Characteristics of a Good Language Learner

How to be a more successful language learner

Good language learners find their own way and take charge of their learning. They determine the methods that are best for them as individual learners. They learn form others and experiment with different methods.

Good language learners organize their study of the language, and they organize information about the language they study.

Good language learners are creative. They understand that language is creative. They experiment with the language and play with grammar, words, and sounds.

Good language learners make their own opportunities for practicing the language inside and outside of the classroom.

Good language learners learn to live with uncertainty by focusing on the meaning of what they can understand, by not getting flustered, and by continuing to talk or listen without necessarily understanding every word.

Good language learners use mnemonics and other memory strategies to recall what they are learning.

Good language learners make errors work for them and not against them.

Good language learners use linguistic knowledge, including knowledge of their first language, in learning a second language.

Good language learners use contextual clues to aid their comprehension of the language. They maximize use of all potential contexts around the language attended to for enhancing comprehension.

Good language learners learn to make intelligent guesses.

Good language learners learn chunks of language as wholes and formalized routines to help them perform beyond their competence. For example, they may learn idioms, proverbs, or other phrases knowing what the whole phrase means without necessarily understanding each individual part.

Good language learners learn certain tricks that keep conversations going.

Good language learners learn certain production techniques that also fill in the gaps in their own competence.

Good language learners learn different styles of speech or writing to learn to vary their language according to the formality of the situation.


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