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The holidays are fast approaching; the time when we eat to our heart’s content, the time we spend with family, playing games and exchanging gifts, and the time we start to reflect upon the 12 previous months and set goals for the year ahead. If you’ve been considering learning a skill as your aim for 2024, then I’m going to tell you why you should choose to learn a new language.

Reasons to learn a new language in January

It takes time and dedication to understand a different language, which is why it is the perfect New Year’s resolution. Taking up a foreign language at the beginning of the year gives you a specific date to start your lessons, either with a private tutor, in a class, or by yourself. January 1 is the day you will put your fears aside and dive in head first.

Why to learn a new language next year?

Setting a New Year’s resolution gives you 365 days to try something new. You don’t have to commit to a lifelong course. You can learn for a few months and then stop if you decide it’s not for you. But after 12 whole months of study, you’ll be well on your way to fluency; you’ll have a richer vocabulary, improved grammar, and the ability to hold a conversation in a foreign tongue. That is the biggest motivator to continue, and even if you move on to a different goal the following year, you will already have created the foundations and learned the basics of a language, which, just like riding a bike, you will never forget.

Ways to learn a new language

Determine your motivation

Before embarking on your journey, write down all the reasoning behind it: Why did you choose to learn a language in general? Why have you chosen this specific language? It may be because you want to be able to chat with your foreign neighbor, or you’re going on a romantic vacation to Paris next summer, or simply for brain training.

Set clear goals

Setting a resolution like “learning Japanese” or any other vague goal is no point. You have to be specific so that you can work towards each individual goal and progress in specific areas. If you want to read an article in French, you will need to focus on reading tasks, whereas if you want to order food at a Portuguese restaurant, you should focus on speaking and pronunciation. Knowing your goals will help you get off to a good start.

Start learning

After setting up your goals and motivation to make a good foundation, it’s better to start learning a language with a private tutor. “Why should I spend money if there are tons of free resources online?” you may ask. If you don’t know the basics, there is a huge probability you will miss important aspects that will lead to misunderstanding and grammar rules in your speech. Learning with a tutor is much easier now than before. You can do it from your home, having private lessons online. LiveXP will come in handy for this purpose. There are dozens of language tutors from all over the world ready to help you master a target language. LiveXP’s subscriptions will give you full flexibility for both cases: whether you want to try for a few months and then decide if you want to proceed or if you want to commit and learn systematically.

What to do if you lose motivation?

Once you’ve written down your motivations and goals, you can come back to these any time you feel a dip in your motivation or willingness to continue. You should also, at this point, write down all of your accomplishments so far. Can you count to 20? Can you conjugate one verb, two verbs, three, ten, or more? Can you read a full sentence? Can you understand more words in your favorite song than when you began? Try to think of simple accomplishments to remind yourself how far you’ve come and to give you a confidence boost that will encourage you to persevere. Remember that if it’s getting tough, it’s probably because you’ve made it past the beginner level and are getting into intermediate territory, so why stop now?

How to stick to a language resolution

In order to persevere with any objective, there must be some kind of motivation to commit. When it comes to language, there are a few great options:

  • Pay for lessons.
  • Go on a trip.
  • Learn with friends.

Paying for lessons, either in a class or with a private tutor, requires committing to one, two, or even 10 lessons upfront—the number is up to you. If you pay for a package of lessons, then you won’t want to let this financial investment go to waste. After all, we’re in a cost-of-living crisis and can’t afford to be spending money on things we don’t use. With LiveXP, you can choose the most suitable subscription plan. The flexibility is yours—you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Booking a trip is another financial investment, but it might be more of a fun source of motivation. If you know you’ve got a vacation booked in a place where your target language is spoken, you will be far more enthusiastic and dedicated to learning, whether alone or with a teacher.

Finally, one cheaper, or even free, alternative is learning with somebody else. Taking up a new project with a friend or family member simultaneously holds you accountable and motivates you. There is also a competitive aspect, as you don’t want your partner to get ahead of you. Finally, you can encourage each other and boost each other’s spirits when it gets tough, and make learning fun by quizzing each other on what you’ve learned.

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