Guest Blogger: Adrienne Demirelli

Open a new door this year to the world, by learning a second or third language. Instead of making excuses or procrastinating because the timing might not be right, make a plan. Choose from one of the 6,000 world languages, your reason for doing so, and start the new year off right!  In this post, I am going to give you some tips on choosing a language, writing down your motivations and goals, and finding the time to learn. 

There are many reasons why we should learn a language. Here’s mine.

I am a mother of three multilingual kids living in France. I have been a non-native speaker of French for the past 20 years and I feel capable enough to have a conversation without being misunderstood. However, I am not that confident when it comes to speaking Turkish. I chose to speak Turkish in order to talk and share experiences with my in-laws. 

Tip 1: Choose a Language and write down your motivations

Maybe you have in mind which language you would like to learn this year or maybe you are not sure where to start. 

First, I think it is important to start by asking and answering some questions:

  •  Are you interested in learning a language for business or personal reasons?
  •  How will you use this language and in what setting? 
  • Are you looking for a language to speak, write and/or read? 

For more questions, refer to this  list by Adam Beck of Bilingual Monkeys to ask yourself before embarking on a new adventure in language learning.

Tip 2: Write down your goals

Write down your ultimate goal, what level would you like to be at, and by when. 

Divide this ultimate goal into short term goals or 90-day periods. 

For example, I would like to learn basic vocabulary in Spanish by March because my husband and I are planning a short weekend to Spain.

Be as specific as possible. Write down goals that will encourage you. For example, I would like to know how to order at a restaurant in Turkish by next Saturday when my husband and I have a date night.

 

Once you have set clear goals, it is time to figure out how to accomplish these goals based off your schedule.

Tip 3: Find the time

Do a time audit and figure out where you have pockets of time that could be dedicated to language learning. 

For example, I arrive early to pick my kids up from school and I spend that time reading about raising bilingual children or I make flashcards for new vocabulary words. 

Also commit yourself to making progress instead of focusing on the ultimate goal which will most likely shift your focus and you’ll end up procrastinating.  Be present in the here and now and for the next 20 minutes focus on learning five new vocabulary words or something relative to the goal. 

Tip 4: Change your Daily Routine

Instead of writing the grocery list in your native language, try writing it in your target language. You could even do the same for your to-do list. Change your telephone’s language settings. Listen to a podcast or watch your favorite TV show in the target language while you fold laundry or make dinner. Give yourself a pep talk in the morning in a target language.

For more tips, check out my 30-day language challenge, and start your year off right!


Tip: 5 Get your kids and spouse involved

Kids, no matter what age, are able to pick up a language a lot faster than their parents and the benefits of being bilingual are numerous. You could listen to Disney favorites in the target language. Or go to an authentic grocery store to buy food and make an authentic dinner with your spouse. Learn a new language in order to take a vacation to a place where the target language is spoken! 

Above I shared with you some tips on how to start learning a new language. It may seem daunting to begin and stay motivated but with the right planning and support system, it will be easier to achieve your goals.  Who knows, maybe next year you could call yourself bilingual?

Author Bio

Adrienne is an American living in France with her Turkish husband and three kids. She is a strong advocate for multi-language learning from a young age and enjoys encouraging others to learn new languages at any age. She also, writes about her family’s adventures in raising multilingual (six languages between them) and multicultural kids, living as a expat, and learning to become globally aware on her blog, The Multilingual Home. Adrienne also sells hands-on language learning activities for children. She loves connecting with readers on Facebook and Instagram.


Felicia Tucker

Hi, my name is Felicia Tucker and I am a wife and mom of three. My world consists of fostering a healthy marriage and nurturing my children while integrating that into my career. It is never a dull moment! I am learning how to enjoy the small moments, not sweat the small stuff and go to sleep with the toys strewn over the living room floor.

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