A very wise, little green alien once said to a pupal learning an important lesson, “Do or do not, there is no try”. A valuable lesson for all, but especially for those trying to learn a new language. You have to work at it, otherwise you will never really become fluent.
So often, I find myself telling people that I am trying to learn to speak Nederlands. What I really mean by this is that, I study when I want to. I study when it is convenient for me, but I don’t devote near enough time to it as I should. Needless to say, I haven’t learned an impressive amount in the almost 5 months I have been here. According to an interview by Suitcase Entrepreneur of Benny from Fluent in 3 Months, most people have trouble learning a language because they are lazy about it. I can definitely see his point. I have been lazy, and my progress has suffered.
So how do I, and other language learners remedy this situation? Here are some of my ideas to get on track with language learning.
- Have a clear, realistic goal in mind. My current goal is to finish the Rosetta Stone by June 1st, which means I need to do a lesson a day. About 2 ½ hours.
- Have an hour reserved each day to devote to hearing/ speaking nothing but Dutch to my fiancee.
- Spend an hour each day on grammar workbooks.
- Have a defined daily schedule, keeping in mind the times that I know I am most productive. For me that is from 10am to 12:30 and again at 4:30.
- Watch more Dutch films, people quote movies all the time, I might as well be quoting Dutch ones.
- Have an accountability partner, someone who you won’t lie to that can hold you accountable for learning.
- Treat my language learning like a job. I was always much better about showing up to work than I was to class. Since I don’t work, I will now treat learning Nederlands as my current career.
In case anyone was wondering, I did Level One, Unit Two, Lesson Two this morning.
Any language learners out there want to share their suggestion or tips for learning a new language?