Written by: Corina Enache, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
I am Corina Enache and I am a Language Learning Strategist and Mindset Coach to Language Learners.
In the last 10 years, I have been helping through my work ambitious language learners achieve language mastery with ease.
I’ve dedicated my life to learners who get the impact a new language has on both their personal and professional lives AND who know that anything is possible if they ARE READY TO commit to their learning goals.
And today, I am going to share with you the foundation of my learning system.
This system is the one that I created based on my own learning experiences and struggles and it is the very method that allowed me to learn six foreign languages with ease, while having fun in the process.
What are we going to tackle today?
Firstly, I am going to teach you how to do some groundwork:
what are your dreams, your expectations
what do you really want
how you want to proceed further to achieve it
Then, I’ll show you what a good learning strategy means:
How to plan your learning
How to take action upon your planning
How to track your learning
How to measure your progress
And how to do it all over again until you reach your goal.
Finally, I’m going to share with you what you need to do to ensure that:
You stay on track with your learning
You make progress every day
(and that) You achieve language mastery with ease!
Where Are You Right Now?
You need to really grasp your current situation and to know where you are at this point.
My advice here is for you to grab a piece of paper and get some answers to these questions:
Where are you right now?
Where do you find yourself, in relation to your goal?
What is it that made you take action today and read this article?
Also, you need to consider the transformation you’re going to experience - the journey from point A to point B. You need to know what’s the impact that the transformation you’re going to make will have on your life.
How can learning a new language starting today can actually change that for the better?
You also need to get some measurable results - get down to reality. Check those facts. Get some real answers and keep those in your mind.
Write these questions down and really think about them. Take some time and then come back to the questions and go through your answers.
What Do You Want To Do?
Basically, it can all be summed up to just one question:
What do you want to achieve?
Do you want to learn a new language as a hobby?
Or maybe you want to up-level your professional life, and therefore you understand the impact a new language has on your career opportunities?
Or maybe you hope for a future when you can travel and get to meet different people from different cultures and use your language skills to speak with them?
You need to know HOW achieving this goal will impact your life.
Whatever your goal might be, you need to have it very clear in your mind.
So this is the moment where I encourage you to visualize yourself in the future, already proficient in your target language.
What are you doing?
How do you feel?
What are you wearing?
What is the place where you’re in look like?
How does it feel to have the language skill under your belt?
There are going to be times when you don’t feel like going on, and you need to remember how your end result will look like. And this is how you’ll keep your eyes on the end result.
Why Do You Want It?
Here we’re digging deeper into what we just tackled.
What is the REASON why you decided to learn a language?
What is your WHY?
What truly motivates you, to the extent that you are ready to go through months of learning and practicing and actually get to master a new language?
You need to know that your why is your motivation.
Your why is what makes you take the next step. And the next. And the next.
And this leads to the next point…
What’s The Image of Successful “YOU”?
Visualize yourself winning!
What will be different in your life, once you’ve achieved your goal?
How do you feel?
Imagine you’ve just passed the language examination proving you are an advanced speaker of your target language.
What is your initial reaction?
How do you feel? Where are you when you get the good news?
What does this mean for you?
Get a hold of that feeling. Build an image around it. How you imagine it to be. Your perfect moment of achievement.
What you’ve just hoped for, now has just become a reality.
Now you can clearly say: My life changes now because I nailed this. I can do this and this and this and this.
Having a clear image of you succeeding holds such great importance!
It takes you from 0 to mastery. It makes you keep going and doing all that it takes for you to achieve your goal.
The 4 Successful Learning Pillars
My success formula in terms of language learning is quite simple and effective:
It consists of four main focus areas that you need to take into consideration at any time while learning your target language.
1. Plan your learning
A rigorous, consistent planning routine can make the whole difference when it comes to achieving your language learning goals!
Plan for success, and you’ll see it becoming a reality!
2. Track your learning
Being able to see where you’re at at any given moment is gold!
You need to be able to self-evaluate and tweak your actions, so that you get better and better results and you improve your learning strategy to suit your way of learning and thus you get to achieve your goals quicker!
3. Stick to your planning
Nothing is more difficult than going on with your actions when you seem to not make any progress.
Please remember that what you do today needs a few days to remain imprinted onto your brain, so give it time!
Do the tasks you’ve planned for, belief in the magic of perseverance and consistent work!
Put in the hours and believe in yourself!
Don’t make excuses to fail!
Take action and win!
4. Make it happen
The only way you can make your goals come true and actually achieve language mastery is if you put in the work consistently.
Plan Your Learning
In order for you to succeed, you need to plan for it.
You know the saying: The first step of failure is failing to plan?
Yes, that’s the mantra.
Plan. Plan. Plan.
Then action upon it.
So.. let me show you exactly what I’m talking about:
Let’s say you want to learn a language from scratch and you want to give twelve months to make this happen.
First and foremost, you need to have a planner.
