My name is Kayo Hawkins and I am a Co-owner of Aardvark Learning Academy. I would like to share a few practial ideas to keep studying a new language from my experience living overseas and as a language teacher.
I have been teaching Japanese language for more than a decade in 4 different countries to children and adults. I have noticed that successful learners are self motivated and well disciplined, which is an essential skill to continue learning. More importantly, these students` enjoy learning the language and make exra effort to add enjoyment to the proces all the time.
Here are a few tips for language learning:
1- Every little bit helps
"Even dust becomes a mountain if piled together" is a Japanese saying which means Every little bit helps. Set a time to study the language for 10 minutes every single day. In 10 minutes you can:
-Make 10 cards of new vocabulary: write those words, say those words, and memorize. Do not forget to review the ones you already studied. Language learning is all about accumulation of knowledge.
-Follow someone who speaks the language on Social Networking or the Internet - Athletes, Musicians, Politicians, they all have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram account. Check out their accounts and learn new words, phrases, and stay connected to the language and the culture.
-Work on one page of the workbook if you have one- Decide how much you want to study each day and stick to your plan.
2- Live in that language
The reason why it is hard to study a new language is that you do not have opprtunity to use that language. You can try the following solutions:
1- Get your family members or pets involved- Greet your family members in the new language. Teach your family members new words and sentences. Are there any greetings that your first language does not have? Make a habit to say those phrases.
2. Put a poster up in your house- Print out or make a poster of characters, vocabulary, grammar points and put it out where you spend a lot of time. On the wall beside the kitchen stove. On the fridge. On the mirror. In a bathroom. You will always be reminded of the language and memorize them without noticing.
3- Think in the new language
Thousands of thoughts come and go in our mind every single day. Do you know how to say some of them in the language that you are learning? Start from something simple such as "I am going to eat lunch" "This coffee is so good!" "It's 10am". It is a great practice to build sentences in your mind when you are actually communicating, since you are required to prepare sentences as quickly as possible when talking.
4- Seek help
Once you make those effort at home to try teaching yourself a new language, you will want to use it to communicate. Here are the things you can do:
Find a language exchange partner and meet up online.
Visit the local library website to see if they are hosting language circles.
Seek for professional help from us! Aardvark Learning Academy offers French, Spanish, Japanese, and English as a second language. You will study the language of your choice with experienced professionals to achieve your goal faster.
Language learning is a great way to spend your time, stay positive, and feel the self improvement as you progress in the language.