With the new year and start of the next decade right around the corner, many people are already thinking of ways they can make 2020 the best year ever. If you plan to study a new language in 2020, we have some tips to help you not only succeed in your language learning journey but also to have a healthier, more productive year overall.
Set Clear Goals
It is critical to begin by setting clear goals. For example, if you plan to study English in Washington DC this year, you should make a goal for what you want to achieve. Do you want to learn how to communicate fluently in English, or do you also have a goal of passing the TOEFL at an English test center? Another tip is to set timeline goals. For instance, you want to be able to read a book in the language by a certain month and continue building goals in this way.
Attend a Washington Language School
The best way to achieve your language learning goals is to enroll in classes that are designed to help you accomplish this goal. Language schools in Washington DC, like inlingua, offer students the opportunity to learn a variety of languages in a safe and positive environment. Plus, DC is home to people of all different ethnicities, so you will have a chance to practice the language in real life by being in this cultural hotspot.
Practice the Language Every Day
It’s not enough to set a clear goal and enroll in a language school, though. You must also make an effort to practice the language every day. Language learning requires daily practice. You can’t expect to learn a language by memorizing vocabulary from a book. You have to find ways to use it in real life every day. Fortunately, this is easy to do in DC.
Embrace Supplemental Learning Materials
While we don’t recommend learning a new language only from online sources, we do encourage students to embrace these types of sources as supplemental learning materials. For example, in addition to your language courses, you should spend time playing online language games or using mobile language learning apps.
Immerse Yourself in the Language
Students who take an English class in DC have the perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture. They will be surrounded by people speaking English and celebrating American culture. However, since DC is home to so many types of people, it is possible for language learners to immerse themselves in other cultures as well, such as going to ethnic restaurants and visiting international embassies.
Manage Your Time
Whether you are studying a new language or working towards career goals, it is incredibly important to learn to manage your time well. For language learners, this means finding time to study the language in addition to every other responsibility they have. Many people find it helpful to invest in planners to schedule their time.
Use Social Media for Good
The point of social media is to make connections and network. However, many people just use social media as a boredom buster. They can scroll their phones for huge chunks of time without making any meaningful connections. If this sounds like you, you might want to consider setting time limits for your social media usage. You should also think about the ways you can use social media for good. You can even use social media to help you learn a new language!
Find a Mentor
One of the best things you can do in the new year is to find someone to look up to. Find a mentor. A mentor is someone you trust who has made life choices similar to your goals. For language learners, this may look like befriending a native speaker. At the Washington language school inlingua, students learn the language from a language trainer rather than a teacher. This is a fantastic form of mentorship.
Create a Budget
You don’t want to run through all your money as soon as you begin your language learning adventure. You want to be able to do fun things while practicing the language and you want to eat the popular dishes from the countries where the language you are studying is spoken. That’s why it is important to create a budget at the beginning. Set aside some money for these fun, immersive learning experiences.
Make Healthy Choices
If you don’t feel well, you will struggle with learning anything new. By taking care of yourself, you are making it easier to learn. This is especially important for students studying abroad. Make healthy choices regarding what you eat and your level of physical activity. If you are studying in DC, then you may be tempted to have a fast food meal, but this will wind up making you feel lousy in the long run. The good news for language students in DC is that DC is a very active and healthy city. You can walk and bike throughout the district, which will help you stay fit.
A wonderful way to learn how to write and communicate in a new language is to journal. Writing in a journal is a private task. You get to decide what you will write about each day. For language learners, this is helpful because you will be practicing writing in the new language. You will also have a record that shows how much you have learned and how your vocabulary has increased over time.
Try Something New Every Day
It takes courage to try to learn something new like a different language. Keep being brave and try something new each day. This can be trying to use the language in conversation or something different, like going on the DC Metro alone. The more you try to do something new, the less scared you will be in the future.
Are you ready to learn a new language in 2020? Contact us today!