3 Tips for New Language Learners

Level up your conventional lessons

Jane Kozhevnikova
3 min readNov 6, 2020
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

Do you ever feel like your language learning is not progressing?

I have been learning English with private tutors since 2017. This month it is already 3 years of my learning process. I practised lessons with Russians, people who speak English as a second language, and natives.

From all these tutors I heard stories about students. Tutors were different, but the stories were the same. Some of them are positive, some are not. But what is common in all these stories is that most students have prejudice about tutors. It is hard to admit, but I had some prejudice too.

I remember I could not say a word without translating it in my mind. Now I am fluent and can write English texts as well as Russians. Even better. Let’s dive into 3 ideas which I found the most important during my language-learning journey.

A lesson is a conversation

Usually, tutors lead the conversation and ask questions. In this case, I highly recommend, start telling them your ideas/thoughts as they are. Do not be shy. Do not be afraid of your mistakes. Telling thoughts will definitely accelerate your learning path and you get results faster. No one will blame you for your accent or incorrect use of the Present Perfect tense.

If you got a thought like “I drink green tea every morning because it helps me to wake up and feel better during the day. Also, I love this taste. It is perfect.”

And you just say:” I just drink green tea every morning”.

See the difference?

If you say the first, you automatically practise and enhance

  • vocabulary,
  • connecting words in a sentence,
  • your ability to express emotions in a conversation.

An essential moment in learning a new language is to be open to a dialogue. Remember, only you can help yourself to become more talkative during a conversation.

Just teach me something

“I want to learn English. Let’s practise something I do not know exactly what”. If your request is uncertain, you get uncertain results.

When you ask to teach you something, you probably get material which you already know or which is uninteresting for you. As a result, you get disappointed that you wasted money and time. And then, you start to think that the tutor is “unprofessional” or they are not a perfect fit for you. This opinion is subjective.

Define your goals. They can constantly change during your learning path. Moreover, goals can be changed even this week. So, practice what you feel you need and a tutor will help you with that.

For example, if you want to be fluent in English, never stop speaking when you do not know a word. Instead, explain this word with the vocabulary you know.

Resistance to the basics

We often think that we do not need this basic grammar/vocabulary/etc because it is boring/already known/I do not need this/I know the language better than you think/(your_idea_is_here).

Yes, grammar can be boring, but you cannot speak correctly without this knowledge.

Yes, you probably know how tenses are used but have you read advanced grammar? On each level, you should learn tenses. Believe me, this grammar complicates on each level. And without a strong basis, you cannot learn further.

Yes, you might think you do not need writing, but who knows what will happen tomorrow? Maybe you will need to respond to an email from a dream company.

Three years ago I resisted writing essays. I thought I did not need this. Nowadays, I write technical texts, and I wrote this text myself for you.

Resistance actually stops you from moving forward. If you want to be fluent you should know the basics well. If your tutor tells you should learn a rule, learn this.

Final Thoughts

Talk about everything in your lesson. Do not choose the easiest topic.

Define your goals and what you want to archive.

Build a tree of knowledge. Make sure you understand the fundamentals.