Have you ever felt struggling to to squeeze language learning in to your busy schedule? Do you wish to find a suitable routine to make your language learning easier? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
A good language learning routine does not need to be complex. On the contrary, a complicated learning plan can make you feel overwhelmed or even worse, lose motivation in the long run.
But here’s the good news – in this post, we’ll teach you how to build your own language learning routine step by step. We’ll show you how to integrate language learning into your daily life so you can get the single most important factor to success in language learning – consistency.
Read on to see how to create that language learning routine that actually works for you.
How to make a language learning routine
A language learning routine is a structured plan over a period of a day, a week, a month, or even a year. Having a reliable language learning routine brings structure to your language learning, helping you stick to the schedule and improve gradually. In days of low motivation, your habits are what keep you get up and review that vocabulary list with little effort.
The best language learning routine is always one that works for you. The trick is to find a way to incorporate language learning into your daily schedule.
What should go into your plan? Typically, consider putting these into your schedule.
- What to learn: which language to learn and what aspect (speaking, vocab, grammar…)
- When to learn: when and for how long do you have free time
- How to learn: which learning method or resources are you using
A 5-step guide to craft your own language learning routine
Step 1: Set SMART goals
What do you want to achieve with your language learning? Whether it’s conversational fluency, reading proficiency, or getting ready for a language exam. Having clear goals is the first step to create your routine. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve in a month, 6 months, a year?
Smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Writing down specific goals can help you stay motivated and stick to your schedule. Don’t know how to make smart goals in language learning? Read our previous post on how to learn a language to know more about making smart language learning goals.
Step 2: Assess your TIME
The second step is assessing your time. What time during a day, or a week can you spare for language learning? Find the best time that suits your current lifestyle. It can be early morning, during commute, lunch breaks, or in the evening.
If you are busy or don’t have large time blocks for language learning, try finding your dead time. Dead time is the time you can use to learn languages passively while doing something else, like listening to podcasts while cooking, doing laundry, or working out.
Step 3: Allocate various learning activities
During this step, put different language learning activities into the time slots you found in the previous step. Here are some inspirations for different aspects of language learning.
Extensive listening (films, podcast…)
Step 4: Analyse your habits (Start small with atomic habits)
It’s not easy to just add such a big task as language learning into your existing daily routine. If you are used to grabbing your phone whenever you have free time, it’s hard to change these old habits immediately. (But not impossible! Try LingoDeer app to change your phone time into language learning time.)
So the best way to go is to start small. If you’re new to language learning, start with a small, manageable amount of study time. For example, review vocabulary for 10 minutes every morning after brushing your teeth, listen to the news in your target language when eating breakfast, quickly finish a lesson during your commute on the LingoDeer app, etc. When you feel comfortable with the current workload, try to add more gradually.
Step 5: Make it Enjoyable
At the end of the day, why not try to add a bit of fun into your language-learning routine. Play language games, watch movies in the target language, read books, or cook a meal using a recipe in the target language. By combining language learning with your hobbies, you’ll enjoy the process more and be more likely to stick to the routine.