Are you taking a trip or making a big move overseas and hoping to get a grasp on the language before you go? Picking up a new tongue is a lifelong endeavor and you’ll never run out of new things to learn, but sometimes time isn’t on your side when it comes to gaining a reasonable amount of proficiency. The good news is, you can actually learn a new language in 90 days, as long as you commit yourself 100%! Read on for your 90-day language learning plan, and get ready to do some serious language acquisition.
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What You’ll Need
You can’t embark on your language journey without having a few good tools in your pack, right? Check out a list of things you’ll need for your 90-day plan:
- Grammar/Phrase Book
- Dictionary (can be online or a book)
- Language App (download an app like Duolingo so you’ll have fun and easy ways to practice in your spare time)
- A good tutor (preferably one-on-one)
- A native-speaking language partner
Not a bad list, right? Once you’ve gathered all the things you need, you’re ready to tackle that language mountain!
The first 30 days are probably the most critical when it comes to language learning. Avoid signing up for group language classes at this stage because learning in a group makes it too easy to be laid back about your approach. With a one-on-one tutor you’ll be forced to starting using the target tongue from day one—which is exactly what you want! Still, this doesn’t mean you should attempt the learning process all alone. If you can, find a learning partner who is willing to along on the 90-day language journey with you. You can hold one another accountable and, even better, practice your speaking skills! Above all, be an active learner. This means interacting with your surroundings, whether it be singing along to music, acting out scenes from films and shows, or reading out loud every single day.
All those one-on-one classes you’ve had during the first 30 days should give you the skills you need to carry out basic conversations in your target language. Now you need to focus on exposing and immersing yourself in the language as much as you can. You might consider switching from one-on-one classes to group classes at this point so you’ll have more people to interact with in the target tongue. Also, be sure to seek out more than one language partner so you experience multiple accents and manners of speaking. And lastly, create an immersive experience at home by surrounding yourself with books, movies, music, and shows in the language you’re learning. Put up post-it notes around the house to remind you to talk aloud to yourself in the target tongue and to help you acquire new vocabulary.
The good news is, you’re in the final stretch, but the bad news is, that this is the part of your language learning that will probably require the most commitment. It’s suggested that at this point you take a trip to a country where the language is spoken so you can get some real-world experience with using it. If you can’t do that, continue with the immersion you’ve put in place during days 31-60. By Day 61 you should be in a pretty good position to speak the language and you’ve got to focus on maintenance in order to avoid hitting a plateau or grinding to a complete stop. Seek out more complex themes to discuss with your language partners, and try to find as many opportunities as possible to chat with native speakers. Your lexicon should increase substantially during this final period, which means you’ve got to learn up to 30 new vocab words a day. Be careful about practicing the vocabulary you’ve already learned so you don’t forget those! While it sounds difficult, the fact is you’ll need to dedicate several hours a day to your language studies if you really want to be effective during this month. But by the end of it you’ll see that your hard work has really paid off!
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