This article is to help you become a more a more effective language learner. This article will contain tips and tricks to help you study more efficiently and autonomously and help you target your paid learning time with a teacher. I have to credit an info-graphic called 'the perfect language learner' which I came across on a teaching blog which helped inspire this article.
Learn a bit everyday. Try to dedicate at least 10-15 minutes to learning everyday(waiting for the bus etc). If you make learning a habit it will be less of a chore. Personally, I like to set the language when watching series on Netflix into Spanish which is my target language. There are a mountain of apps and websites you can use. Some of my favourites include 'quizlet' (an app and website to make your own flashcards) and 'lyrics training' (a website which has songs in several languages where you have to write the missing lyrics). You can also use YouTube and set the speed slower and putting the closed captions on (I love watching web series in the target language as they have lots of colloquial language).
Motivation. Learning a language is hard work at times and it's difficult to stay motivated. I like to show my students examples of sports stars who have achieved success through hard work and visualization. It's important to have a goal. What do you want to achieve? Imagine how you will feel when you get there and use this to stay motivated. As LeBron James said
“You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed. You’re not gonna succeed all the time and I know that.”
Read,speak,watch and listen. Use as much media in the target language as possible. Try to read and watch the things you enjoy in your native language in the language you want to learn. The more exposure you have the more you will learn. You can read on your smartphone or tablet and use google translate to highlight and instantly translate vocabulary you don't understand. It's also very important to record new vocabulary. Try to find local language exchanges or use free conversation exchange websites to practise speaking.
Grammar. Buy a good self study grammar book. I am a native English speaker and still refer to 'Murphy's Grammar in Use'. I also have a grammar reference book for Spanish.
Be clear in your goals. What is it you want to achieve? This is very important regarding your paid study time. It's important to clearly communicate what your objectives are with your teacher on Verbling so that you can achieve these together.
Well I hope this helps and please contact me with any questions.