We often make mistakes, not only using foreign language, but also while learning it. For example, we memorize words for a long time, and then almost immediately forget them. Or we can quickly lose motivation. If you feel that something is wrong with your foreign language lessons, check out the most common mistakes in language learning and think how you can fix them.
- We don’t repeat the learned words. It is natural that, after we learn a certain number of phrases, we move on to the following list. Learning something new is more interesting than repeating previous lessons, because it gives a feeling of greater success. However, in order for a new word to be memorized permanently, it must be repeated 10 to 15 times. Therefore, neglecting repetition, we quickly forget the learned words, and therefore waste time. Set up the time for repeating the learned material. For example, every week, repeat all the phrases learned during this period and 10 words from previous topics.
- We lose motivation. It is incredibly important to set a goal. For example, time-related: to prepare for a trip abroad in the summer, to pass a language exam at a certain level in a month, to hold a business meeting with foreigners on your own next year, etc.
- We don’t use digital software to learn languages. Most of us are used to studying from books and offline classes. However, nowadays digital learning has become more popular than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a variety of language learning apps and programs to simplify the process and make it fun. You can study from any place and at any time, as well as track your progress. Even if you decide to visit language courses, most teachers are using classroom apps to make the learning process more effective.
- We learn words from a list like “1000 most common words”. Usually you need to spend a long time to learn them but at the same time you forget them too quickly. The words associated with a particular plot or association are much easier to learn. Therefore, vocabulary should be taken from books, articles, and movies, and not learnt as a set of random words from a dictionary or mobile application. At the same time, modern language learning apps and online resources allow you to learn and practice your chosen vocabulary through games and interesting exercises. It’s much more effective and fun than just learning a word list from a notebook.
- We immediately take up the books and movies in the original. Movies, TV series, and fiction are not the main, but auxiliary means of learning a language, which should correspond to your level. In order for the original material to be useful, you must understand 70-80% of the words in it. Therefore, at the Beginner level you should use textbooks and interactive programs, at the Pre-Intermediate – adapted literature and educational series. But at the levels of Intermediate and above you can take the originals. So take a language test first, and then use materials that match your level.
- We learn from uninteresting materials. It is not necessary to learn foreign languages from boring reprints of old textbooks such as those often given at school and university. If you are not interested in learning, you need to change the study material. There are many interactive materials, videos, games and programs. With a properly organized training course, the lesson will be not only interesting but also effective.