What is vital to learning a new language? Making one or two friends. That’s it. Your friends will motivate you and push you to communicate.
I’m guessing you already have eight to ten people in your circle of influence. Meaning next door neighbors, co-workers and people you see on a regular basis. These relationships will fire you up to get “out there.”
I learned this principle first hand with my third language-Thai Lue. I moved into a Lue village where I got to know my good friend Praphan. I met him at our local village church. After my first Sunday worship there, he came up to me and said,
“I know you came here to learn Thai Lue. I want to help you.”
The next day I went out and helped Praphan load bags of rice at his relative’s house. While I diverted the sweat rivulets from my eyes, He taught question words, phrases and idioms to me. I don’t think I could ever repay Praphan for how much he helped me. The thing is, I was inspired to learn Lue because I really liked Praphan. We liked to laugh, eat food together and talk about spiritual matters.
What I’m not saying is language apps, sentence drills, and audio files, are unimportant. But your greatest resource is the national people you’re living among. Your language learning will take a turn for the best. Make one or two friends. That will make the difference in your language learning.
Do you find this principle true with your experiences?