7th May 2017 | Lydia Munday I wholly believe that enjoyment, curiosity and motivation are key to effective learning. No matter how much you know you need to learn a language for work, studies etc., you’re never really going to get the best out of the learning experience if you don’t have an inner motivation, an internal curiosity that goes beyond a mundane necessity. You may not consider yourself a natural linguist but I believe that there’s a way in for everyone, with the right attitude, and the right support. In my experience of language learning, I know that you’re unlikely to make progress if what you learn has no relevance in your everyday life. As a teacher, I therefore tend to work quite organically, from your mistakes in writing and speaking, and teaching grammar and vocabulary based on error correction that’s targeted at your personal weak spots, rather than a prescribed list of rules that you have to memorize. A tip for language learning: If you love nature, cars, travel, psychology or meditation, start watching YouTube videos or TED talks on these topics, or start reading magazines. If you love video games or social media, change your language settings to the language you’re learning. You’re more likely to understand the content if you already have knowledge and interest in these areas. Then, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities and more inspired to extend your learning into other areas. Language learning doesn’t always need to be an uphill slog. You should allow yourself times where you do something relaxing with language. Sometimes it’s important to sit back, relax, and cruise above the clouds for a while. If that means reading a trashy novel instead of reading the Financial Times, then so be it! That way, you’re more likely to learn from a positive viewpoint and you’ll be better placed to tackle the more challenging aspects of grammar and vocabulary.