by Sara Lepley
Your language learning can take a leap if you make one small change: Instead of going it alone, ask a friend to do it with you.
There are plenty of reasons to team up with a friend when learning a new language. Below, find a few of our favorites.
Oh, and if you’re challenging a friend to join you in our Summer Bucket List Challenge? Feel free to send this article their way.
A study by the American Society of Training and Development found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. That jumps to a 95% chance of success if you have a specific accountability appointment with that person.
Consider sending each other screenshots when you finish a lesson and offering words of encouragement along the way. Knowing the importance of habit building, you could also choose a time each day that you’ll both commit to a lesson.
Working toward a common goal frequently gets cited as a way to strengthen friendships and with good reason. You have a chance to commiserate on challenges, offer meaningful pep talks, share a vision and, of course, celebrate together when you succeed. Add to that the fact you’ll be spending more time together and it’s a formula for success.
There’s also something oddly satisfying about being able to send your friend a text with no context and knowing they’ll “get it” right away. It feels good to be able to text “Unit 4… woah” and get back “Right?? Trust me, you’ll get the hang of it sooner than you’d think.”
Remember when you and your bestie had a secret language? Or thought no one else knew the art of pig Latin? It’s like that, but for grown-ups.
We aren’t advocating that you communicate secretly in a crowd. But if you happened to use your Italian to say, “this party is boring, want to dip?” we won’t judge her for saying “agreed, let’s go get pizza.”
The more time you spend speaking the language, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Practicing with a friend means you’ll get to chat about your shared passions and ask more meaningful questions than you might a complete stranger. You may also feel less pressure than if you were talking to someone you just met.
A major benefit of conversation practice is that you can get accustomed to situations where you aren’t sure what the other person is saying (that skill, if you’re curious, is part of why Rosetta Stone helps users learn by intuition.)
In addition to chatting in person, consider adding a language keyboard on your phone so you can text in your new language, too.
One of the coolest parts of learning a new language is how much richer the world becomes. New genres emerge, from Regattone to Nordic Noir. When you discover a new French film, Italian podcast, Spanish playlist or what have you, you’ll have someone to obsess over it with.
Learning a language can be hard. If a magic bullet or miracle pill existed, we’d all be polyglots. But the experience of learning is half the fun and a big part of what makes it so rewarding.
When we start to doubt ourselves, it’s often our friends who remind us of how far we’ve come. So when you’re bummed that it’s been two weeks and you still haven’t read Anna Karenina in its original text, listen when your friend reminds you how much you can already do.
When you see a price drop in flights to Berlin, suddenly the trip together isn’t an indulgence, it’s a crucial step in your German acquisition. Right? Someone back us up here.
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