Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to the Monthly Review! The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips, study tools, and resources.
By the way, all the lessons and bonuses you’re about to see can be downloaded for free on our website.
So, click the link in the description right now to sign up for your free lifetime account.
Okay, today’s topic is:
10 Habits of Highly Effective Language Learners
Do you feel like you’re not making much language progress?
That you could do better? But you’re just not sure what step to take? In today’s episode, you’ll discover the top 10 habits of effective language learners, and what these learners do differently.
Do you have any of these habits? Keep watching to find out.
But first, listen up! Here are this month’s new lessons and resources.
First — The “Being Funny” Conversation Cheat Sheet
Want to be able to tell jokes in your target language? Or tell someone how funny or unfunny they are? You’ll learn how with this brand new cheat sheet.
Second — “All the Language You Need for Everyday Life”
Get all of our best conversation cheat sheets rolled up into one. This bundle will get you speaking more! Download it right now before it disappears.
Third — Must-Know Book Vocabulary
If you love reading and want to talk about books, check out this 1-minute lesson. It’ll teach you all of the must-know vocabulary.
Fourth — Phrases to Use with the Doctor
Learn how to say phrases like “I have an appointment,” “I don’t feel well,” and much more!
Fifth — Summer Plans Conversation Lesson
Can you talk about your summer plans? Like “take a trip and relax at the beach” or “stay at home and sit on the internet”? You’ll be able to with this 1-minute lesson.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Ok, let’s jump into today’s topic:
10 Habits of Highly Effective Language Learners
If you walk away from this lesson and remember only one habit, let it be this one:
Habit Number One: Setting small, measurable goals with a deadline.
For example, do 30 of our language lessons by the end of this month. 30 is small. You’re not learning the whole language here. It’s measurable. Either you did 28 or you hit 30. And you know when to reach it by, which gives you motivation.
Let’s expand on this point even further.
You should also set goals for every study session. For example, if your goal is to do 30 lessons in a month, and if a month has 30 days, you know you need to do 1 lesson a day.
Our lessons can be anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes long. That gives you your goal for the day. For your study session: do 1 lesson and spend up to 15 minutes on it.
That way, you’re not confused about what to do, or how long to study for. You know what you can expect to accomplish.
Another powerful lesson here is that goals take away anxiety. Here’s why. Imagine you set a big, vague goal like “I want to be fluent someday.” You don’t have a plan, but you buy a textbook. You read the first chapter, and then you start worrying about whether you’re really learning. You don’t know how far you should go, and you have no real plan or specific goal. Then, you start worrying about if you’ll ever be fluent, so you lose motivation and quit.
But if you set a small goal, you know you need to do 1 lesson a day. Just 15 minutes. That’s it.
Habit Number Two: Creating Routines.
This ties back to the first habit. If you set a goal like “do 30 lessons in 1 month,” you know that you need to do 1 lesson a day.
This is how you create your routine.
You should decide when and where to study as well. Even if you’re putting in just 5 minutes a day, you have to know when and where you’ll do it. Why?
So you can make time, make a mental note that this time is language time, and say no to other things that come up.
Just like you know when it’s time to brush your teeth, you should know when it's time to do a little language learning.
Creating and sticking with a routine is a great habit to have because the routine is what turns your goals into reality.
Habit Number Three: Don’t Cram.
Most of us crammed back in school. We’d wait til the last day, then study for 5 hours. Even if you pass the test, you still forget it all.
But with language, you want to remember it so you can use it.
Luckily, our lessons are short and sweet so you’re not spending hours on your studies. The point is that 5 minutes a day every day is better than doing 5 hour cram sessions and burning yourself out.
Habit Number 4: Prepare Lines and Conversations Ahead of Time.
What do we mean by “prepare”?
Imagine you want to open a bank account in your target language. You can show up at the front desk and grunt and point, and try to communicate with body language.
Or, you can prepare. You look up words like “bank account,” “open,” and all the relevant phrases. Or even easier, you can find a lesson on our site.
If you want to prepare for daily conversations, then check out our “Top 25 Questions You Must Know for Conversations” lessons. These teach you how to ask and answer basic questions like, “How are you? How was your weekend?” and much more.
In fact, most of our lessons are based around practical, daily dialogues. We give you the exact lines to say - whether for conversations with friends, for shopping, or for opening a bank account.
So, preparing is a must. It gives you a foundation of words and phrases you can use. It places you miles ahead of other learners.
Number 5: Get into the Habit of Producing Output.
Input is taking language in: listening and reading. Output is putting language out: So speaking and writing.
The big point here is that it’s very easy to sit back and listen and read. You can listen to lessons all day long, but listening helps with listening. It won’t get you speaking the language.
Here are some of the easiest ways to produce output: For speaking, repeat what you hear out loud. For writing, copy out the lesson vocabulary and dialogue by hand. Again, you need to practice.
Habit number 6: Come Back and Review.
A lot of times, what we learn goes in one ear and out the other, which means we don’t really learn.
This is where reviewing comes in. When you’re done with a lesson, come back a few days later and do another round. You’ll likely come across words and phrases you’ve forgotten.
Or even easier, download the dialog track or the lesson notes, and review those at a later date.
Taking the time to refresh your memory is key to remembering. Otherwise, if the language goes in one ear and out the other, then you’re not really learning.
Number 7: Look for Solutions.
An important difference between experienced learners and new learners is in how they react when they don’t understand something.
Inexperienced learners rely completely on their study tools and tend to blame the tools for their lack of progress. You’ll often hear people talk about giving up because a textbook was too boring or because their textbook didn’t teach them to speak.
Experienced learners look for solutions. If they realize a specific study tool (like a textbook) isn’t going to help them speak, they look for a better solution.
Textbooks can teach you grammar and vocabulary words, so they’re valuable resources. But if speaking is your goal, you have to look for ways to practice speaking, like reading out loud or working with a conversation partner.
Number 8: Focus on What You’re Good At.
The reason we say this is because it’s good for motivation overall. If you’re generally better at speaking than writing, you’re more likely to enjoy it. Which means you’re more likely to continue with it. That means it’s a successful routine, and routines are what turn your goals into reality.
Number 9: Don’t Procrastinate.
This is easier said than done, but this important.
A lot of us procrastinate as a result of “overthinking.” For example, let’s say you plan on studying for an hour today. So you remember “ah, i have to study tonight. For a whole hour… I don’t think I have the time. It’s going to be hard. But I should really try...” and it becomes something you have to do (which is a hassle). You’ve already ruined it for yourself in your head.
But if you have a small and measurable goal and an easy routine (just 5 minutes a day, for example), that’s not much to work to do. 5 minutes and you’re done.
If you want to beat procrastination, make sure to make your goals and routines easy and realistic.
Number 10: Remember that Learning a Language is a Marathon and Not a Sprint. It’s a long term game. Remembering this is a good habit to have. If you’re having a bad day, or if you missed a goal, that doesn’t mean it’s all over.
It’s just a minor stumble in the grand scheme.
So, let’s recap.
Number 1: get into the habit of setting small, measurable goals.
Number 2: create a routine
Number 3: don’t cram
Number 4: prepare lines and conversations ahead of time
Number 5: get into the habit of producing output
Number 6: come back and review
Number 7: look for solutions
Number 8: focus on what you’re good at
Number 9: don’t procrastinate
Number 10: remember that learning a language is a marathon and not a sprint.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we’ll talk about: The Power of Mistakes.
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See you next time! Bye!