Sometimes learning a new language can be daunting and it often feels like a chore. In order to be effective in learning the new language we need to incorporate it into our daily life and know that it takes time and consistent effort in order to improve. There are some ways that we can turn learning a new language from a chore into a habit.
What is a habit?
A habit is something that we've learned to practice on a daily or regular basis like brushing our teeth or washing our hands before we eat. Speaking a new language needs to become a habit. If we don't speak English everyday then our fluency and vocabulary may start to weaken.
Here are some useful ways to form habits that will help you in learning English or any new language:
1. Make it fun!
If English is feeling more like a chore and you find yourself procrastinating then learn to make it fun. You can incorperate it into your hobbies, for instance, if you like sports then find a sports magazine in English. Another great way to make english more fun is to listen to music and watch movies that are in English. Everyone loves a good movie! With the internet today there are many options where we can watch and listen to English music and movies. This is an easy way to incorperate English into your daily life.
2. Create measurable goals for yourself
Setting goals for yourself is important but they should also be measurable (attainable).Just saying "I want to be fluent in English in 1 year" is not a measurable or realistic goal. Set short term goals for yourself that are realistic and can fit into your daily life. An example of a mesaruable goal would be "I will speak to a native speaker online for 30 minutes each day" or "I will read 2 pages a day from an English book and translate every word I don't undertsand". These are simple and realistic goals to set for yourself that you can hold yourself accountable everyday and eventually these will just become habits.
3. Take advantage of your freetime
When you have freetime inbetween meetings, on your lunch break or even when you're sitting on the bus or train, instead of scrolling through facebook and instagram looking at meaningless posts, why not take the opportunity to learn English. Watch an English video on Youtube, read an english book or you could even watch an English series or movie. Take every opportunity you can to learn English.
4. READ, READ, READ!
Reading is such a good habit to form. If you haven't formed the habit already, you should try it. It can be fun and interesting. Reading English books can really help with learning new vocabulary and also seeing the structure of sentences. Try to read a page (or more) of an English book everyday and translate any words you don't fully undertsand. It doesn't have to take up a lot of your time.
Listen to native English speakers and try to imitiate their different accents. A lot of English learners decide what accent they want to learn English in order to adopt that version of English. So decide if you'd like to sound more British or more American and then watch videos and try to imitate the way that they speak. This can help you with pronunciation and your listening skills.
6. Speak to Native speakers
Having a conversation with a Native speaker on a daily basis can be the best way to learn English and maintain it. Make it a daily habit, even if it is only for 30 minutes. Besides improving your language skills and your accent, you will also learn about another culture which can help you on your English learning journey. There are lots of affordable options online, such as Oxinity.
7. Learn your language style
Everyone has a different way of learning and it could be useful to find out what your learning style is. Here is a Learning Style assessment
There are many different learning styles and knowing yours can determine what the best way to learn. Some examples of learning styles:
8. Make mistakes!
- If you are a visual learner then you would enjoy learning with videos, movies and magazines
- If you are an Auditory learner then you would enjoy podcasts or music.
- If you are a reading/writing learner then you enjoy reading books and writing activities
- If you are a social learner you will enjoy working in groups and having conversations with people
Don't be afraid to make mistakes as every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn. Speak English to your tutor and don't try to overthink it. Just say what you think is right and if you make mistakes that is okay as your tutor will happily assist you in correcting it. Once you know the mistakes you have made, make a note of it and keep reviewing it until you have learnt from it. Mistakes are only okay if you learn from it so make sure to review your corrections over and over.
I hope these 8 habits can help you to be successful in learning English!