There are two types of people: bad finishers and good finishers.
Most of us are good starters when it comes to learning a foreign language and terrible finishers.
Well, it is not a lack of talent.
It is not a lack of time.
It is not a lack of strategy.
Most often is a lack of motivation and a clear goal.
Most think that I will learn more if I study more. The good news is that this is WRONG.
I am advocating for learning smarter, not harder.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, continue reading this, and keep in mind these five principles during your Italian language learning journey. You will be fluent in Italian, promise!
What makes a LANGUAGE LEARNING GAOL s.m.a.r.t.?
IT IS “Specific”
Why SPECIFIC? Because targeting a specific area for improvement will do wonders in the short term.
The typical situation most Italian students face is studying Italian solo or with an Italian online teacher for months or even years and still, not feeling comfortable and confident in speaking Italian fluently at any level.
Learning smarter means also targeting one area that you want to improve drastically, in a specific timeframe.
Let’s say that you spend learning Italian one 90 minutes a week.
Imagine the scenario where you spend
- 30 minutes talking
- 15 minutes writing
- 30 on vocabulary exercises and grammar,
- 15 minutes on listening.
This is a best practice if you are seeking to maintain your Italian language skills, but it will not do wonders if you want to boost up your Italian listening or conversation skills in the short term, for example.
Do you want to take to the next level your listening skills so that you can watch and Italian movie without subtitles or listening to your favorite Italian Podcast?
Make a specific plan to work on Italian listening for 30 minutes a day, twice a week. Do it for three months. Your Italian listening will be thriving. Guarantee.
IT IS “MEASURABLE”
Measurable goals mean that you identify what it is you see, hear, and feel when you reach your goal.
It means breaking your goal down into small quantifiable tasks and.
Measuring your progress entails concrete evidence.
Being happier is not evidence. An evidence is having your Italian checked or assessed by a native speaker every month or every second month, for instance.
How can you measure your progress in Italian?
- Be assessed at any Italian language center in your area every year
- Commit to passing an Italian certification exam
- Set yourself up for an Italian language immersion trip and see how you are doing
- Book monthly conversation lessons in Italian with a private online tutor and see your progress
IT IS “ACHIEVABLE”
Before you embrace the beautiful journey of Italian language learning with the dream of being fluent in Italian in X months, I encourage you to do a reality check. How much time can you spend learning the language? Do I have the budget to afford a private teacher or a language school?
I believe that anyone can learn anything, including Italian alone and for free. However, the time you need to achieve your learning goal will depend on the time and/or money you will invest in it.
IT IS “RELEVANT”
Probably my favorite item on the list. As an adult learner, your time is precious, and you want to make sure that you are using your time or money meaningfully.
As a busy adult, you can’t afford to learn something you are not fond of or something that does not add value to your days!
Learning Italian should be a pleasant, relaxing, meditating, and empowering pastime for you. No need to say your Italian study time has to be fun and exciting.
You must enjoy and have fun with the language.
How can you transform Italian language learning into a relaxing and fun job?
Find a way to learn that adapts to your passion and interest and learning style. Be creative.
- Use Italki to find a conversational partner or speaking tutor or also a professional Language Coach.
- Use HelloTalk, Tandem, and find an Italian speaking friend for free.
- Join an Italian Language Retreat or Immersion Trip in Italy, I am organizing one!
- Join an Italian Book Club
- Journal in Italian
- Join a Facebook Group for Italian language learning
- Read your favorite novels in Italian
- Organize a Do It Yourself Italian Language Immersion Trip
IT IS “TIME-RELATED”
Another item I am fond of. Time-bound. When you take up Italian or another new activity, you are all pumped and motivated. Everybody knows that motivation has a short lifespan. We all tend to be great starters and bad finishers.
The typical scenario is:
you jump start your new Italian Language Journey, but you have no idea when you will get what you want: being fluent in Italy.
The fact you don’t have a clear time-bound objective can result in frustration or a loss of interest long term.
How can you step on this?
Set a goal and a deadline, keeping in mind that your goal must be achievable, realistic, and measurable!
REMEMBER – planning is half the battle won.
If you, like me, are interested in the topic of efficient learning, read 9 Efficient Learning Habits of Smart Learners.
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Serena is a proud polyglot, teacher and language expert. After learning 8+ foreign languages and working long hours a job she was not born for, she decided she urged a significant life change. She is now combining what she loves doing with what she is good at, helping people to learn Italian online. She has been sharing her love for Italy and the Bella Lingua across the world for the last four years. Her goal is helping enthusiastic humans to transform Italian Language Learning into a habit in their lives.