If you were confident you could learn a new language by putting in only one hour a day, would you go for it?
According to The US Foreign Service Institute, only one hour a day and you can master a new language in 96 weeks. That’s nearly two years, but there are some tricks that can help you shave off time and get there faster.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you consistency is key.
Kudos to you if you’re super-confident with your English, but most people struggle to get there. They remember years of trying to remember verbs, adjectives, and nouns in school.
Yet, you need confidence in your English before you try your luck with an entry-level online job.
Luckily, learning a new language has never been easier. And we’re about to prove this point today.
Why Can’t You Learn a New Language?
Are you cramming your language study between sipping coffee and fetching groceries? Seeing no progress in your language learning can be painful.
But you can’t expect to see results if you don’t do your share of hard work.
Yet, why do we sometimes shrink from learning and improving our English? This boils down a variety of factors.
Research suggests learning a language is influenced by motivation and attitude.
Importantly, both are under your control.
Steve Kaufmann a former Canadian diplomat and founder of LingQ shares:
“You have to be motivated, to like the language, and to think you can succeed. Without a positive attitude towards the language, the process, and your own ability to succeed, you probably won’t succeed. If you are positive, you are more likely to put in the time needed to succeed. You will also eagerly take in the language without resisting it.”
Best Ways to Learn a New Language in the Digital Age
The way people learn a new language has morphed over the past couple of decades. You no longer have to pour over grammar books and repeat the same exercises for hours on end.
Learning a new language is neither as daunting nor as hard as it used to be. Actually, it’s never been easier.
Today you have the resources to learn a new language by yourself. They’re available to you at a click of a button.
The fact that you happen to live in the digital age enables you to improvise. Equipped with engaging learning materials you can tweak your learning to your liking.
You can start looking at your language learning through creative lenses and:
- Listen to podcasts on your smartphone on your way to the supermarket.
- Read online materials that suit your interests.
- Join platforms such as Coeffee.com or My Language Exchange to chat with native speakers.
- Use fun interactive online materials.
If you want to polish up your English so you’re more confident at your virtual assistant job, you just got lucky.
You’re about to uncover the best ways to learn a language quickly and efficiently.
Sign Up for an Online Course
Signing up for an online course is a great way to learn English. It’s one of the best tools to learn a new language because the material is presented in a structured way.
It’s hard to stay consistent if you’re on your own. It can take hours to collate quality sources and lessons you can rely on.
Here’s how the story goes for most people. You show some potential at school. But as you take on more life responsibilities, your English gets neglected.
So, sign up for the “Basic English Language Training for Virtual Assistants” course today and dust off those language cobwebs.
The course allows you to pause and resume whenever convenient. So you can learn the language at home at your own pace. You receive hand-picked, professionally-crafted lessons on how to:
- Understand and overcome your greatest fears and biases linked to language learning.
- Create a learning routine and build your learning strategy.
- Perfect your English using an unconventional, non-classroom-based learning method.
Stick to Your Learning Goals
Learning a new language is a huge undertaking in and of itself. It’s when you think you’ve reached an important milestone that you learn it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Furthermore, the Internet opens up a world of possibilities for language learners. Sometimes there are just too many options.
That’s why you need to set your language learning goals and stick to them. This is how you future-proof your learning strategy and achieve consistency. And consistency in language learning is key.
So, this is what you want to take into account when setting your goals.
- Set short-term, tangible learning objectives. Setting short-term goals is always a better idea than going for a big far-fetched goal only. Set weekly and monthly goals and create reminders for the week ahead. Plan what you want to learn. This will keep you motivated on an everyday basis.
- Set attainable goals. Set unrealistic goals and you’re going to have to face disappointments. Make sure your learning plan works for you and doesn’t discourage your efforts. Hit the sweet spot and set flexible goals. For example, you can say “I want to learn a list of 10-30 new terms to enhance my lexicon.”
- Jot your goals down. If you don’t have an actual, tangible list of goals, odds are you’ll quickly lose track of them. And you won’t be able to reproach yourself when needed without the physical evidence, right? Keep track of your goals in any way you want, keep your lists in a journal, or create a vision board. Whatever it takes so you get your language learning off the ground.
Expose Yourself to the Target Language 24/7
When you get hired as a virtual assistant, you won’t always be able to squeeze in your English learning session.
But you can combine structured learning with freestyle learning activities. Since you have a host of language learning tools available, you may as well use them to your advantage.
You can expose yourself to English 24/7 without it ever feeling like a chore.
A TED translator Olga Dmitrochenkova says that you’ll get more comfortable using a language if you use it to do the activities you’d normally do in your native tongue.
“Use every opportunity to get exposed to the new language. Label every object in your house in this language, read kids’ books written in it, watch subtitled TED and TEDx talks, or live-narrate parts of your day to an imaginary foreign friend.”
Though at first, you might be reluctant to do so, exposing yourself to language early on in the game is beneficial. You might not understand everything you hear. But as you listen to the target language, your brain subconsciously processes the information.
To learn a language you need to hear words and structures over and over again. And before you know it, you’ll take to it like a duck to water.
Now here are some more ideas on how to perfect your English without breaking a sweat:
- Use multimedia. Tap into the wealth of online resources to practice your English. Watch YouTube videos, stream radio broadcasts, or listen to podcasts on your favorite topics.
- Try a language learning app. Give LingQ, FluentU, or Memrise app a try. These apps use a variety of interactive content. So you can choose to learn a new language by reading books, articles, listening to songs, or real-world videos.
- Find an online penpal. Search for social media groups to find a language learning pal you can talk to. It’s a win-win situation; both you and your partner get to practice the language. Use live chat options on Whatsapp or voice recording on Messenger so that you can go back and listen to the recordings.
Rise to the Challenge of Learning a New Language
A positive attitude is the key to learning a new language. It’s not until you do away with your fears and biases that you can make the most of your learning. If you set your mind to improving your language skills, it will be half the battle won.
And nowadays, with the abundance of learning materials, it’s the other half of the battle.
So, ready to perfect your English? Enroll in the “Basic English Language Training for Virtual Assistants” course. We’ve created the course with an online worker in mind.
The course gives you all the necessary resources to help you take your English to the next level. Yet, it takes the hassle out of the equation. So, do yourself a favor and sign up for the course today.
Photo by Freepik / CC BY