Language learning as new year's resolution

New Year – New Language?

German language learning for 2021

Could German language learning be your New Year’s resolution for 2021? Finally, the year 2020 has gone and despite the ongoing challenges due to Covid-19, it is time to think about the fulfilment of plans, dreams and the achievement of goals for 2021. However, while 60% of people make New Year’s resolutions, most give up by the 12th of January and 43% in under a month. As a matter of fact, only 8-12% of all resolutions see their fulfilment by the end of the year.

Choose German as your new year resolution

Let it be German

Whether you have always wanted to learn a new language or refresh your language from school, German is a great choice for any English speaker whether you want to learn German for business, for your career or for your holidays.

Undeniably, German is similar to English, as you say the letters you see (unlike French and many other languages) and it is very structured. There are many linguistic reasons for German.

German language – learning it well

Whether you decide to learn German or any other language, here are the top tips:

  • Firstly, pick a language which is relevant to you. That is to say, it might be your holiday destination or you might have friends who are native speakers or speak the language well. Do you need the language for work or will it further your career? Did you enjoy the language at school and wished you kept it up? Do you enjoy German films, books, music or composers? Whatever your reason, if the language is relevant to you, you will put the work in to learn it!
  • Secondly, you could learn a language with a partner, friend, group or your children? It is fun to learn together and apart from practising, you can correct and challenge each other.
  • Expect challenges on the way and have realistic expectations. It is unlikely that you will achieve fluency within a few months unless you have some prior knowledge. Your life will get busy at times and your language learning might not be your priority.
  • Be clear in your goal settings and convey this to your language teacher! What do you want to get out of your language learning? Any professional language teacher will have that conversation with you and tailor the lesson to your needs, of course, with the essential underpinning grammar!
  • Make a commitment to learning! 10 minutes of vocabulary learning a day is better than 1 hour in 7 days. Complete the set homework, which should not be extensive anyway. Read the set article and listen to that song.
  • Additionally have fun with the language: Listen to songs, label your house with post-its, write your shopping list in German and try your German out on friends and on holiday.
  • Finally expose yourself to the sounds of the language: Listen to a German radio station, watch German language films with English subtitles and learn the lyrics to a German song.

Benefits of learning a language

Learning a language has many benefits as set out by Prof. Renate Latimer at Auburn University:

  • It opens your world to another way of thinking while gaining a deeper understanding of your own culture.
  • Languages let you connect you with different people and a different culture and limit barriers between people.
  • Foreign languages improve your analytical and problem solving skills.
  • A foreign language opens the door to art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, film, philosophy, science.
  • It undoubtedly has health benefits, as it prevents the onset of dementia and increases the size of your brain.
  • Learning a language is fun and gives you a sense of achievement.

A different language is a different vision of life.

Frederico Fellini – film director

…and just one language is very often not enough!

German language – a preview

Especially for a first preview of some German words, their pronunciation and spellings, you could take a look at Duolingo. It is free, fun and let’s you learn some basic vocabulary. It is also great fun for the whole family!

In brief, whatever your New Year’s Resolutions for 2021, make language learning one of them. There is no age limit and you might surprise yourself. Absolutely consider German as an option. It has a lot to offer and is easier than you think!

Alles Gute für ein gesundes und glückliches neues Jahr 2021!

(All the best for a healthy and happy new year 2021!)

Kiek mal wedder in (Schau mal wieder rein – Come and visit again)!

German language learning

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