Sundays are great for maximising your language learning potential. Check out these five things that all language learners can try in order to improve their chances of language success.
As with anything, do the things that make it right for you – feel free to adapt this list to suit your individual needs!
1. Review last week’s progress
Looking back over the week just gone will give you a chance to evaluate how much you’ve learned. Sundays are a great time to do this because they’re more relaxed, and being relaxed makes you more reflective.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What have I learned?
- Have I met the goals that I set myself at the start of the week?
- What am I proud of?
- What do I still need to work on?
Such an evaluation will help you feel more in control of your learning. You will also be able to gain some motivation from the fact that you have indeed made some progress in the last seven days. Lastly, you will have a clearer idea of what it is that you still need to focus on to get things right.
The Motivation Journal is a simple tool I’ve created for you guys to help you do your weekly evaluation and planning. Make sure you check it out!
2. Set your goals for the week ahead
Sundays are also a great time to look ahead and think about your goals and aspirations for the following week.
Mondays tend to be quite busy for a lot of people so leaving your language goal setting until Monday morning may mean that you’ll be too busy to do it and skip this activity altogether. And one lost week in language learning terms is a really long time!
Sundays are therefore a great time to look at the following week’s section in yourMotivation Journal.
3. Get some inspiration
Language learning is about learning vocabulary, grammar and learning to pronounce things correctly, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of inspiration in leading you towards your goals.
Some language learners I’ve met like the idea of having an inspiration board. It can be a simple corkboard you put on your bedroom wall that you use to pin things that inspire you to pursue your language passion.
Others will get inspiration from reading their favourite language blogs or watching YouTube videos, or just going on Instagram to search for some inspirational quotes!
4. Get out of your comfort zone
You learn the most when you leave your comfort zone. For language learners, this could mean speaking to a native speaker, giving a presentation in front of a group, writing an essay in their target language.
What is it that challenges you? What is it that you fear in language learning? Whatever it is, go and do it! Taking a little challenge every Sunday can really stretch you in the right way and help you progress more quickly.
Some examples of ways in which I’ve recently challenged myself:
- Memorise 10 new words and use them all in a conversation with my language partner
- Go to a language meet-up and talk to at least 5 different people
- Read an article about a complex subject in a newspaper (never read a newspaper article in German before!)
- Ask for some very honest feedback on my Spanish pronunciation
5. Identify your blind spots
Your blind spots are the things about you that exist but you’re not aware of. They can be things that make you a great language learner or things that hold you back.
What I like to do on Sundays as part of my reflection about my language learning progress is try to identify at least one blind spot that I think prevented me from achieving my language goal for the week.
When doing this, it’s useful to look at the area where you think you could have done better and drill down until you get to the bottom of the issue that caused it. For example, last week I set out to have a half-hour Skype call with my language partner but I didn’t get round to doing it.
What’s the blind spot that prevented me from doing it? I didn’t have time. Why didn’t I have time? Because I was on Facebook for too long. Why was that? Because I didn’t set myself time limits for Facebook! Not being disciplined enough was therefore my blind spot last week.
To improve things next week I’m going to set myself a timer when using social media and make sure I schedule my Skype calls in my calendar!
I hope you’ll find these 5 things useful when working towards your language goals. Good luck!
Make sure you check out the Motivation Journal as well! It’s a great resource I’ve created for you guys and that I’m already using myself to stay motivated and on track with my various language goals.