The perfect language learning plan
If you are feeling the crave to learn a language, you are not alone - especially as the new year approaches. Learning something new is actually one of the top 10 New Year's resolutions people take up. And learning a language or a musical instrument actually makes up a decent number of such folks - we all know at least one among our friends or family!
If you are feeling a little bit lost thinking where to start, again, you are not alone. The sheer number of options available today in the form of books, mobile apps, web courses and more makes it slightly scary for any new language learner. If you are one, or you know someone new to language learning, we'll help you plan your language learning. Let us help you start off the best you can.
1 - Look for options that are accessible and familiar
Like we said, there are an unbelievable number of options to learn a language today available in multiple formats. How do you choose one? For starters, look for mediums that you feel comfortable with, and are easily accessible to you - especially considering when you plan to learn. We will give you a few examples.
Peter is a busy person but he wants to make sure he keeps in touch with his language learning. After all, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is easy to let go of our personal goals. He prefers language learning apps on his mobile that serve bite-sized lessons he can learn from during his commute or other pockets of time he finds.
His friend, Sarah, on the other hand, is not very comfortable with mobile apps when it comes to learning. She prefers web resources which can often provide lessons with greater detail. Going to Google to look for other tidbits, ask questions, study confusing grammar rules is often easier to her on a computer.
2 - Look for a method whose objectives mirror yours
Now you may ask if language learning methods or tools even have objectives? In a way, yes. Either they are made keeping specific needs of people in mind, or they simply end up more useful for certain purposes than others. Here's how.
Consider someone who, for example, wants to learn just a little bit of Spanish for his or her week-long trip to Costa Rica. Just enough Spanish to get by during the week. Asking for directions. Basic greetings. Ordering food. And other vacation stuff. He or she will be happy knowing the phrases, the right pronunciation, and maybe a little bit of grammar. A phrasebook is extremely popular with such learners.
But consider someone who wants to learn Spanish to be able to converse at work or in social situations. He or she won't do well with a phrasebook. Conversations in real life are fluid and don't always stick to the scripts in the phrasebooks. He or she will be best served by a more conversational approach to language learning. The ideal way will incorporate listening practice, speaking practice, grammar, and also focus on words or themes that are more applicable to real life. SpeakTribe, in fact, was born to serve this objective.
3 - Look at reviews
The best gift you can give yourself before starting to learn a language is checking out what people say about the resources or apps or books that you think you will like. More often than not, you will be able to narrow down your options into 1 or 2. In case you are already down to 1 or 2 options, it will help you re-affirm your faith in the chosen ones.
Go through reviews by other learners. It's easier than anything you will do with your language learning. But this particular step will save you a lot of time and energy that might otherwise be spent in trying out a tool that is not right for you. Book reviews can be found on Amazon, app reviews can be found on the Play Store or the App Store. Reviews of other options can almost always be found readily on Google.
There is probably no reason strong enough to skip this!
One tool to rule them all?
After you have done all you can to select the right tool to learn the language you have chosen, it's all down to you learning. But supplementing your learning with other activities or resources can help immensely. Especially once you are a few weeks into your language learning plan. We will have more on this in one of our later posts.
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