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Top 5 Habits Of Successful 2nd Language Learners

The Good News! Though there exist certain given traits behind “the good language learner” such as age, previous experience, cognitive aptitude, motivation, etc., we see many great language learners who simply exhibit a range of general habits, characteristics. **Cliché alert! #1 & #2

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1. Plan to Practice.

Take advantage of opportunities (homework, too!) and vary ‘skill’ practice, e.g., movies for listening comprehension, simple articles (eventually novels) for reading, the waiter at a restaurant for speaking, everything! Practice sets a positive spiral in motion: the more you practice, the more you learn, the more you love it! Sadly, the opposite is true as well; with no extra practice, disappointment in progress sets in… Pratiquez !

Take advantage of opportunities (homework, too!) and vary ‘skill’ practice, e.g., movies for listening comprehension, simple articles (eventually novels) for reading, the waiter at a restaurant for speaking, everything! Practice sets a positive spiral in motion: the more you practice, the more you learn, the more you love it! Sadly, the opposite is true as well; with no extra practice, disappointment in progress sets in… Pratiquez !

2. Practice Patience.

Language acquisition takes time, period. The general ACTFL guidelines reflect 500-700+ hours of language learning to reach intermediate - advanced levels depending on the skill, language, etc. Those language learners who make progress appreciate the step-by-step process and stay positive while doing it. Rome wasn’t built in a day…but the language there is worth spending months, years learning!

Language acquisition takes time, period. The general ACTFL guidelines reflect 500-700+ hours of language learning to reach intermediate - advanced levels depending on the skill, language, etc. Those language learners who make progress appreciate the step-by-step process and stay positive while doing it. Rome wasn’t built in a day…but the language there is worth spending months, years learning!

3. Be Flexible.

The notion that language learners have only one way to learn is simply nonsensical. While some people claim to be more “visual” learners or have a skill they find easier, the human brain is wired for language. Répétez classe! Oui, find your strengths, but please say adios to ‘I don’t learn that way…’ Flexible learners also avoid the trap of trying to be perfect -they more easily learn from their mistakes.

The notion that language learners have only one way to learn is simply nonsensical. While some people claim to be more “visual” learners or have a skill they find easier, the human brain is wired for language. Répétez classe! Oui, find your strengths, but please say adios to ‘I don’t learn that way…’ Flexible learners also avoid the trap of trying to be perfect -they more easily learn from their mistakes.

4. Sharpen Social Skills.

Outgoing, chatty people learn languages faster. Extroverts love to connect, even if only to be minimally understood. They like to hear and tell stories and jokes; they will generally strike up a conversation with a stranger. Qualification! This does not mean shy, more introverted people can NOT be great language learners. Rather, it’s a general, global finding. S’il vous plaît , don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

Outgoing, chatty people learn languages faster. Extroverts love to connect, even if only to be minimally understood. They like to hear and tell stories and jokes; they will generally strike up a conversation with a stranger. Qualification! This does not mean shy, more introverted people can NOT be great language learners. Rather, it’s a general, global finding. S’il vous plaît , don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

5. Set Goals.

‘Go-getters’ make a determination to be active learners with measurable goals in mind. They know what they want and set strategies accordingly; they prioritize their life in such a way as to set themselves up for success. The dreamer, procrastinator (we all have some of that…?!) may have to be a little more realistic about fast progress, but should not be ruled out as a good language learners! Allez!NEWSFLASH! Everybody with a certain level of motivation can indeed learn a 2nd (or 3rd or 5th) language, #gopolyglot!

‘Go-getters’ make a determination to be active learners with measurable goals in mind. They know what they want and set strategies accordingly; they prioritize their life in such a way as to set themselves up for success. The dreamer, procrastinator (we all have some of that…?!) may have to be a little more realistic about fast progress, but should not be ruled out as a good language learners! Allez!

NEWSFLASH! Everybody with a certain level of motivation can indeed learn a 2nd (or 3rd or 5th) language, #gopolyglot!

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