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23-Aug-2017 08:10 by 3 Comments

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Which of these you focus on will depend on your goals and preferences.Start shifting time to these practical skills when your vocabulary hits the ~1,000 word mark.

I was raised bi-lingual (English/French) and studied French, Latin and ancient Greek until I was 16.

There are also four practical skills: A clear vision and defined goals will keep you on track and motivated during the hard parts of your language learning journey. To do this we need to make them SMART (Simple, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Bound). B., Passing an exam is (on its own) a terrible reason for learning a language.

Take out a pen and paper and ask yourself why *you* are learning *this* language. Ask yourself “what specific thing can I do/achieve to show that I have reached the level I am aiming for? But in the context of a broader motivation exams can be a part of a very SMART combination. What/who do we know that can help us get there faster?

The second most important mindset is that making mistakes is essential to learning. The role of good training tools and strategies is not to cheat the system.

I once called my Chinese home stay family’s dog a prostitute for an entire evening. It’s to avoid the journey taking longer than is necessary.

Pronunciation and vocabulary are a different story. What level do you need to reach in each to make this vision a reality?

For more on relative language difficulty see the appendix. The definitions given by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) may help. Now we have a rough idea of where we need to get to (and why) let’s make those goals more concrete.Once we’ve set a clear goal it’s time to work backwards from it and determine what needs to happen when to get us there. If the goals we’ve set are more than 3 months away it can be helpful to break them down into shorter milestones. Goals give us our “why” – they are a powerful source of motivation.But sometimes they can feel so daunting that we end up procrastinating to avoid them.Instead, it’s a collection of my own experiences and mistakes, plus a few pointers and tools.Things, in short, that I wish I’d known about much earlier.Learning a new language is one of life’s most misunderstood challenges. A new language is a gate keeper to new people, places, knowledge and experiences.