Returning to a language after taking a long break

When learning a new language you ideally want to be maintaining a regular study routine. However, for whatever reason you may find yourself going a long time without practicing or using your target language.

I’ve recently returned to studying Mandarin Chinese after over a yearlong break – here are the top tips that I use, and can hopefully help you ease back into making progress on your language learning journey.

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Remembering new vocabulary

One of the major keys to developing fluency in a foreign language is having a good grasp of its vocabulary. Without knowing many words, you’ll have a difficult time expressing yourself. I’ve read various studies that put fluency at knowing anywhere between 3000-5000 words (add a few extra thousand if you want to enter native territory).

Learning (and remembering) an entirely new bank of vocabulary can seem like a daunting task so here are 5 tips to help you remember new vocabulary:

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Fitting language practice around a busy schedule

I’d be lying if I told you that you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to learn a new language. And for many of us who lead busy lives and constantly juggle priorities – the thought of this alone is enough to discourage us from following up on a language we’ve always wanted to learn.

Once you decide to learn a new language, you need to commit. In other words you need to stay consistent. Achieving consistency with a busy schedule is not easy, but with a bit of determination and focus – a busy life does not need to spell the end of your language learning dreams.

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