Cómo hacer que tu propósito de aprender un idioma sea un éxito

PostZigguratAcaba de empezar el año y puede que ya hayas dejado por escrito tus propósitos para 2018. Si es así, ¡enhorabuena!, este es el primer paso para cumplir con tu objetivo.

Ahora lo más difícil está por llegar. Somos muchos los que empezamos el año motivados, pero también somos muchos los que, a medida que pasan los meses, dejamos de lado nuestros propósitos y nos sentimos frustrados por no haberlos alcanzado cuando llega diciembre.

¿Cuántas veces has dicho voy a hacer ejercicio? ¿Alguna vez te has propuesto aprender inglés?

Si no quieres volver a fallar, sigue estas recomendaciones para conseguir tu propósito del año:

(o el idioma que tú quieras)

    En vez de decir ‘este año aprendo inglés’, prueba con ‘este año quiero viajar al extranjero y ser capaz de defenderme’, ‘quiero participar en una reunión de trabajo y poder defender mis ideas’, ‘quiero ampliar mi vocabulario’, etc.

    Con un objetivo claro y específico será más fácil cumplirlo. Y, por supuesto, debe ser realista. No pretendas hablar con un nivel nativo en un año si partes completamente de cero 😉

    Este paso es muy importante. Será tu hoja de ruta. ¿Qué acciones vas a emprender para conseguir tu objetivo? Las opciones son múltiples, aquí tienes algunas ideas:

Recuerda: es mejor dedicar 5 minutos al día que esperar a tener 1 o 2 horas un día a la semana.

    Tienes dos opciones: (1) buscarte un compañero de viaje que también tenga tu mismo objetivo y con el cual os motivéis el uno al otro o (2) compartir tu objetivo y tener una persona al lado que te anime a seguir adelante.
    No te frustres si hay una semana que te desvías del plan porque estás enferm@ o has tenido más carga de trabajo. No te preocupes, seguro que a la semana siguiente puedes remontar. Además, una vez trazado el plan es posible que descubras que es demasiado ambicioso. ¡Siempre estás a tiempo de redirigirlo!
    No lo dejes más. ¡Cuánto antes empieces, antes podrás crear tu rutina de contacto diario con el idioma! Son 21 días. Por ejemplo, si te animas a leer la Daily Vitamin cada día durante 3 semanas, a la 4ª lo harás de forma automática y sin esfuerzo.

 ¿Te animas? Déjanos tus comentarios abajo y dinos cuáles son tus prioridades con los idiomas para este año. Te aportaremos sugerencias para mejorar.

Tips for Keeping your Language-learning New Year’s Resolution

Coffee-Study-Read.jpegMany people will make language learning a New Year’s Resolution. Unfortunately, as with many other NY resolutions (remember that gym class we all stopped going to by mid-February?) these resolutions will probably not be followed through until the end of the year . . . rather, they’ll leave us feeling like failures! Follow the guidelines below and you will set yourself up for a language learning plan you are sure to complete.

Tips for Keeping your Language-learning New Year’s Resolution

  1. SET A CLEAR GOAL. Do not just say “I want to improve my French” or “I want to speak English better”: this will never work! How do you want to improve, or what do you want to improve? Perhaps you have some problems using irregular English verbs to talk about the past and so you need some more practice with these. Maybe your pronunciation skills are lower than you’d like. Perhaps you always feel stuck when you see a phrasal verb. Identifying your clear goal is the first step towards reaching it.
  2. CHANGE THINGS UP A LITTLE. A year is a long time: don’t be stuck doing the same thing for 12 months! Also keep in mind your many resources: when it comes to learning a language in today’s technology-filled world, we have so many websites, podcasts, apps, etc. to choose from. Take advantage of the options you have!
  3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A CHEERLEADING SQUAD. You will need the motivation! Make friends with other language learners so that you can motivate one another, and be sure your friends and family know that this is a goal you are serious about.
  4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO FALL A LITTLE SHORT. Life has a way of getting in between our plans and ambitions. You will get sick, your boss will change your hours, your friend will have a crisis and need you . . . don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t always reach your goal. But also remember that the time you spend doing things like scrolling through Facebook can be better spent! (Aren’t we all guilty of wasting a little too much time on the internet?)
  5. BE FLEXIBLE. If something’s not working, change it. Perhaps you decided to read a chapter of a book each week, but then you realize after two weeks that it takes you MUCH longer to read a chapter than you thought. Change your plan! How about a new goal of “reading 5 pages per week” instead? Be willing to change in order to help you reach your goals.

