How to Make Your Language Learning More Effective

Language learning can be a bit frustrating so let’s discover some secrets of productivity.

1. Motivation (set up a goal). First of all, you should understand WHY you need this language.

Possible reasons: trips, immigration, promotion, education, or maybe your partner is a foreigner and you want to speak his\her language. Taking an exam might not be the best learning goal but it can be a subgoal for your future achievements.

2. Let’s talk about goals.

Your goal should be SMART (Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based).

Some examples of Smart goals:

  • I will read this Russian book in a month.
  • 10 pages a day
  • 5 pages in the morning on my want to work and 5 pages in the evening before going to bed, etc.

3. Enjoy the process. Support your motivation with the materials you really like. Coursebooks aren’t the only possible resources of the information: Youtube, songs, podcasts, books will help you to learn and sound more natural.

4. What to learn? All the check-lists for A1, 2, and B1 levels you can find in my account so you won’t get lost.

5. Input vs. output

Language skills can be divided into two main groups: input, or perceptive skills, and output (i.e. productive skills).

Perceptive skills are reading and listening, productive are writing and speaking. So be sure you develop all these skills, productive skills are the most difficult to develop. The amount of time you spend on these skills depends on your goals.

6. Don’t ignore the grammar.

7. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It’s totally normal to make mistakes while learning!

8. Some practical tips.

  • If you find it difficult to concentrate on one activity, just divide your learning process into 25 minute periods with 5-10 minute breaks (the Pomodoro Technique).
  • Use the Spaced Repetition Systems (Quizlet, Memrise, Anki) or at least paper flashcards.
  • Track your progress using language progress trackers or planners.

Do you use any of these tips, or maybe you have your own?