Monday, May 21, 2012

The key to language success for adult learners: Habits

Having smart and consistent study habits will help our language ability progress towards greater proficiency and communication skills. Good language learning habits are not equal to hours of study and memorization. There is also no standard for what ‘correct’ habits are, they will vary according to individual tastes, preferences, and learning styles.

In general good habits can include (depending on your level): Listening to language courses , listening to audiobooks and reading in the language (anything from news, books, children’s books, or websites), attending classes or conversation groups (check for these at your local library), using language learning software, and language books.

We don’t have to set aside a lot of time for these activities. For learning languages the ‘less is more’ approach will definitely yield greater success. Listening to a language course while in the car or doing dishes for 10 minutes in the morning then again at night is better than trying to cram vocabulary lists for hours. We don’t want our language learning to be a chore, so we should try to enjoy it as much as possible. Study in a coffee shop or on the front porch. Get comfortable and enjoy!

I personally would give priority to audio learning techniques over visual, this is the way we acquired our native language.  That being said this may not be the best approach for everyone, and however you choose is right if it works for you.

In the coming weeks I plan on writing some product reviews for various Spanish learning products. There are certainly some methods that are better than others, and there are certain methods that will be better for certain individuals. I hope to describe them so that you can make an informed decision about which method or methods to use.  

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