If you’re just starting out on your language learning journey, it can be difficult to know where to begin or even how to study. Here are our best tips to make the most of Babbel and incorporate other hacks into your learning experience.
Find your motivation
Everyone has a reason for wanting to learn another language. Maybe you’re learning in order to advance your career, connect with loved ones, or simply to keep your brain sharp. There are many motivations for language learning, and it’s important to pinpoint yours before you begin. This will be your guide during the learning journey, showing you which vocabulary you should tackle first, and keeping you on track when life gets hectic.
Once you’ve identified your motivation, commit to learning in order to reach your goals. Consider writing your motivation down somewhere where you’ll see it often, or finding another learner who can keep you on track.
Make learning a habit
After finding your motivation, the next most important step in making consistent progress is to make learning a habit. It can be tempting to do several language lessons back to back on a weekend and then forget about learning until the following week. Unfortunately, this “binge learning” strategy isn’t very effective, and makes it hard for new vocabulary to make it into your long-term memory.
Instead of sporadic sprints of learning, think of language learning as a long-haul commitment: slow and steady wins the race. Carve out a bit of time every day for language learning (even 15 minutes during your daily commute can be enough) and stick with it. If you find that you have trouble remembering to study, try using Babbel’s learning reminders to help you keep up the habit.
Review early and often
Now that you’ve committed to learning regularly, you should commit to reviewing just as often. It can feel more exciting to just do new lessons, but every time you go to study you should also review at least one batch of older items. Start reviewing after your first or second lesson so you’ve incorporated this practice into your learning habit.
This is especially easy with Babbel, because our review function is based on the proven scientific method of spaced repetition. It’s specially designed to get new vocabulary into your long-term memory, and it keeps track of everything you’ve learnt so far. It also knows when it’s the right time to show you older items, so you don’t have to worry about missing the vocabulary you’ve encountered.
Immerse yourself in the language
If you’re keen on making progress fast, then it’s good to expose yourself to your new language as much as possible. Besides regular study sessions, this can mean watching TV shows or movies in the language, listening to radio or podcasts while driving, writing your grocery list with new vocabulary you’ve learnt, or even talking to yourself for practice. (For the bold, you can also consider changing your phone’s display language.) The most important thing is to surround yourself with the language you’re learning.
Find someone to practise with
Finally, if speed is your main concern, put some energy into finding a speaking partner to practise with. Unless you’re studying a dead language, you’re probably learning in order to have conversations with real people. You’ll learn the flow of the language (and be pressed to recall vocabulary) much faster when putting that knowledge to work from the very beginning.
If you can’t practise with someone who lives near you, try finding a partner online who would be willing to chat. There are lots of online communities built around learning languages, so you just need to find someone who you’ll be excited to talk to.