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5 Essential Steps to Re-Learn a Language You’ve Forgotten

5 Essential Steps to Re-Learn a Language You’ve Forgotten
If you’ve forgotten a language you previously learned, don’t worry.

The good news is that chances are, your language is not one of the 14 languages that face extinction everyday.
By the year 2100, 50% of the languages we use today will disappear.

The better news is that with the right methodology, it’s possible to relearn a language you’ve forgotten in 21 days or less.

Whether you learned Spanish during your study abroad in South America, or went to Paris last year and picked up some Francais, a lot of the knowledge you’ve acquired should still remain in your long-term memory.

Forgetting-Curve

    Psychologists have also stated that even after years without using the foreign language, it’s possible to learn a language again once you’ve forgotten it.

    The solution then, is to reactivate those unused memories stored in your brain in order to bring you back to the level you were, if not better!

    Day 1–7

    1. Assess where you are and plan

    With a strong plan and goal setting, you can reach your desired outcome in more effective and faster ways.

    The first step is to perform a self-analysis of where you are right now.

    Step I. Recall: Remember where you were with your language before you stopped practicing. Were you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced? Were your reading skills strong, but your speaking skills weak? Did you lack knowledge of grammar structure?

    Step II. Analysis: Now assess yourself in the 4 core uses of the language: (writing, reading, hearing, and speaking) by immersing yourself in the forgotten language in these respective mediums.

    • Writing: write a journal entry about your day
    • Reading: read a newspaper, book, or article
    • Hearing: listen to a podcast or movie
    • Speaking: reconnect with an old friend or work with your language coach

    Step III. Plan of focus: When you’ve finished your self-analysis, you’ll notice that you have better recognition of certain language components than others. Perhaps you have kept your ability to understand through reading, but your speaking skills have deterioriated.

    Now, you can focus your time, energy, and resources on improving the specific skillsets that you’ve forgotten the most, rather than spending your effort on skills that will only bring you 20% of the results you’re looking to achieve.

    2. Watch TV/Movies

    This may be one of the best, yet productive excuses to watch more TV.
    But there’s a catch: you need to watch it in your forgotten language.

    Free or premium platforms like Youtube or Netflix allow you to watch TV shows and movies in many of the popular languages you desire (just don’t expect to find the languages Yola or Avestan with ease).

    subtitle-of-a-blu-ray-movie

      Here’s a few recommended tips if you’re:

      • A beginner: Watch with foreign subtitles and native audio
      • An intermediate: Watch with native audio and foreign subtitles
      • An advanced-intermediate: Watch with foreign audio and no subtitles (or foreign subtitles)

      *These are just recommended guidelines. It’s better to push yourself to consume more foreign content than not. If you’re in doubt, go foreign.

      Day 8–14

      3. Take foreign immersion wherever you go

      By that we mean: listen to audio recordings in your foreign language as you commute, work and exercise.

      This can be in the form of a podcast show, radio, or a recorded audio tape.

      What’s great about audio is that you can do multiple things at once, and this form of relearning won’t interrupt your regular routines.

      Here are some recommended language content resources that are free (also great for learning a language for the first time):

      spanish-classes

        4. Review using a phrasebook

        It’s not always so bad to mix in some traditional learning practices that you used when you first learned the language.
        You should also have an electronic dictionary that allows you to quickly search up forgotten vocabulary without much hassle.

        Here are some resources we recommend:

        Day 15–21

        5. Speak it till your jaw hurts

        There’s no faster way to improve than forcing yourself to speak the forgotten language, especially in front of native speakers.

        It’ll feel uncomfortable and you’ll make mistakes, no doubt about it.

        With that said, it’s recommended you speak with a native speaker who is patient, can provide you professional feedback, and most importantly — make you feel comfortable.

        Finding a language partner would be the next alternative, but read about the potential downsides of conversation exchange when you learn a language before diving in.

        Here’s some places you could find a partner:


        We may have simplified the process of remembering your forgotten language, but know that it’s going to come with mountains of mistakes, hardship, and struggle.

        Don’t let that discourage you from getting started. It’s better to prepared for the path ahead than be struck with frustration.

        You’ve already done the hard work by learning the language in the first place.

        Now it’s your chance to reward yourself by reviving what you’ve already learned.

        Over to you

        Which foreign language have you previously learned but forgotten?
        Will you be implementing each of the steps we outlined to learn a language you’ve forgotten?
        If not, which ones were your favorite? We’d love to hear from you below!

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        Last Updated on February 15, 2019

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

        Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

        Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

        So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

        Joe’s Goals

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          Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

          Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

          Daytum

            Daytum

            is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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            Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

            Excel or Numbers

              If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

              What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

              Evernote

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                I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                Access or Bento

                  If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                  Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                  You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                  Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                  All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                  Conclusion

                  I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                  What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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