Learning a language can be a difficult and long process. However, you can reach your language learning goals by following these 5 easy tips and tricks.

Realistic language learning goals

Have you decided to make learning a language one of your New Year’s resolutions?

Maybe you’ve been thinking about learning a new language for a while and you’ve decided that this is the perfect time to get started. This is the year you’ll finally learn that language and fulfill your dreams.

Still, it’s not an easy task. How can you make sure you’ll succeed?  

Plenty of language learners have tried to set goals, only to have things not go as planned. It’s not always a straightforward path, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. However, if you don’t want your new goal to turn into an obligation you soon ignore, there are a few extra steps you can take to find success.

someone setting goals and writing a to-do list in their diary

Be realistic with your goals

It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll learn French so you can go to Paris this year or become fluent in Spanish so you can talk to a new friend, but could these expectations hurt your progress?

It’s important to make sure your goals are challenging, but the last thing you want to do is feel like you can’t keep up. Think about what you want to achieve before you set a vague goal like becoming fluent. Instead, set multiple, specific, achievable goals, such as learning to order food at a restaurant or learning to introduce yourself.  

You should also think about how much time you have or want to spend learning a new language. For example, you might really want to learn German this year, but you’re also starting a new job or getting a puppy. Will you be able to spend 2 hours each day learning German?

The last thing you want to do is feel discouraged because you consistently have trouble reaching goals that aren’t realistic. If you’re unsure how much time you’ll need or have available, start slow and remind yourself that you can always do more.

student studying languages and looking our of the window

Track your progress

When you first start learning a new language, everything seems new and exciting. However, after a while, you might start to feel discouraged, especially if you’re struggling to understand something.

Tracking your progress is both a good method to keep yourself on schedule and a good way to look back at everything you’ve learned so far. You’ll find that it’s helpful to remind yourself just how much you’ve accomplished every once in a while.

person writing in their diary a track their progress of their learning

Allow room for mistakes

There’s no such thing as a perfect language learner and even native speakers make mistakes. Remember to not only leave some room in your plan for difficult concepts, but to allow yourself to take breaks.

Even if you have a big goal or a lot to learn, it’s okay to let yourself have fun with your language learning. There will be days when you don’t have the energy to learn new vocabulary or figure out weird grammar rules. Allow yourself to do something easy instead and get back to the hard stuff when you’re feeling more energized.

Middle age senior woman sitting at the table at home working using computer laptop surprised with hand on head for mistake, remember error. Forgot, bad memory concept.

Focus on what you can do

Once you understand that setbacks are bound to happen, it’s a little easier to accept that you can always adjust your plans.

For example, you might want to study for an hour, but you’ve got a cold. Instead of trying to learn something new, it might be easier to just watch a video or listen to some music in your target language.

In other words, sometimes the only way to make progress is to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Do what you can and don’t feel bad about having an off day.

Remember that your own dedication to learning and willingness to keep trying can be just as important as practising regularly. So, don’t let challenges and setbacks discourage you.

Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate the progress you do make.

If you’d like to put some of these tips into practise, visit the Lingoda website and sign up for your free 7 day trial with our native speakers teachers. You will start speaking your new language instantly!