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Whether you’re looking to further your career, communicate with clients across the globe, or fire up those brain cells with a new hobby, the decision to learn a new language online is always going to pay off.
Thanks to the flexibility of online language learning, you can get started wherever you are, whatever your personal circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you have a tight budget, a busy work schedule, or your local coronavirus restrictions have shut down classes, you can still launch your language learning journey.
However, as with everything else in life and business, there’s a right way and a wrong way to learn a language online. Downloading an award-winning app like Mondly and just leaving it to gather dust won’t ever help you get fluent.
Here are five tips for learning a language online in 2021 successfully.
1. Find your ‘why’
Every successful language learning mission should start with you identifying your ‘why’. So ask yourself, “Why do I want to learn a language online in 2021?”
Do you want to be able to communicate with clients from abroad in their mother tongue? Will you need to travel for your career in the future? Do you also want to learn a language for your personal interest, not just as part of a corporate language learning scheme?
When you take the time to understand why you want to learn a particular language, you’ll be more likely to succeed. You’ll find the motivation to fire up your language learning app, even if you’d rather just sprawl on the sofa watching Netflix. You’ll keep working hard at understanding the differences between ‘por que’ and ‘porque’ in Spanish or mastering the pronunciation of your tones in Mandarin because you have that bigger goal in sight.
2. Practice every day
Consistency is key if you want to get the most from your online language lessons and achieve your business language learning goals. It’s not enough just to fire up your Mondly app once or twice per week, or to attempt to ‘binge study’ in order to make up for lost time. It’s better to be learning in short bursts every single day, even if you have to squeeze it into the ten minutes you have spare before you need to pick the children up from school.
By making language learning a regular habit, you’ll keep new words, phrases and grammatical structures fresh in your mind, you’ll notice more progress and you’ll find it much easier to stay motivated.
How much time you choose to spend each day is really up to you. For best results, experts recommend you do between 30-40 minutes per day so you can harness the power of The Five Hour Rule. As American business magazine and website Entrepreneur says, “No matter how busy successful people are, they always spend at least an hour a day — or five hours a workweek — learning or practicing.”
Here are a few tips on how to stay consistent:
- Habit stack. Connect your language learning with an existing habit and do them together. For example, work through your daily Mondly language lesson whilst you drink your lunchtime coffee, take public transport to work, or even right before you brush your teeth in the evening.
- Set a reminder. Set an alarm clock or enable Mondly notifications to remind you to learn your language.
- Don’t give up. Despite all our best efforts, life can sometimes get in the way. You might miss a lesson or two and although that’s not ideal, it’s OK. Just make sure you don’t get discouraged and get right back into practice again.
- Get an accountability partner. Why not get a friend or colleague to study a foreign language too? You can keep each other motivated, help each other through struggles and make it much more likely that you’ll reach your language-learning goals.
3. Break down your goal micro missions
If you’ve ever visited websites like Fluent in Three Months or watched YouTube language videos, you probably think that you’ve failed if you aren’t fluent in your chosen language in weeks. The truth is, learning a language takes time – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
That’s why it’s so important to treat your business language learning mission like any other project and break your overall goal down into clear micro missions. Depending on your needs or level of motivation, these can be weekly, monthly, quarterly or even for the next six months. By continually moving towards these goals and learning your language every day, you’ll get a great sense of achievement that will help your confidence to grow and keep you motivated.
What will your language learning goals be in 2021? To complete every daily language lesson on Mondly? To ace the weekly quiz? To succeed in the monthly challenge? Or even to pass a certain language exam within a certain space of time?
4. Speak, speak, speak!
If you want to avoid that tongue-tied feeling when you attend a business meeting in a foreign language, make business contacts or even try to hold an everyday conversion, you must practice your speaking skills.
Although speaking a foreign language can feel intimidating, especially at first, there’s simply no way around it – you must practice speaking if you want to get better at speaking.
Luckily, there are many ways you can start speaking your new language without needing to talk to another human being just yet. This includes using the clever chatbot feature on your Mondly app, keeping an audio journal, talking to your dog, or even just talking to yourself throughout the day.
Once you’ve grown in confidence, you can then up your game and find an online language exchange that pairs you with someone learning your native language so you can both practice.
5. Immerse yourself in your new language
To put the icing on your language learning cake, you should also spend time soaking up the language that you’re learning. By doing this, you’ll find it easier to understand the sounds and rhythms of the language, improve your pronunciation, pick up new vocabulary and grammar and boost your overall understanding. Besides, it can be a lot of fun if you choose the right materials!
Here are some ideas:
- Watch programs on YouTube or Netflix (use subtitles if needed!)
- Read books in the language
- Listen to the radio or podcasts
- Spend time around native speakers
Learn a language online with Mondly in 2021
Deciding to learn a foreign language isn’t enough on its own. If you truly want to succeed, consider why you want to learn the language, set yourself goals, be consistent and get plenty of practice. With another language under your belt, the world will be your oyster!
Here at Mondly, we’re experts when it comes to language learning. We can help you get from zero to fluent in your chosen language more effectively than other language learning apps – that’s why we have over 70 million happy users.
Give your business a competitive edge. Ask us about our corporate language packages – firstname.lastname@example.org