Set a purpose & goals
You must be able to tell yourself why you are doing it? Ask yourself these questions: What’s my purpose? For anyone in particular? For achieving your dreams? How well do you expect yourself to be good at the language? What are your goals for the language you are learning? Basic level, intermediate level or native speaker-like level? When you know the reasons why you are learning the language for, imagine the success point when you are able to speak the language fluently, feel the success, and think of what do I need to do to really get there?
Aim high and get there!
When you set a high goal, often times you may not be able to reach your goal but at least you will be able to motivate yourself well enough to be somewhere near there. I’ll take myself as an example, when I just started to learn English, I enjoyed it so much and I told myself that "I want to be able to communicate well like an English native speaker one day." Until now, although I am not yet 100% there but I believe I am able to communicate in English at an advanced level and I am somewhere very close to the native speaker level that I set out to achieve.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
When you make a mistake in the language, there is no need to feel embarrassed. People do that all the time when they are learning a foreign language. It is really okay to make mistakes. When you learn a new language, it is like you were a baby in the language. We are human, it’s normal to make mistakes. Even if you do feel embarrassed, just remember the mistakes, learn how to make it right and move on.
Always make new mistakes
This is because the more mistakes you make, the more you will learn. But if not necessary, you should avoid repeating the same mistakes. It is ok to make mistakes but just make sure that they are making new ones.
Always find out the answers
When you don’t understand or don’t know any words, just ask, ask, ask your teacher. Why be afraid to ask questions, when you are paying for her time. Remember your teacher is hired to teach and answer your questions. Nobody can read your mind, if you don’t tell her what you don’t understand, she would never know& the secret is always safe with you.(What’s the point of doing that?) It is the same as seeing a doctor, you need to be honest and open to your doctor or your illness will never be healed.
Keep on learning new things
Learning a foreign language is life time process. There are always new words, phrases, idioms and many other new things come up for you to learn. As the technology grows, the language grows as well. You must be able to adapt to changes & you just have to keep learning and keep practicing it. Although you will never be perfect at the foreign language(however, there is still a very little chance to be like that, if you were a genius), at least you can be more or less around the native speaker level.
Create or live in the language environment
This is my own personal technique that I always use when I learn any foreign languages, may it be English or Mandarin. When I first learned English, I could not afford to go to an English speaking country to learn English so what I did was I created the language environment myself. In my bedroom, I made a belief that it was an English speaking country. The language used in my room would not be any other language than English, may it be movies, music, radio or books. I tried to make sure that in my room, I was surrounded by English environment. Try this technique for at least three months, you will definitely feel the result. It can really change your life forever.
Communicate with yourself in the language
When you learn a new language, in order to train your brain to feel familiar with and be fluent in the language. You must practice thinking in that language often enough or you will never feel comfortable with it. Since I started to study English, I always keep my own diary, organizer book, or any info I need to write down in English. And many times, please don’t call me crazy but I actually do talk to myself in English and sometimes I do it in front of a mirror. Believe me! It is really a fast and effective way to learn.
Learning is an investment
This is another favorite quote of mine, said by my ex-secondary school art teacher. What he meant is “Don’t be stingy with your studies” There is always a cost when you do want to learn something but once you are successful, you will get your benefit in return. But if you give up half way, your lose your money for nothing as well. In order to learn a foreign language well, you do need a number of learning materials such as tapes, cds, books, movies and etc. Your language teacher alone, won’t help. If you can afford, don’t be stingy on spending your money for it.(In case you cannot afford, then borrow them from your friends -provided that you have any) Whatever expense you pay for, it will finally pay off when you are good at the language. Imagine, you may get your pay rise, new foreign friends or even a foreign boyfriend or girlfriend and all these definitely worth the money you have paid for. Do you feel more motivated now?
Create the opportunity to use it daily
Time and opportunity wait for no men. If you want to use the language you learn, don’t wait for God to come down and send you the native speaking people for you to speak to. Go and find them for yourself! Nowadays the technology is very advanced. You can easily reach out the native language speaker on the internet. There are so many chat rooms or websites that can help you to get to meet those native speaking people to practice what you learn with, then why wait! Go and talk to them now. Who knows! Maybe you may not only get new foreign friends but you may also find your true love.
Be observant, may it be movies, friends' conversation, friends' Facebook posts, food labels, ingredient details, signs on the road, bus side boards, DVD player instruction books, advertisement board, internet, websites, newspaper magazine and etc. All these stuff are often given to you for free (at least it is free to look at), why not make use of them. Read and learn new words from it. If you don’t know the word, then look it up in a dictionary.
This is the most significant must-have for learning anything. Without your own passion or strong interest, no matter how good your teacher or a book is, it is nothing. If you have passion, you can learn and do anything, no matter how hard it is. Human’s brain is amazing, you can do anything, if you are willing to learn and put your best effort at it.
Practice makes progress
You need passion and self-discipline to achieve your goal. Learning a foreign language can be challenging. You need to keep on practicing and practicing. Only then, you will feel it is easy to pick up a language. The same is true for anything you learn in your life, even though you are so good at it but if you stop practice or using it long enough, you will simply forget it and all the effort you have put in is just simply wasted and why would you ever started it at all? Therefore, it is very important that you always keep practicing. Remember! Practice makes perfect!practicing. Remember! Practice makes perfect! Written by #NootThaiCoach #ThaiLanguagebyWisePolyglot