In my MA program, we talk about “metacognitive strategies.” These strategies are ways you consciously think about how to learn, use, and remember information or skills. One way to think about it is “learning how to learn better.” This article, Hacking Knowledge, lists 77 different ways to learn better. I don’t agree with all of them, but take a look. (You might want to scroll down to where the numbered list begins.)
Setting goals is one technique they mention. (I really need to do this myself!) Write down a list of your language-learning goals. Be specific: don’t write “become fluent,” but things like “have a long conversation with a stranger.” Discuss the goals with someone else to be sure the goals are reasonable. Then put the goals somewhere you’ll see them often, such as stored in your cell phone, in an open document on your computer, or pinned to your wall. Various studies have shown that having specific goals can lead to more accomplishments.
Have you ever tried this or any of the other 77 ways to learn? Did it help you? (Or do you have a suggestion that’s not on their list?)