I’ve dedicated this page to three strategies which aren’t specifically related to language learning, but learning in general. Strategies that a learner of any subject – whether language or history or math – might use to help him or her be successful.
Let’s get started and learn something:
1. Make a plan. Physically write down a study plan for you to stick to every day or every week. How are you going to learn new vocabulary? Who are you going to meet for coffee to practice speaking? What blogs are you going to read? The act of physically writing something down makes you much more likely to actually do that something.
2. Build opportunities for success around you. What does this mean? It means creating opportunities for you to succeed with your plan (see #1 above). If you say you’re going to read your favorite French-Canadian blogger after your lunch break every day, then add a pop-up to your calendar that links to the blog and set the reminder for 5 minutes after your lunch ends. Or, if you say you’re going to learn new vocabulary on your way to work, place flashcards under your house keys. Create opportunities for yourself to succeed!
3. Use your skills! Take what you know out for spin – see what happens! Use your language skills regularly – even if you think you’re terrible – ESPECIALLY if you think you’re terrible. Embrace what you know, take a deep breath, and go out and use your language. Find an online speaking partner. Go shopping. Pretend to be a tourist (or be a tourist!). Post comments on blogs. Post comments on my blog. You must use the information in your brain and use it regularly or – poof! – it’s gone.