay on track or feel overwhelmed, enrolling in a language class could be the solution you need. For example, I started learning Icelandic on my own with an app, but soon realized weekend study wasn’t enough. I enrolled in an online course at the University of Iceland, which transformed my approach. Regular interactions and the fear of not wanting to fall behind during class discussions greatly boosted my frequency of study and overall motivation. Now, I am able to make simple sentences and communicate the basics with locals.

Tip: Consider joining a language class, either in person or online. At The Languages Corner, we offer tailored sessions for various levels and schedules (and a complimentary consultation with a native teacher). Choosing private lessons can be particularly effective for fitting language learning into a busy lifestyle, allowing you to progress at your own pace and on your own terms.

  • Overcome the ‘No Time’ Barrier. The most common barrier people face in language learning is the perceived lack of time. Track your time to see how much you spend scrolling through social media or binge-watching TV. You might be surprised! We all lead busy lives and often feel exhausted. In my own life, I juggle multiple jobs, am pursuing a doctorate, manage a family and a business, and even cook in the evenings. Despite this, I’ve successfully integrated language learning into my daily routine. What’s my trick? Staying organized (not always successful though)! The COVID-19 pandemic taught me that organization is critical; rather than cutting back, I optimized my schedule to increase my productivity. I utilize a paper planner to structure my week and create daily checklists, carefully timing each activity to conclude my workday by 5:30 PM. This scheduling strategy affords me 30 minutes before dinner to dedicate to language learning, face yoga, or meditation (I usually alternate between these). Afterwards, I begin cooking, a task now less daunting due to my proactive meal pre-planning. 😉

Tip: Treat your language learning sessions as essential parts of your day, scheduling them like critical meetings or workout sessions. Aim for times when your brain is most alert, such as early in the morning or after work. Effectively integrating these study sessions can help create a balance, transforming language learning from a dreaded task into an enjoyable and fulfilling part of your life.

In conclusion, learning a new language is a journey that involves more than just understanding grammar and vocabulary; it’s about consistently integrating learning into your life and finding joy in the process. By setting realistic goals, seeking proper guidance, and dedicating time efficiently, you can transform the challenge of learning a new language into a rewarding adventure.