Feeling overwhelmed is a normal feeling while trying to learn a new language. Between learning new vocabulary and grammar rules as well as trying to speak it well it’s easy to want to give up.
Instead of feeling discouraged, take control of the language by setting goals and steps for the most optimal acquisition.
Defining goals is the main step you can take to guarantee your prosperity, and it’s surprisingly simple to do. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Why Set Language Goals?
- Goals are a way to measure your progress, which inevitably helps improve your motivation to learn further. It takes a really long time to learn a foreign language perfectly, and it’s annoying to spend time learning something that does not seem to have a payoff. By setting realistic and attainable goals, you can see the progress you’re making and feel proud about the work you’ve been doing. Instead of kicking yourself for not knowing a new word you hear, you can pat yourself on the shoulder for learning the 20 new words that you just memorized.
- Goals keep you focused on what’s important. Learning a language requires familiarity with literally thousands of different grammar rules, vocabulary words, and cultural competencies. Setting goals helps you stay focused so you don’t get distracted by the numerous things you will need to learn in the future. By focusing on smaller bits of language acquisition, you make quicker progress and gain valuable skills.
- Goals save you time. Instead of memorizing vocabulary words, you won’t use daily, spend your time learning words directly related to the way you want to use your target language. For example: learning corporate language vocabulary which is a service ELAM Setting goals helps identify your biggest reason for studying the language, which makes it easier to clear out the skills and information you need to learn first.
Identifying Your Language Goals
The first step to identifying your goals is to figure out why you are studying this language. Take some time to think about the bigger picture and ask yourself questions like:
- Why do I want to learn this language?
- What would I do if I could speak this language fluently right now?
The next step is to break your ultimate goal into specific steps — the components that make up your larger goal. At this point, you aren’t setting tangible goals yet — just identifying the things you need to learn to achieve your ultimate goa
The ultimate goal: To be able to communicate with Spanish-speaking clients at the office where I work.
- Learn vocabulary for business emails
- Learn vocabulary for corporate conversation
- Learn to ask what a client’s needs are
If you set goals with this in mind, you will find that it will help you stay motivated and enthusiastic about language learning, and you’ll be proud of what you have achieved!