Lesson Transcript

Some language learners progress more quickly than others. Is this because they’re smarter, more talented, or maybe just lucky?
This is not the case. Most of the time, a lot of what determines your success in a language is the amount and consistency of the time you put into it and the way that you go about practicing it.
In this video we’ll take a look at 5 techniques of successful language learners that you can use in your own studies.
Number 1. Hit the Easy Targets
Start with easy attainable goals when starting out. You might want to do as much studying as possible when you first start learning a new language. But this a good way to get burned out fast by all of the obstacles you will hit.
Whether you are trying to learn 10 basic vocabulary words a week or just want to review some grammar that you have already studied and might need a refresher on, having easier goals to get you started on your language learning journey can make it easier to just to keep progressing. And then when you hit those goals you feel motivated to make even more challenging ones.
It's ok to start small and and work towards hitting the harder targets. But when you are just starting to learn a language go for the easier ones rather than overwhelming yourself with too much at once.
Number 2. Break down the most difficult parts of the grammar
There’s always been a bit of debate in the language learning world as to whether or not you should learn grammar explicitly or implicitly. A lack of grammar should never keep you from trying to speak a foreign language. However, implicit learning by itself doesn’t work well when dealing with more complicated grammar.
Tenses, verb conjugations, noun inflection...there’s some tough spots you can find in grammar. As you come across these foreign grammar concepts take some time to study and practice them. Hone in on one aspect at a time and practice using it by writing out sentences or simply by speaking. Read different grammatical explanations and example sentences. While you don’t want to spend all your time grinding out grammar exercises, 10 or 15 minutes a day of focused practice will help you master these otherwise difficult areas of the language.
Another great way to master grammar is to work with whole phrases or conversations. This isn’t as easy to do while you’re speaking with someone, but it can be done by listening to audio.
Our language podcast lessons are ideal for this because they feature native conversations that you can pause or replay over and over again.
As you study and work through a conversation first look at the words and phrases that you do know. Then without resorting to a translator or dictionary, do your best to figure out what any new or unfamiliar words mean. After that feel free to look them up. If you work this way with whole sentences you are much more likely to internalize the new grammar.
Number 3. Practice with native speakers
Language course books, apps, and podcasts are all great ways to learn the language, but eventually the rubber will have to meet the road and you’ll need to start using what you learn. The best students take every opportunity they can to practice the language with real people.
You might not be learning the most popular language, but even so there are still a lot of other learners out there trying to master it like you. Take advantage of this and try to link up with a meet-up or language exchange in your town or city. This way you can connect with other learners and get tips and tricks from them that might help in your own studies. If you’re unable to find an exchange in your area take the search online and even find some native speakers on free sites that connect language learners around the world. Here you can help out a native speaker who is learning your language, you can learn from each other.
It’s a win-win.
Number 4. Focus on being understood, not being perfect
Undoubtedly when you begin to speak with native speakers you will make a lot of mistakes. This is a natural part of the language learning process.
In your first few conversations you’ll probably mispronounce, misconjugate, or all together forget words. But that’s okay. Learn to embrace these mistakes. As long as you’re practicing with a native speaker who can give you accurate feedback, those mistakes can do nothing but help you improve.
After getting feedback on your mistakes, the next most important thing in your spoken language practice will be to keep the conversation going.
If you make a mistake correct it and move on. If you can’t remember a word do your best to describe it in your target language to your language partner. Use what words you have in order to be understood, even if your sentence or diction comes out a little weird.
Number 5. Keep an Italian journal
Most people talk about how important it is to speak a language you’re learning, but not nearly as many mention how powerful writing in the language can be.
Writing in your target language lets you use all the material you’ve learned but without the demands of a real time conversation. Writing is also an excellent way to expose the words or phrases you don’t know or are unsure about. You can write in an old fashioned paper journal and do your best to check it or have a friend look over it. You can also write entries online and have them corrected by native speakers.
While it’s not always easy to speak successfully, it is always rewarding. Use these tips as a guide to jumpstart your progress. No matter what, keep your head up and after a bit of patience and hard work you’ll be speaking your target language soon enough!
And for even more ways to successfully learn a new language the right way check out our complete language learning program. Sign up for your free lifetime account by clicking on the link in the description. Get tons of resources to have you speaking in your target language. And if you enjoyed these tips, hit the "like" button, share the video with anyone who's trying to learn a new language, and subscribe to our channel. We release new videos every week! I'll see you next time. Bye!