School is just around the corner, and i know that once school starts, i’ll have less and less time to study languages. as students, we can’t avoid crazy schedules, especially with all the lectures, labs, and extracurricular activities interrupting our perfect duolingo streaks! but there are ways you can still keep up with learning a language, even when you’re busy! here are some tips to keep up with a new language.

  1. squeeze language practice into your every day schedule - even just 5 minutes a day! you don’t need to spend an hour everyday on learning languages. you can practice for as little 5 minutes a day, as long as you do it everyday. 5 minutes before you go to bed, on your transit to school or work, when you’re eating lunch, before classes start - you can always find at least 5 minutes to work on duolingo practices or refresh memrise vocab lists. for duolingo and memrise, make sure to set a daily goal - this will motivate you to maintain those streaks, encouraging you to practice everyday!
  2. don’t overestimate how much you’ll be able to accomplish each day. i used to set my duolingo daily goal super high, and when i don’t meet the goal for that day or miss a streak, it’s easy to feel discouraged. AVOID OVER-REACHING. set practical, realistic goals for yourself. you can always overachieve those smaller goals and feel better about yourself. don’t be afraid to take it slow!
  3. treat language studying as a class and block a schedule for yourself in your routine. if you’re super motivated into learning languages, treat it more as class than as a hobby. this means you have to get organized. like you would for a class, set a designated time block to study the language. for example, twice a week tuesday and thursday, 30 minutes each after lunch. in those designed time blocks, you can focus on sharpening those language skills by learning more in-depth grammar points, reading a short piece, listening to dialogues, or watching a short video in your target language. doing this will make sure you’re not just scratching the surface - you will actually progress.
  4. engage in passive learning. this is perfect for when you’re busy. listen to music in your target language, listen to podcasts when you’re exercising, watch movies or tv shows (even with subtitles is ok!), switch your phone and other devices into your target language. 
  5. do something fun with your target language to spark continuous interest. once in a while, come up with fun and interesting projects you can do with your target language! for example, if there’s a song you love, translate the lyrics! watched a good movie recently? look at the screenplay and analyze your favorite dialogues, and make sure to break down new vocabs and grammar. transform your favorite quotes into an artwork and hang it in your room! get creative and do something you’ll enjoy.
  6. record your progress and your accomplishments! this is super helpful for organizing your studying progress, seeing how far you’ve gone, and celebrating your accomplishments. 
  7. set long term goals to keep motivated. you can scratch the surface with that 5 minutes per day routine, but to truly get anywhere with a new language, make sure you’re setting long term goals! that is, by the end of the year, what will you want to be able to do? do you want to read harry potter entirely in your target language? be able to hold a conversation with a native speaker? watch movies without subtitles? travel to the country? these are the type of questions you should ask yourself.
good luck everyone! and have a wonderful semester!

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