It’s really simple. There it goes: Aim for daily progress instead of fluency. That’s likely the best advice we can give you. You need to appreciate the baby steps you make every single day, establish a routine you can sustain, and never give up. The problem is this: fluency is a really vague concept. Yet, many people see it as a language-learning ideal and they are anxious to get there as fast as possible. If you focus too much on the end goal of something as vague as fluency, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Fluency doesn’t happen on a specific date. In fact, you likely won’t even realize when you reach it. Plus, once you do reach fluency, you’ll still have so much to learn. But if you focus on getting a little better every day, daily progress does add up to become fluency and it makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable. In this post, we’ll show you how aiming for progress instead of fluency is a game-changer.
Consistency is crucial to be successful in language learning. You know how sometimes you start to play a video game or read a book, but then stop for a few weeks for whatever reason and you lose interest? It’s not because you didn’t like it, it’s because you lost your momentum and don’t feel like catching up. The same is true with language learning, consistency is essential. I mean, how many days did you skip when learning your mother tongue? Think about that.
The best way to be consistent in language learning is to form a habit and stick to a routine. When you are just starting out, it will be difficult to be consistent because language learning is anything but a habit. It is said that it takes at least 21 days to form a simple habit, but we recommend being particularly consistent for at least six weeks. It will be harder in the first few weeks, but once that habit is formed, language learning will become an integrated part of your life.
In order to make a habit of language learning, use timing to your advantage. Base your learning activities around the same time of day. Set yourself reminders on your phone for certain things and associate learning time with aspects of your life that are already part of your existing routine. For example, you could practice with OUINO for 30 minutes before breakfast, listen to audio books on your way to work, and watch 20 minutes of television after dinner. If you associate learning activities with things that are already part of your life, it will eventually start to feel strange not to do them.
Often enough, people are looking to lose weight and turn their lives completely upside down within a few days. They spend hours at the gym, drastically and completely stop eating all their favorite foods and count every single calorie. They end up feeling hungry, tired and grumpy. Having all those good intentions is great, but the problem is that most often than not, when they do lose the weight, they start to slowly get back into their old habits. And what happens then? It is better to make smaller but sustainable changes, than to turn your life completely upside down and give up in a few weeks. It should be a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll see that weeks add up fairly quickly.
Establishing some kind of momentum and sticking to a routine is primordial. Of course, the more hours you can realistically put in, the better. It all depends on your language-learning goal. Just make sure it can reasonably fit into your lifestyle. Consistency wins over quantity in the long run. If you have five hours a week to dedicate, make sure to spread it over six or seven days instead of cramming it all into one afternoon, it will be a lot more effective. It’s all a matter of creating that healthy balance.
Progress gives you motivation and motivation gives you progress. It is important to never stop making progress in the language. If you stop learning, or using the language for too long, motivation fades away. Once the motivation is gone, you’ll have to work harder to get the ball rolling again. Set yourself small realistic goals every day and keep at it. The reward of daily consistency will give you the much needed motivation to keep going and will ensure that you succeed in your language-learning quest.
We have combined everything we know from years of language acquisition and research to create an awesome language-learning method. Visit OUINO.com to learn more.
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