The habit of learning a language should be a habit. This is the first rule of success. There are many studies that describe the mechanism of habit formation and give different time periods necessary for its consolidation - from two weeks to a year, but in any case, the strength of your habit will depend only on the amount of effort and determination.
Therefore, the first habit of successful students studying a foreign language is daily learning. Even if you study the language 30 minutes a day every day for six months, you will already feel the result. 30 minutes is not so much, and the first task is to turn 30 minutes of language learning per day into your habit and not deviate from this task, regardless of external circumstances.
However, it is not enough to learn the language every day - it is necessary to practice every day as well. Yes, at the first stage it will be just a repetition of new words and phrases, but further tasks will gradually become more and more difficult. There are a lot of exercises for daily practice - for example, reading news in the language you are studying, watching movies and videos, listening to podcasts, reading books in the original, all kinds of cards, memos, mobile applications and much more.
Making the Focus on Real-Life Language
If you have ever studied a foreign language, then you probably noticed that most programs and courses (especially in higher education institutions) are aimed at remembering all grammatical constructions, but ... feel a stupor when you need to answer the simplest question in real life. Successful language learners know about this pitfall, therefore, constantly strive to learn the language in the form in which it is spoken. They do not focus on rules that exist only in books. They focus on a lively conversation, proper pronunciation, and most importantly, understanding the real speech of native speakers.
Going to the Goal
It is a trend to know several foreign languages, but the trend is not something long-term motivation can hold out on. You need a deeper goal than just being trendy. So, for example, those who want to work in the IT field, begin to learn English for programmers - with an exact understanding of why they need it. So, those who want to move to Japan or China begin to learn these languages, because they understand that it will be difficult to get used to a new country without being able to exchange at least a few phrases with local residents. Therefore, the goal is what will move you along the path of language learning every day. Find this goal before starting your study.
Taking Every Opportunity to Learn
For successful language learners, language learning becomes their lifestyle, and they use every free minute to do it. They learn the language while they stand in line or use public transport, they communicate with native speakers on social networks and on special sites, use applications to track performance, ask themselves questions in a new language, answer them themselves, and always carry a textbook with them - in case a free minute appears.
Reviewing and Refreshing Their Knowledge
The features of our memory are such that any information that we receive and supposedly remember still disappears after some time. Only those data that are used and repeated daily or almost daily pass from the category of short-term memory to long-term. This is exactly the result that you need to strive to learn a new language. And that is why successful students from time to time return to topics and materials that have already been worked out in order to move this information from the short-term use compartment to the long-term one.
Making Use of Mistakes
Mistakes and even bad results are still results, and this is an indicator that you are not standing still. This is an indicator that you are striving for knowledge, but at the moment you missed something or did not work out to the end. This is an indicator that you need to go back a little and close a certain gap in knowledge. Successful students perceive their mistakes in this way. This is not a reason to abandon your goal and quit learning a language - this is an occasion to improve your knowledge. And this is only good if the error surfaced in the learning process, and not in the process of actually using the language - this would cause much more inconvenience in the latter case.
Learning a new language is a complex and time-consuming process. And it’s better to be prepared for this in advance. However, the right habits can simplify your path and increase your effectiveness. And the most important habit to achieve this is constancy and improvement.
Frank Hamilton has been working as an editor at review service Online Writers Rating. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.