The Mindset of Successful Language Learners

When we think of successful language learners, the first question to usually pop into people’s minds is: What method are they using? What apps or teachers? What should I use to learn X language?

The number one question though, that should be asked is how do they think? What are their beliefs? Because whether or not you are able to achieve your language goals, just like any other goals for that matter, all has to do with your core beliefs and nothing to do with your mother tongue or IQ.

I recently interviewed the world-famous polyglot, Luca Lampariello, where we discussed why the polyglots we surrounded ourselves with, were not only successful in acquiring foreign languages but also had success across a range of areas within their lives; business, education, relationships, fitness etc. We found that it all came down to their core-beliefs.

In the video we go in-depth about Luca’s self-development journey, what lessons changed his life and how he viewed learning and goal-setting which you can find here:

The key points of value I want to give to you from my own life are the following, and these are beliefs that I feel fundamentally to the core of who I am and that allow me to live in a state of calm, keep growing, stay motivated and have a positive attitude towards making mistakes.

  1. Have a growth mindset. How can you know how hard something might be or how long it will take, what the process will be like if you have never done it? When you set a goal for yourself, tell yourself that you will work on it UNTIL you reach it, not if you reach it. A growth mindset, compared to a fixed mindset, embraces challenges, allows you to persist despite them and sees a point of learning and growth behind every hurdle.
  2. Be curious. Ask yourself – well, what if I checked out this channel? What if I tried something different this week? Learning happens through whatever strikes your interest and keeps you focused. Why would you stick to a book or video that is boring you to death? Seek out different learning resources to enrich your experience!
  3. Learn about yourself. You don’t need to get a psychology degree but learning about yourself, exploring areas like personal-development, brain psychology, sociology etc. will do you wonders! If you navigate through life not knowing yourself, you will always be in a reactive state rather than being able to impact and change your own circumstances. When you are self-aware, you are able to understand how you learn best, why you are interested in the things that take your fancy and can be more effective and aligned all-round.
  4. Constantly update your skills! Learning is a life-long task so be ready to continuously learn, grow and challenge yourselves! If you find that you aren’t learning new things, take an honest look at your environment and daily habits. Are you surrounding yourself with things that will help you grow or that are limiting you?
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

How to start learning a new language

1. Focus on listening and get a feel for the language

The first most important thing is to get a feel for the language - focusing on its sounds, intonations, how they form words and phrases and flow together. Watch your favourite movie in the language, chuck on some subtitles and really pay attention to how native speakers talk. The point is not to understand, but to listen! Hone in on the pronunciation and alphabet afterwards. Sometimes I mimick the natives without knowing what is being said but in this way I practice and improve my pronunciation very quickly!

Not understanding what you’re reading or hearing can actually be a blessing in disguise because it isolates the pronunciation practice!

2. Learn the most useful phrases first

If you’re not sure where to start, this is it. Language is for speaking so it only makes sense to learn the very first phrases you will use in a conversation, first.

  • Hello
  • How are you?
  • My name is….
  • I’m good
  • Thank you
  • Yes
  • No
  • You’re welcome
  • Please Where is….
  • Nice to meet you
  • Goodbye
  • I don’t understand


3. Immerse yourself! Listen, read, write, repeat

This is the numer one thing I spend most of my time on every day, right from day one. It’s a passive form of learning but aids more than you might think when the time to speak comes around. Think a little bit about how children learn - they spend around 6 months to 1 year simply LISTENIGN before a single word comes out of their mouths.


4. SPEAK FROM DAY ONE

It sounds silly but every morning I make it a part of my routine to literally walk around my house and talk to myself in the language I’m learning. It

S a great form of revising your knowledge and doesn’t matter if you don’t know all of the vocabulary for what you want to say. Mix what you do know into your regular sentences and use a dictionary (I use linguee or reverso.net) to look up the words you don’t know and note them down afterwards. Learn them, practice them and build up your vocab from there!

5 GREAT TOOLS TO INCORPORATE LANGUAGE LEARNING INTO YOUR DAILY LIFE

  1. Do your shopping in your target language (shopping list)

    1. Before your next shopping trip, learn 5-10 food items in your target ilanguage and use them when writing our your grocery list! From there, you can keep building your vocabulary by adding new words and expressions week by week once you’ve mastered the previous ones!

      1. Bring!

  2. Find a recipe from the country and re-create it!

    1. Food and culture go together like bread and butter, so why not challenge your taste buds and try out a new dish with AN ADDED TWIST - look up the recipe in the language. This is an awesome way to learn some new words and impress your housemate or hubby with your awesome culinary skills! If you don’t feel like translating every third word, download the plugin Mango Reader which translates any word simply by clicking on it! This will save you a tonne of time so you can enjoy your new creation quicker 😉

  3. Re-create your gym playlist or hustler music with songs in the language.

    1. With platforms like Youtube, Spotify and Soundcloud - it’s easier than ever to create a global playlist and effortlessly pick up new vocabulary through the lyrics. Whether you’re looking for some new slow funk or hardstyle to add some variety into your playlist, music has more benefits for your brain thank you might have guessed. It serves as a powerful language learning tool to and allows you to memorise new concepts with ease.Rote learn a list of 30 words or or listen to a catchy song - no doubt you can guess which one has more brain benefits. Watch a music video AND learn vocabulary at the same time on with https://www.linguician.com/en/it/discover/109

  4. Find international friends on HelloTalk

  5. Radio/ Podcast / listen to the news

Inaction is the only thing that stands in the way of success so pick one of these tools and integrate it today!

MY MULTILINGUAL MORNING ROUTINE

Buongiorno 🇮🇹!

As part of my morning routine, I always like involve my languages in creative ways. Whilst having my colazione ☕️🍳 this morning, I realised il programma radiofonico in italiano (Italian radio) was on and thought, what a perfect way to get some practice in!

 Sometimes I don't know where to start when it comes to finding what I 'should' listen to, but then I realised that really anything we find interesting or relevant is the best, because at the end of the day, we will end up talking about the same things later on, the more our language skills advance, and it's a great way to pick up on how words we already know are used in the correct context!

I found the radio awesome and could understand way more than I thought because the grammatical structure and phrasing is so similar to Spanish. So it really feels like I'm learning just another a dialect😄How do you find ways to incorporate language learning into your day?

 Here are some great sources I highly recommend: