Learning a new language takes a lot of time, effort, patience and perseverance. If you’re feeling frustrated or discouraged, hopefully these suggestions from a TEFL Research article will encourage you to “stay the course” until you reach your learning goals. NOTE: This article is written in British English.
Excerpts from 3 research-backed ways to speed up your language learning:
1. Boost motivation with teamwork
Research at Stanford University shows that people who feel like they’re working as a team (even though they may not physically be working together) are more interested in the task and more likely to perform better. Get into the team spirit by signing up to a language learning forum like this one.
2. Speed up vocabulary learning with spaced repetition
Spaced repetition is a memorising technique which draws from the “spacing effect”. This effect, first spotted by the father of memory research Hermann Ebbinghaus, means that you are more likely to remember information which is studied a few times over a longer period of time compared to many times within a short space of time. To access these free videos, please click on the link below.
3. Set small, attainable goals
Working towards a large goal like “learn language X” can be overwhelming. My language learning targets are often a little on the vague side, a known motivation killer.
Research shows that setting smaller subgoals is highly beneficial to learning. For example, Bandura and Shunk (1982) demonstrated that, over 7 sessions, people who were instructed to complete 6 pages of maths problems per session completed the task faster and more accurately than people who were given 42 pages from the outset.