Blog of Sara Jakša

Positive Habits for Language Learning

I am learning my fourth language right now (German), so in order to make the road as painless as possible, I would like to remind myself, what are some positive habits, that helps with language learning.

The most important habit, at least in my opinion, is to try new things. In the environment of the language learning that means, that the learner, in this case me, is not afraid to try activities in a foreign language. Be it reading that book, that was supposed to be too hard, or watching that TV show, that that actor was just so cool. Or talking to somebody and hoping, to be understood. Or writing a new best seller in a new language (I know that one is unrealistic, but it is a cool goal).

The other important positive habits is contrary of the previous one. Is consistency. Doing something in the language every day. Even if just reading that text, that was read a hundreds times before, at least it was something.

It is even better, if a learner can stick to some activities, that will further his knowledge, and do them every day. Like listening to the postcast everyday, or reading 5 new pages of that book.

It is even better, if a learner combines the two positive habits together. Everyday, thing something new in the language.

The next important habits is everyday listening or reading. Preferably both. Even in conversation, you have to first understand the person in front of you, before you can answer. The difference between our passive and active vocabulary is huge, but it has to be that way. A person in front of you can use words among all of them, but a learner doesn’t need to produce all this variations, just one. Plus, I had never meet a person with bigger active than passive vocabulary.

It is even better, if there is everyday speaking or writing involved. Like writing a diary in the notebook, or simply trying to talk to somebody on skype about the weather.

The next one is not being perfectionist. Learning a language is like mastering any other discipline. No piano player was great the first time he seated behind it, also no speaker is perfect the first time. It just takes deliberate practice over time.

And not being afraid. That is the most important one (as stated in the first reason and the one right before that).