Learning is a process that takes strong commitment, motivation, organization, and a lot of effort, especially from our brains. Many feel that these are limited when it comes to learning and tend to use this belief as an excuse to exclude themselves from this process. Instead, the truth is that our brains are neuroplastic, which means that they have the ability to change throughout life. Our experiences, including language learning, stimulate our brain, improve its function, connectivity, and structure. This is not, however, a magic pill that will guarantee your language fluency. Everyone is different and has different abilities; many of us will stay conversant, others will only learn the basics, whereas others will become fluent. This is due to factors like time, organization, motivation, attention, focus, etc. However, no matter what, there are benefits associated with a second language. Once we have established that we can learn, we need to keep our motivation going. How do we do that? Here are some tips:
- Create a weekly routine by picking a day (or more) when you can commit to learning the language. Set aside some actual time during the week to study, no matter if it is a few minutes or a few of hours. To do that, either set a reminder on your phone or ask someone to be your motivator so that you WILL study. Having a person who holds you accountable provides a stimulus for acting and succeeding at your goals.
- Organize your learning sessions in writing. Make a plan of what you are going to learn, your goals and what you would like to achieve at the end of your lesson (I find Google Keep very handy!). By organizing your work, you will be able to easily follow your learning steps and achieve your goals.
- Practice what you learn by watching a movie, listening to a podcast, conversing with a local or even talking to yourself! These actions will create a sense of practicality and will give you a feeling of accomplishment.
- Do something fun with the language! In addition to studying, there are also several entertaining activities that you can do. Sign up for a cooking class, a face to face or virtual meet up with a group, a conversation session (check out our conversation class, beginning in September) or simply go out and practice with the locals. You will feel that sense of accomplishment.
I hope these tips will keep you going and motivated. If you are still unsure about your language potential, please contact me and let’s find your inspiration together. 😊 In the meantime, IN BOCCA AL LUPO!