You will get one in the bonuses I have prepared for you, but you can also find a template on the internet, or maybe you can even make one yourself.
For example, I love having an actual planner where I can write down my strategy on actual paper.
Let’s say you have twelve months.
Check your calendar and write down the exact number of weeks.
Split your page so that you have even slots, and in this way, you can have a clear overview of your action points.
Then write down the days for each week. Include in your days all time slots that are already taken - or that you know for sure you are taking care of something else (be it work, family time etc.)
You also need to decide how many hours you can allocate for your learning (monthly). Then you distribute them evenly in your planner.
Be flexible with your schedule and allow yourself to have fun during this whole process!
Remember! It’s the journey that matters and brings joy, even more than the destination!
Amazing! Now you have your weekly hours that you’re going to spend learning your target language.
My recommendation is that you do the daily planning on a weekly basis (for example, I am planning on Sunday evening for the whole week ahead).
In order for you to plan your time wisely, you need to distribute your time to cover the following categories:
You cannot test any of these four categories without having a solid grammar and vocabulary foundation.
When I say solid, I mean a few good hours a week need to be put aside only for the basic grammar and learning basic vocabulary for anyone who wants to see consistent and rapid progress in their learning.
So in the first eight weeks, your focus will be 50% of the time on grammar and vocabulary, 50% of the time reading on writing, listening, and speaking (these will take up more time once we get past the initial 8-week period)
We’ll get more into it shortly, but for now, you need to take into consideration your priorities and include them in your planner.
After the first twelve weeks are done, you can already go ahead and plan for the next period.
Of course, you will have learned from your struggles and you’ll tweak your planning, so that you get better and quicker results in the next learning period.
Track Your Learning
While you are making progress and crossing off your list of daily actions for your learning, you need to be able to regularly track your progress.
Especially when you are learning on your own, you need to know how to get real feedback that you can measure and tweak in order to get better and better results each and every time!
What are the best ways to track your progress?
Weekly reports on your progress!
Check out your planner weekly and see what went as planned and what didn’t.
For what did work, congrats! You should continue doing that!!
For what didn’t, you need to go back and see why you had difficulties. Tweak the schedule a bit, try and assign easier tasks for yourself, but do something to ensure next week is going to be better!
Check your goals regularly!
Tracking your progress in comparison with where you want to get is a good habit.
Also, tracking your progress in comparison with the previous week is a good way to celebrate progress, of any kind.
Be sure you remain true to yourself and your vision.
You can be successful at anything you want.
You just need to make a plan, act upon it consistently and track it.
In order to test the learning material you’ve been learning, you need to be able to test yourself (your grammar and your vocabulary).
Tip: Always use a colored pen for mistakes, but never red!
You can do this by yourself and check everything,and then you can draw up some conclusions and action points to implement in the following weeks.
Stick To Your Learning Plan
Daily actions lead to progress and, as you know, progress makes it perfect.
Believe in your learning strategy.
Believe in the way your brain works when learning new things.
Follow the planning.
Do the work.
Be consistent, day in and day out.
Be positive and do your best to achieve your language learning goal!
Stick to your plan!
No matter how you feel, what’s been going on at work or what’s the atmosphere at home, you need to focus and put in the work so that you achieve mastery in your target language, as you’ve planned!
Make it Happen!
In order for you to make it happen, you need to:
Know your goal.
Know your why.
Know how your life will change once you achieve your goal.
Plan your learning.
Action upon your planning.
Track your learning.
Stick to your planning.
Revisit your goal. Your why. The benefits you’ll get once you nail this.
Stick to it.
Do it again.
Do it every single day.
Until you achieve it.
Now... How does it feel?
You need to do it. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
NO MATTER WHAT.
You need to go through steps 1 - to - 3 over and over again, until you reach that level where you know ahead of time what you did right or what needs improvement during a particular period of time.
You need to trust the process and once you have planned, decided upon the action points, set up your tracking process and started doing the work, do the work, day in and day out.
What exactly means that you make it happen?
Well, that means that you also have a good understanding of what your learning material is. After you’ve distributed your learning hours in your planner, you need to know exactly what you need to learn.
You either join a program, buy an online course or choose some books for yourself to learn; in any case, you need to map out your whole learning material.
Once this is done too, you can start learning and ensure you cover everything from the start!
Great, you now have a whole strategy to put into place to start from scratch and achieve language mastery within the deadline that you set for yourself!
Corina Enache, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Corina Enache is a Language Learning Strategist & Mindset Coach, helping high achievers reach even greater levels of success by mastering a new language with ease.
Having learned 6 languages, in 2010 Corina developed her own Language Learning Blueprint, which she tested herself with amazing results. From that moment on, Corina has been using the same method to help people transform both their personal and professional lives.
In 2018, Corina quit her corporate job and started her journey as a businesswoman. She is now the founder & owner of the Multilingual School of Languages, and the founder of the Language Learning Accelerator Mentorship, a 12-month program designed for any high achiever who wants to master a language with ease.