The world never felt as uncertain and strange as now. The coronavirus pandemic has put our daily routines on hold as we wait for release from our temporary imprisonment.
We feel devastated by not being able to hug our loved ones, join big events, or simply end a working day with a couple of colleagues in a bar.
But one thing is also sure: due to coronavirus, most of us have more free time than ever. And that free time can either be wasted or invested in learning a new skill.
If you have been thinking about that, we have good news for you. As research finds, keeping your mind and brain active by learning something new can help cure potential boredom (and even despair) during a lockdown. It gives you a sense of purpose, makes you feel more active and, consequently, more optimistic and balanced.
Besides, devoting some quarantine time to self-education can never go wrong, especially if you consider how competitive the job market is nowadays – and how worse it can get from now on.
With just a mobile phone and an internet connection, you can obtain all sorts of skills, upgrade your curriculum, and make an immediate impact on your business and career.
From a first aid course to a 101 on accounting, there are endless options for you to choose. Nonetheless, we all have to agree on this: learning or improving a second language is the number one choice for most people. And the reasons are quite easy to grasp.
Mastering the art of communicating in more than one language can make you stand out in an uncertain employment market and facilitate the way you do business and relate to customers and peers. Besides, as many studies have shown, people with more than one language make better multi-taskers, forge stronger relationships, and have better decision-making skills. Who wouldn’t want that?
But how can you – or anyone – learn new skills successfully in these unusual and unpredictable circumstances?
While the answer might differ for each person, we have collected a list of tips to make learning from home more comfortable and enjoyable. Take note:
1. Set your goals proactively
Setting goals gives us direction and boosts motivation, which is something we all need during these unprecedented times. But setting smart goals isn’t as easy as it seems; in fact, there’s a whole “recipe” to it. First of all, you must avoid setting bland, vague, or dream-like goals. Be realistic about what you want, and be even more realistic about what you can do. Then, think of goals you can easily measure and keep track of. This way, you will be able to recognize your progress and celebrate every small victory. Finally, focus on using your time and resources productively. No goal can be met if you don’t have a results and time-based strategy.
2. Create a study zone and a schedule
If you want to learn a new language as efficiently as possible, start with your environment. Now that you are probably spending more time at home than ever before, it is essential to organize your spaces and set up a comfortable working/studying zone. If you are trying to study a new language on the kitchen table and during a schedule where your housemates/family members usually go to prepare meals or eat, you won’t succeed. You need a quiet and organized space that signals your brain that you are in for a “serious” time. Apart from that, setting a studying routine, dedicating, for example, half an hour per day to language learning, is also an essential step.
3. Find the course/learning material most suited for you
Depending on your specific needs and goals, there are endless websites, apps, and learning materials for you to choose from. Besides courses and exercises, you can also immerse yourself in the desired language by watching movies, TV shows, reading, or listening to podcasts and youtube videos. Needless to say, putting theory into practice is immensely important. Linguist experts and educators agree that the best way to learn a new language is to converse directly with a language instructor or a native speaker. So, even if you decide to use an app or free course, it is always recommendable to find an online tutor or native speaker to practice with.
4. Stay motivated!
Given the circumstances, staying motivated might be the hardest part. But keep this in mind: with or without pandemics, if there’s a skill that will always be in high demand, is excellence in language and communication. So in order to keep the inspiration flowing during the learning process, you need several ingredients: routine, consistency, structure, and, very importantly, a reward system. Every time you accomplish a task or goal, reward yourself with a ten-minute break, a fresh drink, a youtube video, or a special take-out dinner from your favorite restaurant.
Language Advantage can help you on your learning journey
When it comes to learning a language, nothing compares to the in-person experience. However, given the unprecedented times we find ourselves living in, the online world can be a great ally for you to learn a new language or improve your communication skills.
At Language Advantage, we have years of experience delivering online classes for clients that can’t commit to in-person lessons and/or need flexible solutions, which is why we feel that we are remarkably adapted to the new reality. Our instructors are accustomed to online teaching methods and have developed the best tools and learning materials to give every student the best learning experience.
If you wish to know more about our online courses and individual classes, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 647-343-5368. Our team will be delighted to walk you through your options and design a tailor-made program for you.