I run a study gram account on Instagram where I share my study journey and progress, as well as tips on how I do what I do and what I learn with my fellow talented colleagues within the community.
I have been learning multiple languages over the years, reaching a personal high point this year with five languages total; a lot of people come to me and ask me how I even manage to keep up and do such an “impossible” task in the first place.
While I have tried to take the time to explain my process on my study gram; I want to use this space to expand on the strategy I am adopting this year more in-depth than I could in a caption.. to help me achieve my language goals
— Bi-monthly language switch: Every two months I focus on two different languages and give them my all: try to up one or two levels depending on my initial level in each. It is important to take all of the four language skills into consideration. Don’t forget to practise speaking, reading, listening and writing. You cannot do one without the other if you want to see real improvement.
Why is this technique so effective? By focusing on two languages at a time I’m never too overwhelmed or understimulated. I also find that two months is a perfectly ample amount of time to focus on a couple of languages. Please try this out for yourself if you’re like me and have a lot of languages you want to focus on throughout the year. It is the perfect amount of time for me; however, you may want to adjust it to your own goals as the needs will differ.
— Setting and sticking to habits: Without freedom you cannot do anything and without habits you have no freedom in your schedule or your mind. We often tend to think that sticking to a life with habits and routines at the center may become tedious and limit ourselves from achieving what we really want, but the result is in fact the complete opposite.
Why are habits so effective? As humans we are beings of routine, we work better and become more motivated if we have an established routine (morning, afternoon, evening) that works for us. Ever since I first started to implement regular habits in my daily and weekly schedule it has become much easier to then implement the other additional things I want to do.
For example, I know that if I have my room clean, eat well and exercise I am in a better headspace for studying. With this in mind, I make sure that those are my priorities, otherwise, I will be unable to do anything else.
— Learning useful content: Whenever I start learning a new skill whether it is language learning, playing the guitar or drawing. After getting the fundamental steps out of the way, I always strive to learn what is most necessary and personally interesting to me that will also help me achieve my goals. What use is it to force me to learn something that I know I will never use, even years after learning a skill?
Why is content selection crucial, to a certain point? I find that when I am focusing on content that really resonates with me and my future goals for each language I retain the information so much better and very rarely forget it, even in the future. When I am forcing myself to study subjects that I will probably only have to memorise in order to “pass a certain level” it is much more difficult and never enjoyable. However, it is important to note that selection of information needs to be done attentively and with some pre-knowledge of the language in question, otherwise, you might come to lack greatly in basics and other linguistic aspects.
— Finding a safe space to register goals and progress: Ever since I was able to find a community and an even close-knit community within the study gram community it has been easier and healthier to deal with my goals, my anxiety-fueled studying and my toxic desire for excellence in everything within myself. Having people who not only share common goals but also keep you grounded and with whom you can have an honest conversation makes the language journey more enjoyable and you even forget how much vocabulary you have left to study!
Why do I highly recommend it every time? Besides everything I have mentioned until now how amazing is it that you get to practise your target language with other people and even exchange your culture and get to know others in return? It’s such a rewarding experience. Whenever I talk about the language learning journey, I don’t only mean sitting behind a desk practising the grammar structures you learned the day before, I am also talking about the human part.
After all, isn’t that why you are learning languages?
So what now?
Let it rip and feel free to treat the comments section as a community journal by connecting with fellow language learners down below.
Let us know which tip was your favourite along with any other thoughts you might have on this topic!