Today, we wanted to tackle some of the questions that we get asked the most frequently, like “how can I succeed at learning a language?“, “Is it difficult to learn a language?”, and, “Why are some people successful… and others aren’t?” In this article, we’re going to take a look at the 5 most important factors for succeeding in learning a language.

Person spreading arms wide looking out over mountain tops. Text reads: what it takes to learn a language 5 keys to success for learners MosaLingua

Our #1 goal is to help people around the world learn new languages. It’s something we’ve been doing for more than 10 years, and we’ve had the chance to speak with a huge number of language learners. In fact, the MosaLingua community today counts more than 10 million members! As a result, we’ve been able to learn a lot about the kinds of problems and hurdles most people struggle with, and what approaches work best.

What Are the 5 Most Important Factors for Learning a Language?

1. Motivation

Unsurprisingly, we’ve found that people who are highly motivated usually get the best, fastest results. I like to think of motivation as the fuel you need for your language learning journey. It’s what helps you get from Point A to Point B, and keep going all the way to language mastery. Before you start your trip, you need to make sure you have a full tank of motivation. To do this, you need to identify and focus on the right reason for learning a language.

Fortunately, there are many excellent reasons for learning a new language! Here are just a few of the most popular ones:

  • Travel abroad more easily and more frequently;
  • Open doors in your professional life or advance in your career;
  • Converse with friends, family and colleagues living in or coming from a foreign country;
  • Train your brain to think in new ways;
  • Experience new cultures.

These are just a few examples, and there’s no right answer here: you need to find the right reason for you, that will help keep you motivated. So, ask yourself: why is it I want to learn a new language?

2. Time

It should also come as no surprise that in order to succeed in learning a language, you’ll need to consecrate a certain amount of time to learning and practicing every day (for, say, three months or so) to make significant progress in your target language. Making time for your language is thus a key factor for making progress. Of course, this is why many people never start learning a new language… Because they don’t have the time!

Or at least, this is what people like to say. To be perfectly honest, though, this is somewhat of a false excuse. It’s all a question of deciding what’s important to you. If  you’re motivated to learn, you’ll find the time. If you find yourself saying, “I just don’t have the time“, you may need to reevaluate your priorities. And of course, keep in mind that learning a new language doesn’t have to be all that time-consuming. As we’ll see below, just a few minutes each day is more than enough to make great progress (with the right method, of course).

Take a look at your daily schedule and try to find any free time where you could dedicated 10-15 minutes to language learning, and remember to take advantage of any downtime you have during, for example, a daily commute or over your lunch break. Our lessons are available on smartphone and tablet, so you can practice and learn anywhere and at any time.

3. Regular practice

We see it all the time: the learners who make the most rapid progress are those who practice a little bit every day. If you’ve decided to spend five hours each month learning your language, it’s better to study 10 minutes a day, every day, than to have two long sessions of 2h30 every two weeks. Many well-known polyglots swear by the importance of practicing regularly, and it’s possible to rapidly acquire new language skills in a very short time by practicing a little bit every day. It’s not a question of talent: most polyglots simply demonstrate regularity and discipline.

4. Choosing the right method

Even if you have the motivation, the time, and regular practice session, you may not get very far without the right method. By this we mean one which:

  1. is effective; and
  2. works for you.

One thing that’s great about language learning is that there are so many different ways to approach it. A variety of methods can help you learn to speak fluently in your target language. At MosaLingua, we don’t claim to have come up with a flashy, new way of learning languages. But we can say with confidence that our approach works, and that it’s extremely efficient and effective. It’s an approach that can give you the best results possible in very little time. One hour of work on one of our courses can replicate the same results as days or even weeks of practice using an alternative approach.

This is a great thing, because progress is highly motivating! It will make you want to spend more time on your language learning, and as you do, you’ll continue making more progress. It’s virtuous circle: more results lead to more motivation, which leads to more results.

Everybody starts at a different level, with different goals, and different schedules. That’s why we developed a number of different courses and lessons. You can pick and choose which works best for you, at any time.

5. Overcoming psychological barriers

We’ve come to realize that one of the most common and difficult obstacles people face in languages comes from within. Many learners have trouble breaking through the psychological or mental barriers associated with learning something new, making mistakes, and especially speaking in a new language. It’s a subject that we take special care to address in all our classes, because it effects so many people. It’s also something that many other learning methods are unsympathetically silent on. Here are some of the most common psychology barriers people struggle with:

  • Lack of self-confidence (especially in learning or speaking)
  • Shyness
  • Fear of making mistakes (perfectionism)

These aren’t the only ones, but in our experience, they’re the most common. That’s why we’ve built our courses to help you overcome them.

Video: 5 Keys to Success

For an overview of these 5 keys to successfully learning a new language, have a look at this video. You can watch it below, or directly on our YouTube channel. It’s available in English, with sub-titles in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese.

 

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Once you get these five key factors on your side, you’re sure to achieve your goals! To go even further, we recommend reading these articles that may interest you: