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Everyday a little: the importance of daily practice


Daily practice in learning a new language: why habit formation is essential


Learning a new language can be a challenging yet enriching experience. Whether you're picking up a new language for professional purposes, travel, or simply out of personal interest, consistent practice plays a crucial role in achieving success. The keyword here is 'daily'.

Found a song you enjoy? Put it on repeat and... repeat the lyrics.

Engaging in daily practice of a new language offers numerous benefits beyond just improving your vocabulary. Through regular exposure to the language, even if it's just for a few minutes each day, you strengthen your neural pathways and develop a sense of grammar, intonation, and nuances of the language. This can ultimately lead to smoother conversations and a deeper understanding of the culture behind the language.

The idea of forming a daily practice habit when learning a new language is supported by numerous studies. One study demonstrated that repeated exposure to new words over an extended period significantly improved individuals' ability to remember those words. Additionally, more research suggests that regular practice helps facilitate the transition from learning a language to applying it in various contexts.


How can you integrate this habit of daily practice into your routine? 


Here are three practical tips:


  1. Utilize language apps wisely: Make use of language-learning apps like Duolingo, Babbel, or Rosetta Stone to structure your daily practice sessions. Set achievable goals for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve them. 5 new words? High five yourself!

  2. Immerse yourself: Create an environment where the new language is present. Listen to music, radio, watch movies or series, and read books in the language you're learning. This not only helps build vocabulary but also gets you accustomed to the natural sounds and sentence structures of the language. Found a song you enjoy? Put it on repeat and... repeat the lyrics.

  3. Find a language buddy: Seek out someone with whom you can practice regularly. This could be a native speaker or someone else who is also learning the language. Speaking together helps improve your conversational skills and provides the opportunity to receive feedback. This can be a private tutor, or you can find a willing neighbor or volunteer.


By demonstrating consistency and dedication, you'll notice progress and an increase in your confidence in the new language. So what are you waiting for? 


Start those daily practice sessions today and watch as your skills steadily improve.



Sources:

  1. Vlach, H. A. & Sandhofer, C. M. (2014). Retrieval-based learning: A perspective for enhancing meaningful learning. Psychological Science, 25(4), 943–949.

  2. Horst, M., Cobb, T., & Meara, P. (1998). Beyond A Clockwork Orange: Acquiring second language vocabulary through reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 11(2), 207-223.


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