The prospect of success is the driving force in everything we do. We want to know that our chances of getting what we want is not a foolish dream. Language learning is by no mean different. Thus, here are three factors that can help us win the race.
The first one is mindset.
Mindset is a set of attitudes and ways we think about things. And to succeed we must cultivate a growth mindset.
How do you develop a growth mindset?
Simply by believing that you have within you all the abilities that you can develop to help you lean anything you wish. Believe that you can always improve and even overcome natural aptitudes – or the lack of it- if you’re confident enough, determined enough to go far and beyond and work hard so that you can get the learning outcome you desire.
When you believe it with all your might, you become resilient to failure and setbacks because you know that no matter what, you’ve got it in you to cross the finish line – whatever that may be -.
If you have a growth mindset the journey is as important as the destination.
The second important factor is motivation.
Motivation is the willingness to accomplish something, the desire to achieve a goal combined with the energy to work to make that goal a reality. Our mind propels us to take action. It increases your determination and interest in learning this language; it gives you a reason to do so.
If you are highly motivated you will enjoy the learning process, you will want to keep on learning and you will strive to progress in the knowledge of your new language. You will remain positive no matter the situation at hand and you will do your best to overcome the hurdles you will encounter along your path. You will have a realistic view of what language learning entails - it is not a quick and easy process. There will be times of progress and others of frustrations and the feeling of worthlessness will invade you. But you will have to keep persisting and this will be possible only if your motivation is as strong as a rock.
In language learning there are three elements of motivation:
1- A positive attitude towards the culture associated to the new language, giving you a desire to belong to the community where the language is spoken.
2- The degree of enjoyment of learning. This is incredibly important if you wish to carry on studying the language. This is part of your internal motivation.
3- And external factors. These are external pressures for learning the language like learning for a promotion at work, or to please your parents, or for the sake of receiving a reward like a good grade at an exam.
These three elements combined in different proportions, are the driving force for motivation.
Everyone knows about the importance of practice in language learning. There is no success without practice, as simple as that.
The best ways to commit words and expressions to memory is by seeing the same words in different contexts. To be specific, it is useless to try and memorise endless list of vocabulary aimlessly. Instead use this list to make sentences related to your day, for example. The closer to your own experience the better. This will make them memorable and harder to forget.
Use repetition by listening to real life materials, like parts of a film or video spoken by native speakers mimicking day to day situations. Then you won’t feel helpless when facing similar situations.
You should be able to document your progress. It is an important part of keeping your motivation going and favouring non-stop practice at the same time. You could for example record yourself during these practices so that you can compare more easily your accent, intonation and pronunciation with the original sentences and notice improvements or changes that you should do in the positioning of your lips, mouth and muscles of the mouth.
Also practice the art of conversations.
Conversation practice allows you to incorporate your new acquired knowledge and produce oral communication as you learn. It also makes possible the integration of vocabulary, grammar, punctuation as you produce your sentences.
As you can see Mindset, Motivation and Practice are the three pillars of language learning. The right mindset will influence your motivation which in turn will propel you to daily practice. The combination of these will guarantee your success.
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