Lesson Transcript

So you’ve decided to learn a new language. At first the idea seemed exciting. You bought a phrasebook, dictionary, and a subscription to an online class, ready to dive head first into the language. For the first day or two all was well. You gained ground quickly, learning a few basic phrases and words. A week before learning that language was only a dream, now you were actually doing it.
Then the third and fourth day roll around. The excitement is wearing off. You encourage yourself and continue, and another week or two goes by but with a lot less progress.
Suddenly learning a new language doesn’t fill you with excitement anymore...now it feels more like dread.
Sometimes it feels like you're drowning in grammatical cases, verb conjugations, and wonky pronunciation. It all seems too much to handle so you start to think about giving up.
I’m here to encourage you not to give up. Learning a foreign language is difficult. I won't pretend like it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, reevaluate your approach, and come back to the language with a different perspective.
In this video we’ll look 5 Tips for When Learning a new language Feels Overwhelming
Number 1: Set aside a designated study time
Consistency is key when learning a foreign language. Studying 15 minutes 7 days a week will profit you more than cramming in two hours one day a week. Set aside an amount of time that works best for you.
If you can afford to spend an hour everyday learning that’s awesome. Go for it! But don’t feel bad if you can’t spend that much time. Even 10-15 minutes a day goes a long way.
Breaking up your learning into manageable time segments will relieve a lot of the stress that can come with studying a new language. Learning is not a race. Go at your own pace and try
not compare your progress with anyone else’s.
Number 2: take it one bite at a time.
Now that you have your schedule under control, it’s time to focus on what you’ll actually be studying.
Its recommended that every one to two weeks you focus on learning a very specific piece of the language. It could be a conjugation group, case, tense, or collection of themed vocabulary. Whatever you choose hone in on it and do your best to feel comfortable with it before you move on to something else.
Ever heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant?”. Focusing on one thing at a time helps you break the language into digestible chunks.
Number 3: Expose yourself to the language in different ways
Don’t just sit around reading about grammar all day. Obviously knowledge of grammar is important, but you want to spice up your practice as much as possible.
In addition to grammatical study try to mix in a combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Try to practice reading by either translating a simple article into your native language, or maybe if you’re a beginner pick up a children’s book in your target language. For writing you can try to write out a fictional conversation between you and well...yourself. Use the phrases you know to create a mock conversation, and take note of any words you can’t think of or don’t remember.
To practice speaking you can find native speakers either locally at a language club or meetup or also online in a language exchange. For listening, a great podcast should do the trick.
Spread out each type of practice (listening, reading, speaking, and writing), across your regular language study schedule. This will give you a balanced experience in the language and should help keep things interesting. This method also works well when you use it to focus on a single aspect of the language like we talked about above.
Number 4: Set mini goals, not just big ones
If your only language learning goal is to be fluent, you’re likely setting yourself up for disappointment.
While speaking fluently can be your ultimate goal, it shouldn’t be your only one. Try to set mini goals month by month and week by week. It could be something simple “Learn 20 new verbs”, “Practice a new case”, or “Speak with 3 native speakers”. As long as it’s specific and reasonable to achieve in a shorter amount of time it should work fine. Not having mini goals alongside your ultimate goal is a lot like sprinting across a huge open field. There’s no reference point, so for much of the time it feels like you’re not any closer to your goal.
It’s not that you’re not moving forward, it just feels like you’re not. Without any trees or buildings to run past it seems like you're running in place.
Mini goals are like the trees and buildings of your language race. They help you see that you are moving forward, and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Number 5: Strive for good, not perfect
Perfection can be the enemy of progress.
Don’t freak out when you struggle to speak or make a mistake. It’s all a part of the learning process. Also don’t be afraid to speak, even if you know what you’ll say won’t be totally correct. It’s better to do your best to communicate in the language and get it wrong, than to never try at all.
Learning a new language isn’t always easy, in fact often times it’s very hard. Don’t let that discourage you though. Use these tips to help keep you focused yet unstressed in your language learning. A little perseverance will go a long way. Before long you’ll be speaking better than you may have thought was possible.
And for even more help learning a new language without getting overwhelmed, 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!