https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist

3 Tips for Learning Success

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Learn the languages that speak to you, not ones that others want you to speak. One way to make the language learning journey a little easier is to have some personal motivation to learn that language. Maybe you like the culture, the people, or even just that tiny shop that sells your favorite Italian dessert. Whatever the case may be, use that little spark to your advantage, and don't let it die. Keep fueling your passion for the language by consuming everything in it. Soon, it will become a part of your nature, then you won't ever want to stop learning.

Be mindful of the "it's too hard" crowd. How dare they try to reflect their personal learning experience (negative one, positives are all good) onto you, am I right? Everyone learns differently, and each language may or may not be harder for one person versus the other. Generally, there is a varying range of difficulty for languages, but you can learn anything you want. Additionally, hearing someone tell you that German is very hard with its cases, or that Chinese is too complicated with its characters, or that Finnish is insane can be depressing. You start to believe that they really are hard, when you had enough motivation in the beginning to learn just fine. Toss out the bad, keep the good.

Keep your chin up while hanging out on plateaus. Everyone has experienced that language plateau at some point (and if you haven't, I would like whatever you're having). We all know it: You "can't" remember anything new, you "can't" figure out a tense to save your life, and you "can't" use what you have learned correctly. What do those three things have in common? They are all negative. A plateau usually occurs right before you step up to the next level in your learning. This means it's even more important that you stick with it, because you wouldn't want to miss out on that! Instead of focusing on what you "can't do" (and let me point out that you can, it will just take time), focus on what you can do. Practice makes perfect. Start writing and testing your knowledge. Find a partner and converse, even if it's only for five minutes. Plan your day out in your mind, by thinking in the language you are learning. Listen to music, read articles and books, or both! Do anything you can, because that gives you confidence to tackle what's ahead.

Good luck!

4 years ago

42 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
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Alexis - This happened to be the first post I decided to read today, and it couldn't have come at a better time! My comprehension and motivation levels tends to cycle wildly from very high to very low, and I happen to be stuck in the low end right now. I'm finding myself dreading Spanish right now, instead of embracing it. I know this is only another phase, so I'm going to think positive, 'keep my chin up' and push myself to continue learning at least a little bit each day. Usted es una persona asombrosa! Gracias!

Just keep swimming... just keep swimming.... -Dory
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Jajaja, de nada, Tiger. :) No tienes que usar "usted" puedes tutearme. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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This is ace advice. Thank you for reminding me about the plateaus! I'm currently on one of those and was starting to wander off a bit with my studies!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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De nada, UB. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Moomingirl
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"......that Finnish is insane...."

It is. And I love every minute of it. ;)

Yes the cases take some getting used to, but they are actually more predictable than Italian prepositions, which still trip me up. And, unlike French, Finnish pronounciation is clear and straightforward.

Every language will have some harder things, and some easier things. As Alexis says, choosing a language that interests you will help get you through the tough times, but don't ever let anyone tell you that something is "too hard". Go ahead and prove them wrong. :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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I think I know that. ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SoniyaTomar

i have a strong feeling to give up my french course today...but after reading this i think i should keep trying no matter what the result is i will try........it's getting tough so i want to gave up but wait you just posted something that give me kick and i'm not giving up now....i will keep trying.... thanks alot Alexis....here is lingots for u thats all i have right now....

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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De ríen !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SoniyaTomar

merci pour les lingots.....

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Ce n'est pas moi...we have a secret lingot-gifter in our midst. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SoniyaTomar

ah si grâce à cette personne secrète ...!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pilgrim2k
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Alexis, I want to thank you for your post. you have clearly stated exactly what I have felt in the past. you are right when you encounter the negative "it's too hard crowd" or the plateaus you must ignore it and study harder. I have hit plateaus many times since I have started to learn Spanish. At first I couldn't stop thinking about Spanish and studying several hours a day and everything came so easily, but then I hit my first wall when I got to Verb Past tense. I couldn't remember anything new and all the earlier material left my mind. I dreaded studying so I reviewed from the beginning for several lessons before jumping to the new material. I did this every time I sat down to study. It gave me a sense of confidence and then I could push into the new material. the review help me to reinforce the words and begin to, as I heard someone say "own" the words and not just remember them. I still study for at least 2 hours a day usually in the morning for about an hour and then again in the evening for about an hour, sometimes more. During the day I am putting sentences together in my mind of things that I'm doing or seeing. I continue to hit the walls and it does frustrate me and I'm going slowly, but I have the time and I will get to the end of my tree sometime, but in the mean time I'm learning and having a good time. You have inspired me to push even harder....I'm not alone. Thank you again.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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De nada. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ayePete
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I haven't experienced a plateau yet, or maybe I have, but when I did, I just switched to concentrating on another language! Anyway, I think Immersion could also be a good way to get over plateaus.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GlamMom

Anything worth doing is never easy! This is worth it...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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You got that right!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97
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Having the language available on Duolingo might help ;) cough Amharic cough

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ayePete
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LOL! You do reaaaally want Amharic on DL! Just keep pestering the threads! Maybe someone will get motivated to start it! ¡Buenas suerte!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Well, of course. ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/code640

Thanks for the nice text

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Prego!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iron_bun
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My technique for tackling plateaus needs a little prep work:

Go watch a dubbed video on YouTube that is too hard for you. Preferably a chunk of a movie you've already seen. Watch it a few times. Get whatever you can out of it now.

Then when the plateau is getting you down, go back and watch it again. You'll understand a lot more and it will really demonstrate to yourself how far you have come.

As for the too-hard crowd. I had someone tell me German was too hard for adults to learn. While I was speaking to him in German. I guess I'll just have to wait until I'm younger. ;-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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"I had someone tell me German was too hard for adults to learn. While I was speaking to him in German. I guess I'll just have to wait until I'm younger. ;-)" What a thing of beauty. ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xeno78

Great tips

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Merci. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sid3aff3ct

I just started to learn German here and I have to say, this is a really good way to learn a language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SethFriday

Thanks Alexis, I needed this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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You're welcome!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Isrianth
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Thanks to Duolingo and other resources I can understand your whole post. By the way, great post. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Awesome! :) Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ayePete
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MUY bueno! Muy esparanzador! Muchas gracias!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Jaja, de nada y gracias. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Buruboro
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Thanks for the tips Alexis, shall re-read this whenever I need some motivation! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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You're welcome!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alec100

This is great advice. I needed some motivation. Thanks Alexis!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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De rien et de nada. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rhythmixed
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I really love this! clap clap

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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Thanks! bows

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGreatDiavolo

Thank you so much for this. I feel a lot more encouraged to keep going! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
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You're welcome, great! :)

4 years ago
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