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This week’s question comes from Instagram:
I speak French, Arabic, English.. I’d like to start learning German but I really have no idea how to begin because I’ve already started but ended up by giving it up, I’ve found it a little bit tricky and I couldn’t devote a lot of time for it because I’m still working on my English, I’m confused now.
We've all probably got that one language we studied in the past...but somehow things didn't really go anywhere. So how can you get back with that language?
Step 1: What’s done is done
You need a clean slate. Shake it off, and put your past experiences behind you. Then note your new wishes. You are starting again.
Step 2: Conduct a review
This can be very straightforward. Last time you picked up German, you noticed a few difficulties and perhaps they took you by surprise. The good news is that these cannot surprise you anymore. Ask yourself what you could do to prevent the same problems when you start again.
Step 3: Get realistic
If you’re learning English and you’ve got limited time, then you won’t be ultra fluent in German this month. That’s no problem. Think about what you can do in German. Believe it or not, you will STILL learn stuff. I have spent about 6 hours on Chinese so far, over 2 months, and still I now know a few characters and words.
This is about managing your expectation.
Step 4: To get started again, put it all together and add resources.
- Your Review: How do you want to learn German this time? What worked before? How will you avoid the same mistakes as last time? Who will help you, why are you back?
- Your Circumstances: When are you going to learn German and how much time and money have you got?
- Your materials: What are you going to use?
Note on materials:
Reviews are not always the best thing, but they’re a good start. Look for reviews of a publisher’s GERMAN course, not the whole series.
With all that in place, you are set up for success. Remember, language learning is a habit. If you feel you’re stuck, focus on what you do not what you should see.
Thanks to Clozemaster, that’s it, please rate & review. It helps other people find the Fluent Show. Or tell a friend about us - you'll look so cool and in the know.
Thank you to listener David Evans for this episode introduction in Hebrew.
- The Fluent Show: Q&A: How to Re-Learn a Language You’ve Forgotten
- Fluent Show Episode 100 😲 — Get notified about our event details, date & time, and how you can join the party.
- Barry White - BBC Music
- Get 50+ Language Resource Tips — My recently updated list of top language learning resources, including custom sections for learners of French, German, and English.