1. Find out what kind of learner you are. Answer these questions to get an idea of how you learn best.
• Do you need to “see” it on paper to understand? (Make sure to use videos or pictures to help you learn.)
• Do you need to “hear” it to understand? (Study with podcasts or videos.)
• Do you learn better when you are having fun? (Study with games or join a club.)
• Do you remember more when you are moving around? (Study while you walk.)
• Do you need to memorize rules? (Study with a textbook or website.)
• Do you learn by talking to people? (Take a class and socialize.)
You can learn more effectively if you understand your strengths and use them to help you. Think about what has helped you in the past.
2. Use a variety of strategies when studying.
Talk to others, volunteer to give a presentation, teach someone a new skill, read a book, memorize vocabulary, write a blog, listen to the radio and repeat what you hear, watch TV and movies, listen to an audio book in the car, write posts on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Don’t forget about ALL 4 language skills.
Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing
4. Learn with someone.
Find a language-learning partner. If you meet with someone who is also studying the language, you can help teach each other and practice together.
5. Organize your studying.
• Set achievable, short-term goals. (For example: My goal is to finish a book this month; to learn 10 vocabulary words; to be able to tell a story; to be able to ask questions in meetings.)
• Create a study notebook with material that you have studied. Review it every month or two.
• Study in short intervals. (5, 10, or 20 minutes a day)
• Tell someone about your study plan, and talk about it frequently.
• Plan out when, where and how you will study.
6. Answer these questions to help yourself get started on a self-learning program:
• What is your first goal? I will be able to (____) by (deadline).
• When will you study?
• How will you study?
Your biggest obstacle is fear. Don’t let it stop you.