How to become a good language learner

  1. Take charge of the process. Be pro-active. Don’t leave the process to someone else, like an instructor.  Make assessments, judgments, and decisions about your learning. 
  2. Organize your study schedule, devote time to daily practice, and discipline yourself to perform. 
  3. Be willing to play the game. Allow yourself to play roles, to speak out, to alter your personality momentarily, to accept being different and maybe even looking funny. Make guesses when you don’t know.  
  4. Create opportunities to practice, both inside and outside the classroom. Try to talk about things you like. Most of all, find somebody you enjoy talking to. Don't go it alone: language learning is a social activity.
  5. Accept being unsure, being insecure, and making mistakes. It’s part of the process.  Accept being lost from time to time. Be willing to just sing the music, even when you don’t understand, without analyzing it to death.
  6. Develop a bag of tricks, such as quick grammar rules and mnemonic devices; learn phrases for keeping a conversation going; memorize poems, proverbs, and songs; learn jokes to tell; memorize some slang and try it out. Get involved in the culture. It will make good emotional roots for your new language.
  7. Believe in yourself and keep a positive attitude. Have a posse. Use your network, your friends, your classmates, your teammates, including your instructors, to keep you strong and keep you going. Don’t get behind in silence; reach out for help.