Welcome to my quick guide on where to start with learning a new language. This guide is more focused towards new learners.
How long does it normally take to learn a new language?
This is dependent off what language you’re learning, what level you would like to reach, and how many hours a day you’re studying.
For English speakers, Asian languages take comparably longer than Romance Languages.
Check out this site to see how long it could take you to learn your target language: https://effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty/
I have used S.M.A.R.T. Goals in the past; however, I think for new learners, setting Short, Medium, and Long Term goals is easier to manage! Here is an example of each kind of goal:
Short Term: This week I will learn 50 new words.
Medium Term Goals: This month I want to learn 200 new words and I want to learn Present, Future, and Past Grammar rules.
Long Term Goals: In 6 months, I want to reach an A2 level. In 1 year, I want to PASS a B1 level exam.
Create a Study schedule
When learning any new thing, it’s important to create a study session because it ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently. Studying daily is critical because it helps form a habit.
Studying every day doesn’t mean committing 1 hour each time. It could mean 5 minutes on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, and 1 hour on Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Sunday! That 5 minutes be reviewing vocabulary or watching a 5 minute video that is in your target language.
Finding Resources and Study Habits that fit your Study Ways
How do you enjoy learning new things? Are you a hands-on learner or someone that prefers to listen? Do you like to take notes or not? Would you rather take notes on a tablet or in an actual journal? Do you enjoy textbooks or learning by podcast; i.e. what do you want your main resource to be? These are all really important questions!
Personally, I enjoy learning by textbooks while taking notes in my tablet. Journals are great (don’t get me wrong), but my tablet makes taking notes much easier and more portable!
Once you figure out how you want to take notes and what you want your main resource to be for your Target Language, great job!
Go Get to Studying!
Don’t say you’re going to start tomorrow; start now!
Think about it 5 years down the road; will you be fluent in French or will you be asking yourself why you stopped studying. Had you kept going you’d be fluent by then! Just remember that language learning a marathon, not a sprint!