Why do so many people study a foreign language, but over time end up forgetting it?
I think the answer to this question is complex, but a huge and remediable factor in language attrition is lack of commitment.
What most people fail to contemplate when they begin learning a new language, is that it must be lifelong endeavor. It does not end with the diploma or the mark of fluency.
The old adage use it or lose it has never been more true.
So what can you do to ensure that all your time and effort is not lost?
Engage in the language daily. How? Here are some ideas.
- Read. This is a great way to grow your vocabulary and is available to you even when you don’t have access to native speakers. The Internet offers endless free reading resources. Subscribe to some blogs in your target language, read the news, or any topic you are interested in.
- Change your electronic device settings to your target language. This is a way to maintain some daily interaction with your target language.
- Listen to music in your target language. Music is another fun way to get a daily dose of your target language.
- Use your screen time to watch videos, tv, and movies in your target language. This is another way to keep your target language on your radar.
- Make friends with native speakers of your target language. Use email, Skype, Facebook, or your preferred method to write and speak to your friends regularly. Communicating your thoughts in your target language is important.
Whatever you do, commit to your language learning journey for the long haul. And make it fun!