Don’t learn harder, learn SMARTER
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.
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.
Many learners would 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.?
Why SPECIFIC? Because targeting a specific area for improvement will do wonders in the short term.
Most Italian learners face the typical situation of studying Italian solo or with an Italian online teacher for months or even years and still not feeling comfortable and confident speaking Italian fluently at any level.
Smart Learning also means targeting one area that you want to improve drastically, in a specific timeframe.
Let’s say that you spend 90 minutes a week learning Italian and imagine the scenario where you spend
- 30 minutes talking
- 15 minutes writing
- 30 on vocabulary exercises and grammar
- 15 minutes on listening.
That’s a best practice if you seek to maintain your current Italian language skills. Still, it will not do wonders if you want to boost up your Italian listening or conversation skills in the short term.
Saying you want to take your Italian listening to a peak level, you should devote time to practice (just) your Italian listening, for instance, for two months. Just listening in Italian, for two months.
Make a specific plan to work on Italian listening for 30 minutes a day, three times a week, and do it for two months. Your Italian listening will be thriving. Guarantee.
Measurable goals mean that you identify what 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. 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
Before you embrace the exciting Italian language learning journey with the dream of being fluent in Italian in three 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 Italian 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 highly depend on the time and/or money you will invest in it.
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
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 Italian.
The fact you don’t have a clear time-bound objective can result in frustration or a long-term loss of interest.
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.