Language learning resolutions…

…are they a good idea?

Welcome to a new year!  Most people also consider it a new decade.  Right now is the traditional time for reflection as well as a time to look ahead and make plans for coming months, and even years.  If you have been studying a language for a while, how do you think you are doing so far?  What do you think you might achieve in 2010?

As with any resolution, chances of success dramatically increase if the promises are actually achievable.  Deciding to make a small change that you can continue on a regular basis will be much more realistic than a one-off big event.  In language learning terms, this may mean making sure you look at 10 vocabulary items every day, rather than being a beginner aiming to be able to read Dostoyevsky in his native Russian by the end of the year.  Make small adjustments to your schedule, and eventually what starts out as forced behaviour will become a habit.

Also bear in mind that the vast majority of students go through hills, valleys, and plateaus during the course of their learning.  There will be periods where you feel like you won’t be able to improve your conversational skills past an intermediate level, or when you just can’t understand native speakers in a discussion.  Don’t give up, and keep up your study habits.

Do you plan on making any resolutions this year?  If so, good luck with keeping them!