How to Accelerate Language Learning with a Full-Time Job
Much like exploring a new hobby, the process of learning a new language can be very exciting. While learning a new language as an adult is by far more difficult, that doesn’t mean it cannot be done – with the right attitude and motivation, it is possible to learn a new language even with a full-time job.
- Better job prospects
- Better workplace communication
- Better workplace productivity
Read on to find out how you can speed up your learning process with a full-time job.
Finding out your learning style
Everyone absorbs information a little differently. Not knowing which style of learning works best may just be keeping you from grasping the language you are learning.
For example – do you fare better in group or individual classes? The consensus is that most students fare better in group classes, especially for beginners.
The VARK Model individual learning styles explains how we effectively absorb information.
The four main learning styles in the VARK Model are Visual (V), Auditory (A), Reading and writing ® and Kinesthetic (K).
Visual learners prefer to depict information in the form of design, patterns and shapes. This can include maps, diagrams, charts, graphs, flow charts, and symbols such as arrows and circles. Visual learners are able to digest information better when it is presented in more than just text for maximum understanding and retention of what they are learning.
Take note that this does NOT include pictures or photographs or movies and videos. For language learners, you might want to highlight your notes or incorporate interesting designs and patterns.
Auditory learning is when the learner prefers information that is “heard or spoken”. Learners who prefer this style of learning excel in receiving information from lectures, discussions, radio, speaking and talking things through. Information retention is best achieved by talking out loud and repeating information by speaking to oneself – they need to repeat it to themselves in order to remember it. Auditory learners will do better in a group environment when it comes to learning a new language as it allows interaction and conversation with other students.
Reading and writing (R)
One of the simplest but possibly most effective learning styles is reading and writing. Learners with this learning style are able to absorb and retain information best when it is displayed as words or text. Reading and writing learners are able to learn much faster when little to no visual symbols are present in their learning materials. Learning a new language with simply reading and writing is achievable but you may need to incorporate other learning styles to get a better grasp of the language.
Lastly, kinesthetic learning involves a learner experiencing what they are learning first-hand. This includes demonstration and simulation in scenarios that mimic real life. When it comes to learning a new language, being able to act out demonstrations will allow kinesthetic learners to put what they have learned into practice through conversations with the teacher or other students.
Most language learning courses are designed to accommodate many students at a time. By adapting how you learn with the materials provided together with students with different learning styles, you may find the process to be a much more pleasant experience than it was before.
Realistic schedule for language learning
Setting aside the right amount of time for language learning is a no-brainer. You might hear others say that the more time you put into learning something new, the more experience you will gain. While this is true, it might not be feasible with a full-time job.
The best way to work around this is:
- Be realistic with how much time you have for language learning
- Stick to that schedule as closely as possible
Whether you have an hour or less, as long as this window of time allows you uninterrupted time to focus on your materials, you’ll find it to be a more productive use of your time.
It will also help to know when you are most productive in the day. Some people absorb and process information better at night than others.
Immersing yourself in the language
It’s one thing to learn a new language, but mastering it won’t come easy unless you find ways to immerse yourself in it.
1. Practice with locals
Speaking to advanced or native speakers will help you get comfortable with the language and put what you have learnt into practice. By speaking the language regularly, you will be able to receive immediate feedback on your progress and enhance your ability to hold a conversation.
2. Consume related content
If you find yourself with pockets of free time during the day, consuming content in the language you are learning can be a fuss-free way of practising without having your materials with you. If you enjoy listening to podcasts during your commute to work, consider listening to something in that language instead — this can be applied to other forms of entertainment such as YouTube videos and reading.
Learning a new language with a full-time job does not have to feel like you’ll need more than 24 hours a day. Using your time in the most productive way will help you advance your progress and reach your language goals much faster.
If you are unsure of how you can fit learning a new language into your schedule, the team from Lingo School of Knowledge is here to help you.
Simply send your questions over and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.
- VARK Learn. (2022). VARK Learn. Retrieved from VARK Modalities: what Visual, Aural, Read/write & Kinesthetic really mean?: https://vark-learn.com/introduction-to-vark/the-vark-modalities/
- Wood, M. (2017). The Cardinal. Retrieved from Foreign Language Classrooms: Native versus Non-Native Teachers and Culture Integration: https://the-ofla-cardinal.org/2017/06/12/foreign-language-classrooms-native-versus-non-native-teachers-and-culture-integration/