Lesson Transcript

Lots of people like to look for advice about ways to learn languages, but they don't actually implement any of it! While it's important to consider how you should approach your studies, it's essential you put the advice you get into practice!
In this video, we're going to cover 8 pieces of advice related to learning a language.
Number 1: Language learning is a marathon, not a sprint
Our first tip is to accept that language learning is a long-term project. It's tempting to start off at full speed and tell yourself you're going to study for 2 hours a day every day, but in reality, this just isn't sustainable for most people. It's okay to go at your own pace, but make sure to be consistent. Even if you're spending just 5 to 10 minutes a day working toward your language learning goals, stick to your study schedule!
For people with a busy schedule, it can be overwhelming to think of spending an hour or two studying at the end of every day. But if you can at least begin by studying for short time periods consistently, you'll be able to establish a schedule for yourself and maintain motivation.
Number 2: Make use of your spare time
Think about your typical daily schedule. How long is your commute? Your lunch break? When do you usually do housework? When do you usually relax? If you can find a few minutes in your day every day, you can put that time to good use and work towards your language learning goals. Our lessons are 3 to 15 minutes long, so you can fit lessons in comfortably, whenever you have the time.
If you're having trouble getting started, try this: Open the clock app on your phone and set a timer for 10 minutes (5 if you're feeling really demotivated). Choose a lesson, a flashcard deck, a notebook for writing practice---something you can focus on completely for the amount of time you have on your timer. Start the timer, and begin your studies. Once the time is up, walk away.
You might be surprised how much you can learn or review in these short periods. And with a consistent study schedule, you can make quick progress.
Number 3: Commit
When many people start learning a language, they do it just because they think it's interesting; it's something fun to try, and there's nothing wrong with that. But at some point, you have to make a decision: how much do you want to continue studying? What's your goal with your language learning? Do you want to learn a few phrases and words for fun, or do you want to make real progress and be able to do something more advanced?
The answer to this question is different for each person. Some people might decide they want to learn enough of a language to introduce themselves or order at a restaurant. Others might want to learn enough to make friends or give a presentation. Once you've decided on your goal, how do you solidify your commitment? Some learners do this by investing in a textbook or a language learning program. Some find a tutor or join a study group. It's up to you to determine what your goal is and to commit to it.
Number 4: Start speaking on day 1 by shadowing
When most people start learning a language, they begin with reading. But in most cases, our end goal is to speak fluently. So, why delay practicing your speaking skills? The sooner you begin practicing, the sooner you improve. It might seem hard to start speaking on day 1 (when you don't know more than a few vocabulary words), so you can begin your speaking practice by shadowing, or repeating what you hear.
For example, if you listen to our audio lessons, you'll hear a basic conversation in the first minute. Then, our teachers will slow down and translate every word. Once you’ve gotten familiar with the dialogue, you’ll hear it again. So, repeat what you hear or use the dialogue section in the lesson to practice each line one by one.
Number 5: 50% input, 50% output
Input refers to taking the language in (listening or reading). Output refers to creating with the language (speaking or writing). Try to spend equal amounts of time with input and output. Many learners make the mistake of focusing on input, and they never get any practice creating with the language. Integrate output-focused practice into your studies.
Number 6: Read along with our audio and video lessons
There are a few different ways you can read along with audio and video lessons. You can use a transcript, refer to translations, and/or check subtitles on video lessons.
Sometimes, it's hard to pick up everything that's said in another language (especially in real-life situations). If you have something to read that shows you everything that's being said, though, things get a little easier. You can do this with each of our lessons. Try listening to an audio lesson or watching a video lesson. While you do, read along with the lesson notes and the transcript. Reading along can also help you with shadowing (so you can practice speaking, too).
Number 7: Set small, measurable goals
While it's important to have a final goal for your studies, it's also important to give yourself small goals that you can work toward on a weekly or monthly basis. For example, you might set small goals like "be able to have a 1-minute conversation by the end of this month," or "learn 100 words by the end of this month," or "learn the alphabet by the end of this week." If your only goal is "master the language," you'll likely get overwhelmed.
Give yourself small, achievable tasks to complete. It's difficult to gauge exactly how much we're progressing as we study, but if we can track completion of our goals, we know we're making progress and moving in the right direction.
Number 8: Trust the process
Our last piece of advice is to trust in what you're doing. A lot of people start out strong when they begin learning a language because they're enthusiastic about doing something new. But many people lose motivation after that initial burst of excitement fades. If you set proper goals, make time for your studies, and stick to your schedule, then you just need to trust your process. Know that as long as you continue along with your plan, you'll get results.
Remember, these 8 pieces of advice are only helpful for your language learning if you actually implement them!
For more tips and tools to help you in your studies, 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!