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3 lessons learned in my language learning

Sticking to language learning in spite of busy days, long to-do lists and lots of commitments can be a challenge

I’ve found 3 ingredients that have helped me make painless progress in French: focus, fun and feedback.

1. Focus in the morning

After a coffee, I feel fresh and ready to do some focused French training.

This could be active copying on Monday, speedwriting on Tuesday, reviewing vocabulary on Wednesday, doing a grammar exercise (ugh) Thursday and then back to active copying on Friday and speedwriting again on Saturday.

I train for 15-20 minutes most days, but spending just 5 minutes going over irregular verbs already counts.

2. Fun in the evening

It’s been a long day and now I want to relax in French.

I might flick through a magazine, listen to a podcast, play solo Scrabble, watch a TV show, read a book and chat with a friend on FaceTime.

And if a word I don’t know comes up, I’m happy to ignore it.

Unless it keeps coming up and seems useful, then I jot it down.

I spend about half an hour several evenings a week having fun in French.

3. Feedback as often as possible

Whenever I’m active copying, reading or listening, I try to notice what’s different to how I would’ve said it. Stuff like common expressions, pesky prepositions and pronunciation.

If I don’t understand why a tense or phrase is different, then I’ll make a note to ask my French coach.

As well, getting corrected by my friends during our conversations is hugely helpful.

I believe feedback is key to speeding up progress.

And a mixture of focus, fun and feedback maintains momentum in my language learning.

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© Christina Wielgolawski