Tips on managing your language learning

Create a routine
A lot of the responsibility for your progress as a language learner is on you. Make working on a language a regular habit and you're already half way there!

Little and often
Don't expect to be able to learn massive amounts overnight. Break activities into small tasks, e.g. aim to learn 5 or 10 new words a day every other day (don't forget to regularly revise what you've learnt). If you want to improve your grammar focus on precise areas you find difficult.

Breaking things up into small chunks makes it more enjoyable, easier for your brain to assimilate, easy to monitor and easy for you to be in control. Last-minute "learning" is far less effective in the long term.

Learn with others
Remember that other people on your course are probably experiencing the same fears, worries and problems as you. Try talking to them - it's amazing how many 'problems' disappear after a constructive talk with someone else.

Have a go
Your language tutor is not the only source of knowledge and is there primarily to facilitate your learning. If you really want to gain confidence, a sense of achievement and be in control of your language learning you need to have a go by yourself.

Think positive
Don't feel bad about making mistakes - everyone makes them and they're an opportunity to learn.

Discover your learning style
Everybody learns in different ways - experiment and see what works best for you.

Don't be afraid to ask for help
The Language Advisor (Valerie Leick, see below) your tutor, a native speaker, a student on the same course or one who has already done the same course can all be of help.

Stick at it!
You'll soon see the benefits of your efforts.

If you have any further ideas on how to manage language learning or would like to discuss any other related issues, contact Valerie Leick, Languages for All. Email: v.leick@bham.ac.uk