Is learning a new language one of your New Year’s resolutions or goals for this year? We bet you’re not alone!
When faced with the idea of learning a new language, most of us feel overwhelmed. The first step is to set goals for what you want to achieve. If you don’t set goals, how can you measure your progress? Language learning is vast and there are so many different ways to study! Setting goals narrows your focus so you can stop worrying about the details and concentrate on learning, one step at a time.
It’s possible to start learning on your own but many people find working with a tutor more motivating and easier to progress. Tutors constantly work on setting small and big goals for you as well as monitor your progress. It’s also fun! You get to talk about many things and connect with your tutor while learning to master their language and learn about another culture.
Use these guidelines to get the most from your goals:
- Set short-term goals. It’s good to have an ultimate goal, the thing you eventually hope to achieve. But long-term goals are too overwhelming to motivate you on an everyday basis. Break down your ultimate goal into smaller bits, and set smaller goals for each week or month.
- Focus on specific outcomes. Set detailed goals, and focus on what you plan to learn rather than how much time you plan to study. An example of a good goal might be, “This week I’m going to learn 20-30 Spanish vocabulary words/phrases related to traveling.”
- Challenge yourself… but not too much! Goals work best when they make you push yourself. But if they’re too daunting, they can actually discourage you. A good way to get around this is to set goals with a range of outcomes. For example, you may plan to learn 30-50 new vocabulary words in one week. The lower number in this range helps you feel the goal is achievable, while the higher number allows you to push yourself.
- Write down your goals. Writing down goals helps you commit to them. Post your goals in a prominent place, so you see them often. Set reminders on your phone and calendar!
Reach out to start your language learning journey!