The Recipe for Becoming the Perfect Language Learner
A dash of study scheduling.
Mix in some authentic target language media.
And don’t forget a heaping cup of learning motivation.
The recipe for language learning perfection is easier to follow than you think!
Now, it’s true that you don’t have to be a perfect language learner in order to learn a language. Many people who are fluent now will tell you that they made mistakes in their learning process, whether it was wasting time on learning tools they didn’t need or procrastinating important but difficult grammar concepts.
But at the same time, the closer to perfect you are, the easier it’ll be to learn a language.
You can learn a language nearly anywhere, whether you do it traveling abroad or through language learning websites. Regardless of where you learn the language, though, your approach, attitude and unique traits make a difference.
We’re going to help you find the ingredients for language learning perfection within yourself.
By adopting the seven key traits discussed below, you can get as close to perfect as possible—and fluency won’t be far behind.
Why Should You Aim for Language Learning Perfection?
In language learning (as in life!) improvement is almost always possible. If you just settle into the same old language learning methods, your motivation will quickly plateau. Instead, continually assess how you can tweak your language tools and study style to better suit your goals and keep pushing you forward.
One reason you’ll want to perfect your language studies is to save time. The right approach and attitude can shave valuable time off your studying. Seeing more progress in less time isn’t just enjoyable, it’ll motivate you to keep going.
Additionally, being the perfect language learner will help you reduce stress. If you’re using the wrong techniques, approach or attitude, you’re wasting time without seeing as much progress as you’d hope, and that’s inherently stressful (and pretty disappointing).
Not only will this improve your learning outcomes, it’ll also make your learning journey a more rewarding overall experience.
You Can Be the Perfect Language Learner by Honing These 7 Traits!
Ready to learn how to achieve perfection in your own language studies? Here are seven key traits you can cultivate in yourself to improve your language learning process and get fluent in less time and with less stress!
The Perfect Language Learner Is…
1. Enthusiastic for Language Studies
No matter the subject, learning is easier when you enjoy what you’re studying. To perfect your language learning regimen, it’s important that you actually enjoy studying your target language!
Easy enough when you’re watching hilarious movies, cooking or learning vocabulary that’ll help you flirt. But what about dry grammar rules or boring but essential words?
Natural curiosity can’t be faked, but you can enjoy learning languages more by homing in on the study methods you most enjoy.
With technology, there’s a huge selection of different programs and tools that’ll help you learn a language. You might use computer software, audio programs or even more traditional textbooks, depending on your learning style. The trick is to find what you enjoy most. If you enjoy the process, you’re more likely to keep doing it, which in turn leads to more learning.
2. Motivated to Learn
The right motivation can make or break the learning process. The perfect language learner is motivated by a variety of factors. For instance, motivation can come from preparing for a trip abroad, professional opportunities or interest in learning about other cultures. Regardless, something should be driving you forward in your language education.
Personal motivation varies, but it’s impossible to perfect your language learning without sufficient motivation. If you’re learning a language just because it’s required, that isn’t the sort of motivation that’ll lead toward fluency—that’s a recipe for quitting.
So how can you hone your motivation?
Think about what you want to get out of your target language down the road. How will it benefit you? Who’ll it help you communicate with? What do you find interesting about the language? Even if you’re taking a language for, say, a school requirement, you can find advantages that’ll personally impact you.
Still not motivated? Consider planning a trip to a country where your target language is spoken. Look at the beautiful sites. Consider what foods you’d eat. Make a list of everything you’d like to do in that country. Whether or not you ever actually take that trip, imagining it whenever you study will serve as fuel for your motivation.
3. Committed to Daily Use of the Target Language
Daily study is important, and perfect language learners know this. If you only study every few days, you’ll lose some knowledge between each study session, slowing your progress significantly. Daily studying is an efficient way to prevent knowledge loss and thus speed up the learning process.
Home immersion is one key way to incorporate your target language into your daily life. By stocking up your home with target-language content and committing to only reading, thinking or surfing the web in your target language while you’re home, you’ll have no choice but to work toward fluency.
Making a schedule can also help. For instance, you might try listening to podcasts in your target language whenever you shower. Maybe you’ll read the news in your target language as you eat breakfast. Developing a schedule like this will make using your target language an important part of your day that you’ll never skip, and this will help launch you to perfect learner status.
4. On the Hunt for Diverse Target Language Media
Perfect language learners use a lot of different media in their target languages. Why, you ask? Because every type of media targets a different language skill.
For instance, books offer formal reading practice. Blogs or magazines offer practice reading less formal language. Movies and TV shows provide excellent listening practice and can even teach regional variations of a language. Learning videos like BBC Languages provide learners with accessible, unintimidating content. Even language learning apps help perfect learners see their target languages in a new light.
Luckily, this is an easy trait to hone in yourself. All you have to do is consume more media in your target language. Dive into books. Read magazines. Watch movies and TV. Listen to music.
5. Actively Participating in Studies
The perfect language learner doesn’t just sign up for a class, kick back and expect to become fluent.
Instead, try to figure out how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. This means putting in extra work outside of traditional studies, but it pays off.
To be a perfect learner yourself, participate actively in your education. How this looks will vary from person to person, so experimenting with different techniques and strategies is key.
If you’re taking a formal class, the fact of the matter is your teacher probably doesn’t know exactly what you, personally, need to work on. If you’re using educational software, it can’t fully assess your individual skills and background. But if you think about it, chances are you do know your weaknesses. Think about the areas in which you’re least confident and work on them.
If you’re still not sure of your own weaknesses, you can take an assessment through language proficiency tests like Dialang, which offers assessments in reading, writing, speaking, “structures” (a.k.a grammar) and vocabulary. Once you have your scores, you should have a clearer idea of what areas need the most work.
Wondering how you’ll ever find time for all this outside of what you’re already doing? Well, think back to Trait 3. There’s almost always space for target language engagement during your day, whether it’s those few minutes between meetings in the afternoon, your car ride home, your lazy Sunday morning, etc.
6. Aware That Setbacks Will Happen
Learning a language isn’t a smooth road. There will be bumps along the way. However, the perfect language learner doesn’t fear setbacks. Recognize that through hard work, you can overcome any obstacle you face.
You can hone this trait in yourself by not being easily deterred. When learning a language, full fluency can seem impossible. Native speakers talk more quickly than you could dream of understanding. Tricky grammar rules seem impossible to apply consistently. Luckily, the longer you study, the easier these things get.
If you keep in mind that learning a language is a marathon and not a sprint, you can stay on the right path and become a perfect learner.
7. Not Afraid to Ask for Help!
Perfect learners are not afraid to reach out for assistance, whether that be from tutors, teachers or other learners. Even though they’re skilled at learning languages, they encounter things they just can’t figure out. It may be a grammar rule, a difficult pronunciation or even a particularly tricky vocabulary word.
To improve your language learning process, you should do the same when you need help. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of your teacher or professor, seek assistance from a native speaker or discuss the issue with friends who are learning the language.
You can also reach out for assistance online. For example, services like Verbling can connect you with native speakers who are qualified language teachers. You can browse thousands of teacher bios to find the tutor who’s best for your skill level, language goals, schedule and budget. It’s an awesome tool to get your specific language questions answered, all in a friendly, supportive environment.
These traits are naturally occurring in some people. Even if you have to put a little work in to develop these traits in your own life, though, it’s worth the extra effort to become a perfect language learner!