*How to learn new language skills at any age

Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Image from Kate La Vie
Looking for a way to pick up some new skills but don't want to really feel like you are learning? Well do I have some suggestions for you! Here's some advice on how to learn something new without feeling like you're putting in any effort at all.

Set your sights
There is no point vaguely thinking I want to learn to make the best creme brule or I'd love speak French without ever really having a goal in sight. Now, if we're talking about not making effort, yes, a little bit of effort does have to be made for this. But if you don't know where you're going then how will you ever set off? Make the conscious decision to achieve something to put it firmly in your mind, and make it a manageable target. I want to make creme brule for my friend's birthday or I want to order a meal in French at my local French restaurant.

Do it daily
If it's possible, whatever it is that you're learning try to build it into your daily routine. If you're brushing up on Excel skills, that could mean playing with a new formula each day. If you're learning guitar, even working on one chord a day is far better than doing nothing at all. If you are learning a new language, spending five minutes a day using the Duolingo or FluentU app will help you big time. And the thing with daily learning is that these small moments you are giving yourself will just get longer, because you'll want to take on a little more. Just be realistic with the time you have available, so your new skill learning feels like fun, instead of a chore.

Motivation
How do you motivate yourself to do anything? An episode of Game of Thrones after finishing paperwork, a bun from the bakery for doing all your laundry, or an extra ten minutes in bed just because you can? Use these little treats to keep yourself learning and see how much more you can achieve! Put the thought in your head I can have this if I do that and see where it gets you.

Multi-tasking
Okay, this won't work for every new skill you want to acquire but doing more than one thing at once can actually help you build your skillset. A recent blog post from Listen & Learn gives the following example: when you sit down to watch your favorite show on Netflix, if you're learning a new language why not put the subtitles in that language so you can read along?

Confidence building
If your goal is to become an expert in yoga but you don't have a clue where to start, the thought of a class might be daunting. If that's you, why not get in a little practice at home before signing up? This can be books, or blogs, but what might be even more helpful is finding a Youtuber whose style you like. Or if you want to learn a language, why not get the hang of that language before taking a class by using methods like Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur?

A little practice, even if that practice is just watching or listening to home-study courses - will give you a little confidence before taking that first class. Ultimately, what you need to pick up a new skill is what works for you. Realize first that you're not competing with anyone but yourself, and second that this new skill is a reward for you. So what lovely new thing do you deserve to learn?

Do you speak another language? If not, do you want to learn? 

*collaborative post

17 comments

  1. I would love to learn another language, I think that would be incredible!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  2. I've used Duolingo a few times in the past but it's always the motivation which fails on me.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  3. I have always regretted never getting into a language, it is such a key skill!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  4. Great post, I’d love to learn another language. I’ve attempted it a couple of times.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

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  5. I was always good at languages but was gutted we could only do one x

    www.beautyqueenuk.co.uk

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  6. Great post! Thank you so much for this. I've always wanted to learn another language. I would love to learn French and Spanish.
    Clem x
    http://www.clemloves.co.uk

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  7. I'd love to learn another language but I really struggle with the consistency x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  8. I’d love to learn a new language xx

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  9. I am a strong believer at continuous learning

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  10. I'd love to learn another language at some point! xx

    Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

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  11. I think it's so important to keep teaching yourself new things no matter what your age x

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  12. It would be fabulous to learn another language!

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  13. I would love to learn Spanish! Great tips. X

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  14. Doing it daily is the key. My German is still terrible because I haven’t immersed myself in it properly.

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  15. I used to be really good at french when I was younger but I don't visit the country as much and I've let it slip which is a shame x

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  16. I used to be really good at French as we used to go a few times a year when I was young but I've let it slip a bit! x

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