With determination, a clear plan, and a support system, you can achieve your language learning goals in 2017. And we are here to help! Check out the Daily Vitamin for a daily English lesson, read our Blog for useful articles and TED Activity Packs, and subscribe to us on Facebook and Twitter for chances to participate in English conversations (and even contests).

Now about that gym membership . . . 😉

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality

Making New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

So, here we are again… at the beginning of another New Year; it’s the perfect time to think about your New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something and it is quite common to begin a new year by making resolutions to change things in your life that will make you happier.

According to a recent study carried out by the University of Scranton in the state of Pennsylvania (USA), the top ten New Year’s Resolutions in the US last January 2012 were the following:

1) Lose weight
2) Get organized
3) Spend less, save more
4) Enjoy life to the fullest
5) Stay fit and healthy
6) Learn something exciting
7) Quit smoking
8) Help other in their dreams
9) Fall in love
10) Spend more time with family

Interestingly, 47% of the 2012 New Year’s resolutions in the US were self-improvement or education-related resolutions. That is… improving your life by learning something new represented almost half of the resolutions; an example would be learning a foreign language.

It’s true that a lot of people make resolutions and don’t carry them out for more than a few weeks or months. But one of the most exciting findings of this study was that “people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Ten times more likely! So there is no question…making resolutions is better than not making resolutions.

I can guarantee that knowing English will create very interesting opportunities in your life, so why not commit to improving your English in 2013? If you haven’t already made a resolution about your commitment to English in 2013, now is the perfect time to do it.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making your resolutions.

  • Make reasonable resolutions that are easy to carry out. The goal is to be able to follow through with your resolutions, so don’t overdo it. For example, instead of promising to study English every day for an hour, just promise to do something with English for an average of 3 to 10 min per day (watch television, write, listen to music, read the Ziggurat Daily Vitamin, etc.)
  • Ask someone close to you for support. I have found that telling people in your life about an important resolution and asking them for support can be very helpful. For example, my wife knows that this year one of my resolutions is to return to the gym and go regularly, like I did during the first half of 2012. If she sees that I’m not following through, I expect her to remind me of my promise to myself.
  • Create a resolution with someone close to you. This is a variation of the previous tip; but instead of having someone support you, they actually make the same resolution and you carry out the resolution together. For example, I could find a friend to go to the gym with me, which would make it more interesting and would add a little peer pressure. Do you have someone in your life who is trying to improve their English too? Why not set up a “team resolution,” as I like to call it, with them.  You and one or more people work together in 2013 to fulfil your resolution of improving your English.
  • Write down your resolutions and leave them in a visible place. This is very important. I recommend writing down your commitments to English in 2013 and putting them in a visible place. We all need to be reminded of our objectives, or they can get lost in the busy day-to-day obligations of life. If you see your list of resolutions daily (on the bathroom mirror, on your nightstand…) it will be more difficult to “forget” or abandon them.

As I always say, no one can teach you English, you have to learn it; and you are the only who can guarantee your success. Learning English, therefore, is a personal, internal process that you control. Only you can decide if you are going to learn English or not. And if you don’t learn, it’s not the teacher’s nor the government’s nor the education system’s fault; it’s your fault.

If you’ve been trying to learn English for the last several years but haven’t been able to reach your objectives, why not make this year different? Making an English resolution will make you ten times more likely to reach your English objectives in 2013!

May your 2013 be a prosperous and productive year in which you carry out all of your English resolutions. Happy New Year!