Know where you want to go
Unlike children, adult learners often have clear reasons for language-learning. Try to identify exactly why you want to learn the language as this will help you to plan your learning.
Develop an effective storage system
Learning any language involves learning hundreds of new words: keeping systematic notebooks or computer files will help you store what you have learnt.
Exercise your memory
Our brains are tightly connected networks – making use of these connections will help our learning. Think about where you learnt new words, the images they create in your mind or connections with other words you know to develop your memorisation techniques.
‘Float’ through listening input
Access to the Internet, software and international media mean that we have much more access to sources of listening input than ever before. Try to ‘float’ through this input – do not worry about understanding every word or detail but try to get the main idea.
Maximise your language use
Make maximum use of email and social networking to use the language with native speakers or other students of the language you are learning. If you can interact with native speakers, getting your message across is more important than grammatical accuracy.
Self-regulate but do not stress
Listen to yourself and identify any errors you hear – correct yourself aloud or in your mind. But do not worry too much about making mistakes: being confident and taking risks is an important part of language learning!
Contributed by Andy Keedwell