Learning a language is like going on a journey. At the beginning we make good time, as we know where we are going. We follow the directions and the instructions and make progress. We become more confident and are surer of ourselves and can put what we have learned into practice without too much difficulty. But, as with any life journey, the way gets more difficult and we may feel that we are getting nowhere fast. We find it harder to pass to the next level and we start to doubt whether or not we will ever be able to reach our goals. Don’t despair…this happens to most of us. The trick is to keep going forward, no matter how hard it seems to be. If you persevere, you will succeed and the end of your language learning journey will become a very achievable goal.
Here are some things you might find helpful if you feel you are stuck in a language learning rut.
1. Put what you have learned into practice on a daily basis. Don’t just practise in the classroom, if you don’t use it, you will lose it.
2. Question everything. Don’t be put off by something you don’t understand. Make “why” and “how” your favourite words. Ask your teachers, your colleagues and your friends to explain things to you.
3. Challenge yourself. Don’t just sit there and say “I can’t do this”. Remember, when it comes to achieving anything in life, there’s no such word as can’t. Make your new mantra “Can I do this? Yes, I can”, and keep pushing yourself on.
4. Try to put what you are learning into a real-life context. Use the resources around you. Once you see how something is used in an everyday situation, it makes it easier to remember and use it appropriately.
5. If at first you don’t succeed, keep on trying. Don’t give up. With work and perseverance you will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel and your language learning journey will be back on track.