Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to the Monthly Review!
The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips, study tools, and resources.
By the way, all the lessons and bonuses you’re about to see can be downloaded for free on our website.
So, click the link in the description right now to sign up for your free lifetime account.
Okay, today’s topic is:
The First Step in Your Language Learning Journey That Will Guarantee Your Success.
If you have trouble sticking with your language learning goals… it’s probably because you’re skipping one specific step. It’s the one step you need to take before you even start any learning. And doing it will help you stick with the language, not get overwhelmed, and reach your language goals. So today, you’ll learn.
One: What Solo Language Learners Need to Succeed.
And Two: How to Do Self-Assessment &Set Yourself Up for Success
But first, listen up! Here are this month’s new lessons and resources. Be sure to download these now before we take them down in a few days.
First — The “Giving DIrections” Conversation Cheat Sheet
Do you know how to tell a taxi driver where to go ... in your target language? You will.
With this PDF cheat sheet, you’ll learn must-know words and phrases for giving directions.
Second — The “Most Common Verbs” PDF eBook
You’ll learn over 90 common verbs with this bonus PDF picture ebook.
Download and review it on any device.
Third - How to Talk About What You Do in Your Free Time.
Learn how to say “video games,” “fishing,” and much more. You’ll pick up over 25 words for leisure activities with this vocab bonus.
Fourth — How to Learn From Home Learning Strategies
Want to learn the language from the comfort of your home?
This 1-minute lesson gives you all the best tactics for learning languages,
Fifth — The Top 35 Adjectives for Personalities
Can you describe your personality? This next bonus teaches you the 35 must-know adjectives for personalities... so you can talk about yourself, in your target language.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Ok, let’s jump into today’s topic:
The first step in your language learning journey that will guarantee your success.
Here’s a question for you. When you want to learn a language - How do you usually get started with that goal?
You might say: the inspiration comes first, and that motivates you to start. Then, you get a textbook or an app and go from there, right?
That’s a pretty standard answer. But how does that tend to work out? Most people end up falling off a week or a month later. Why do you think that happens? Leave a comment with why you think people tend to lose inspiration quickly.
More often than not, it happens because you pick a goal, a learning routine, or a resource… that overwhelms you and just isn’t right for you. Here’s a typical example. Let’s say you work an 8 hour day and you want to try to start learning. Most people would try to squeeze in learning for 1 or 2 hours at night... Or, you could try and wake up an hour early. And usually, that doesn't work out because you’re trying to do things that you’re not used to: wake up earlier and study earlier. It doesn’t fit your current lifestyle.
So, what should you do differently?
Well, let’s take an example from language schools. Before you start learning, language schools force you to take an assessment test on the first day. Why? So that they make sure the language lessons fit your level and put you in the proper class. The goal of an assessment test is to find out where you are... and meet you there.
That’s something most solo-learners don’t do. And the problem is, if you’re a solo learner, no one assesses you. And you yourself don’t know what routine works best for you, how much time you can set aside, and how much studying you can comfortably do. We all imagine we can do an hour a day but realistically speaking, it’ll be a lot less than that.
So, that's where self-assessment comes in. Before you start learning a language... or do any goal for that matter... it's important to know where you are in life....what your daily schedule is like... when you’re busy...and when you’re free. So you can set your expectations, know how much time you can put in, and so you can start learning at a pace that works for you.
Now, how do you actually assess yourself?
There are 3 assessments you can do.
1) A Life assessment.
2) A routine assessment.
And 3) Language assessment.
Language assessment will only be helpful if you already have some experience. If you’re brand new, you won’t need this.
First, life assessment. Here, the goal is to see how the language will fit into your life and how you generally deal with goals. As in, if you succeeded with a goal before, what helped you succeed? You could take that and apply it here. If you failed before, find out why… so you can avoid it this time.
So, you’ll need to answer the following questions:
Why are you learning this language?
How will it help your life?
What current connections do you have to this language? For example, listening to music, watching tv, you have a relative, you have neighbors or friends that speak it.
What have you been doing so far to learn?
Have you learned languages before?
Have you failed any goals before? How or why?
Have you succeeded with any goals before? How or why?
Write these questions out and answer them.
Next, the Routine Assessment.
Write out your daily routine for a whole week. For example, wake up at 7 AM. Breakfast at 8 AM. Commute to work at 830AM. Arrive at work at 930AM. Lunch at 1 PM. And so on. Do this for every day of the week.
The goal here is to see what your daily routine is like so you know when you’re free, when you’re busy, and where you can fit in language learning.
That way, if you’re super busy on Mondays and 5 minutes is all you can do... then that’s good enough. You won’t feel bad about doing only 5 minutes. If you see that you spend 30 minutes on commuting, add language learning on top of that existing routine. If you take walks or go for a jog, play an audio lesson there. Or, even if you’re cooking at a certain time, play an audio lesson in the background.
Remember, look for an existing routine....that you already stick with... like commuting….and where you can multi-task. Don’t try to create new routines. For example, waking up at 7 AM to learn will set you up for failure. If you usually wake up at 8 AM, waking up at 7 AM will be even harder. And then, actually trying to learn a language at 7 AM makes it even harder.
This is where new learners start having trouble. You’re trying to do two things at once, trying to learn the language AND trying to stick to a new routine. One is hard enough. Trying to do two can overwhelm you. So, piggyback off of your existing routines first so you can build momentum.
And finally, there’s language assessment.
If you’re an Absolute Beginner, you won’t need much of an assessment. Just start with our Absolute Beginner Recommended Learning Pathway.
But, if you have experience and want to assess yourself, there are 2 things you can do.
First, if you’re a Premium PLUS user, then you’re asked to do an assessment test when you join. But you can always request it again from your teacher.
And second, if you’re a Premium user, check our recommended pathways. We assign these pathways, level 1 to level 5, based on your learning level… from Absolute Beginner to Advanced. At the start of each pathway, there’s a diagnostic test. You can take that to assess yourself.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review. Next time, we'll talk about...
When Routines Grow Stale. How to Learn More Language with a New Routine
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See you next time! Bye!