Learning a language is one of the most exciting challenges that you can take at any time of your life.
It is believed that the younger you are, the faster you’ll learn the language. When you are young, your brain is like a sponge that can absorb tons of new information.
Learning a language as an adult
Despite the belief that the younger you are, the faster you learn, my most remarkable Spanish students were all above 60 years old.
Learning a language as an adult can be very frustrating when you feel stuck. Now that I am studying Italian, I struggle with this myself.
Therefore, I came up with 5 New Year resolutions that can help language students succeed in 2023.
Stop looking for perfection if you are learning a new language
One of my five New Year Resolutions as a language teacher and student is to stop looking for perfection.
The first time I heard the phrase “Perfectionism is a form of procrastination” I was shocked.
However, I’ve found this phrase to be absolutely true. The more you try to achieve “perfection”, the more you struggle, get frustrated and, eventually, procrastinate.
Therefore, one of my five New Year’s resolutions is to stop looking for perfect grammar, perfect sentences, perfect speech.
As a language student I want to focus more on achieving fluency, and stop worrying so much about accuracy. So should you if you are learning a language!
Celebrate small achievements
Number two of my five New Year resolutions as a language teacher and student is to celebrate small achievements.
In my experience as a teacher, I’ve noticed that language students tend to focus more on failures than achievements.
Eventually, this leads to frustration and sometimes, unfortunately, students give up on their studies.
I’ve always encouraged my students to celebrate their small achievements.
Every new word or phrase learned, every time they used a verb tense correctly, I’d let them know so that they’d be happy to continue learning.
Therefore, one of my five New Year’s resolutions is to celebrate small achievements.
As a language student I want to stay positive, not be so hard on myself, and be proud of every small step I take towards fluency.
Practice daily positivism while learning a language
Number three of my five New Year resolutions as a language teacher and student is to practice daily positivism.
It might sound silly, but staying positive on a daily basis is quite a challenge. Especially for a woman with diet, hormones and mood changes.
A positive mindset can be your ticket to success. And this is not just for language learning, it applies for everything in life.
Research shows that learning a language is more about attitude, than accuracy.
A positive frame of mind can speed up your ability to speak another language because it helps you stay motivated.
Therefore, one of my five New Year’s resolutions is to practice daily positivism by celebrating small achievements, focusing on fluency and not on accuracy, and not comparing myself to others.
Maintain a healthy and effective routine
Number four of my five New Year Resolutions as a language teacher and student is to keep a healthy and effective routine.
When I started working as a teacher my routine was very effective. I was teaching more than 10 lessons a day and making lots of money.
Eventually, I got so tired that, I’m embarrassed to admit, I fell asleep before one of my lessons and missed it. I also was lacking the energy to exercise and the time to study Italian.
That’s when I realized, the best routine for me would be one that combines a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable work schedule.
Nowadays, a large number of language students fail to focus on their studies because it’s too easy to get carried away by distractions and feel too tired to study.
Therefore, one of my five New Year’s resolutions is to keep a healthy and effective routine that will allow me to achieve progress.
Leave behind things that don’t help
Number five of my five New Year resolutions as a language teacher and student is to leave behind the things that don’t help me.
The things that don’t help me (or anyone) and that I am leaving behind for good are:
- Wasting too much of my time on social media.
- Comparing my progress to somebody else’s.
- Frustrating over things that I can’t control.
- Being too hard on myself for not achieving results in a shorter time.
- Skipping meals or exercise for the sake of work/studies.
As a conclusion, these are my five New Year resolutions that would also help you if you’re learning a language:
- Stop looking for perfection: focus on fluency, not accuracy.
- Celebrate small achievements.
- Practice daily positivism.
- Maintain a healthy and effective routine.
- Leave behind the things that don’t help me.
What are your New Year resolutions as a language learner? Leave a comment below.
Learn about New Year Traditions in Spanish
Check out this resource to learn all about New Year’s Eve traditions around the world in Spanish. Improve your vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening skills and more.