The pandemic has allowed people to pursue passion projects like never before – with more downtime on our hands, many people are reaching for their long forgotten projects that they never finished–or for that matter, even started. One of those passion side projects for many people is learning a new language. This is something that definitely takes time and dedication, and many people are dusting off their old language learning books and programs and giving them another shot.
Learning a language is defintiely something that people start, but because it’s so time consuming, hard, and a bit dry at times, they give up when life gets busy. It’s very easy to not do it for a day. Then that day becomes a week, and the week stretches into a month.
If you want to dive into learning a new language while you’re staying at home during the pandemic, we have a few pieces of advice for you! This is an exciting journey but not one that should be undertaken lightly. You need concentration and focus and a bit of a good work ethic. But there are certainly ways to hack this and ensure that you stay focused with a few sneaky tips.
First of all it’s very helpful to ensure that you have a good program to start with. There are so many on the market, and it really depends on your learning style. Honestly it might take a few to try out before you find one that you like and that you’ll stick with. A few of our favorites are Rocket Languages (check out our Rocket Spanish review here), Rosetta Stone, and Duolingo. Duolingo is free and is a way that a lot of people like to get started. However I truly think that purchasing a program gives you a bit of skin in the game and a bit of impetus to keep going with your studies. When something is free I tend to think that people don’t stick with it enough or value it enough.
Give yourself study hours. Make a goal to work a certain amount of time per day – but here’s the secret: make it a SHORT period of time. The reason? It’s less overwhelming and you’re more likely to stick with it. Also, many times we end up going for longer than we need just because the inertia of just starting has been broken. So, make your goal to do your language learning for about 15 minutes per day and don’t be surprised if you find yourself studying for much longer!
Consume media in your chose language. As soon as you’re able, start to consume media in your chosen language. Start with children’s books first, and go from there. Once you’re reading something actual in the language that you’ve selected you’ll get a huge boost of confidence and the desire to keep going. This is what I did when I was learning Spanish; I got some children’s books to read and I felt amazing – I was actually reading a Spanish book! Then I moved on to more complex books, magazines, and movies. Watch movies in your chosen language in their original language with subtitles so your brain can get used to hearing the native language in its spoken form. Soon you’ll start to be able to pick out words and phrases.