Many people complain about the “failure” while learning a foreign language. In fact, the spoken language could be acquired by anyone who follows one logical formula:
Why? When? How? How much?
Why do I need it? – This is the most important issue. Here are some options: for work, for studying, for travelling, for reading (watching movies, listening to songs, etc.), for immigration.
But what if the answer is: “for myself”, “don’t know”, “for my mother”, “in case I need that” – don’t even start. You’ll just waste your precious time.
When? –  Create a deadline. It’s imperative to outline time limits in order to achieve your goal. For instance: Why? – you need to pass IELTS and go abroad to study in Canada. When?- in August next year. So, you can easily do that having the whole year ahead. You set the deadlines yourself, neither your teachers nor your boss can do it because only you know why you need this.
Global terms should be divided into the following parts: year /season/ month/week.  This way it’s easier to track your progress and “catch up”, in case you need to.
How? What about details? – At home, with a tutor, online, in language school, or at work. Choose the best option that is the most suitable for you and at the same time that will keep you on track.
How much? – How much money, time and effort are you ready to spend to achieve your goal. For example, you can make a deal with yourself to dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to English, Chinese or Swahili. Or, that you spend 2 hours a week on lessons + commuting. Calculate and plan, if it doesn’t fall into place, then try to catch up in the future. Let’s say you go on a 2-week vacation and miss your 4 hours of studying. Add them to your next week plan, so the terms will not change, and the goal will be achieved. And the most important thing that is not in the formula – learn with pleasure, enjoy a process and ability to use new knowledge at that very moment. Who knows, one day you might find yourself on a deserted island where the only creature you can talk to is a parrot who speaks Swahili.
By Svitlana Churina