It is a new calendar year. During this time, everyone is busy with living up to their new year’s resolutions. Did you decide that “I want to be fluent in Dutch!” and ”I am going to learn in Dutch!” but you are already in trouble sticking to that? Let us guide you and give you some useful tips so that you can keep on learning through the whole year 🙂
Specify your goals in a way that you can avoid disappointment in the future
Come up with a clear but realistic expectation. Don’t expect to reach the impossible. Of course, you can avoid being disappointed by not having any expectations at all. But if you have decided to learn a language, you want to get somewhere eventually, right? Don’t think too big but do think of something that you can manage. Blijf maar met beide benen op de grond.
Devote the time in a realistic way
In our modern age, we are more than result-oriented and pushed to achieve more and even more. At the same time, we are overwhelmed with too many things. The key element here is prioritization. First, decide what the most important thing is for you and then decide when, how often, and how much time you can engage with it. Learning a language has nothing to do with ‘sweating blood’ but fun and joy. It is totally fine if you only have 15 minutes a day to learn a language. As long as it is 15 minutes every day. Jij kan soms meer bereiken door minder te doen.
Take it easy while taking it seriously
If it is about new year’s resolutions, people tend to get to extremes. Either they want to accomplish everything during the first week of January or they immediately postpone what they have just decided: “Oh I will start next week”. And then “next week” becomes “next month” or even “next year”. Luckily, there is a sensible solution in between the two rather crazy extremes. Come up with for example a study routine of 10-15 minutes per day. Don’t forget, regularity is indeed a key to success in learning a language! De gestadige jager wint.
Try to use what you learn
You can sit long hours memorising words and complicated grammatical structures but they are worth nothing if they are not put into practice. Dare to use what you have learned and most importantly, dare to make mistakes! Yes, you read it right. It is through your mistakes that you can improve yourself. Sitting silently on the couch will not help you in practising your language skills. So get up, go out to the streets and try saying those fancy sentences out loud! Vertrouw ons nou maar, het kan geen kwaad 🙂
Use tools to make your life and language learning easier
In our era of technological advancements, we are surrounded by very many electronic tools that can make your language learning experience easier and funnier according to the learning style that suits you the most. If you are on the go, try one of the smartphone applications, e.g. Babbel, Duolingo, Clozemaster, or Memrise. If you prefer audio learning, listen to podcasts, e.g. Echt gebeurd, DutchPod101.com, Laura Speaks Dutch, 1Minuutjes Jeugd, etc. There are also very well-structured flashcard apps for improving your vocabulary on the go, try for instance Quizlet. Whatever learning style serves you the best, a tool incorporating at least one of them will certainly help. Goed gereedschap is het halve werk.
Learning a language can be fun, so why not having fun? Don’t wait until 2019 😉