When you are on the beautiful journey of learning a foreign language, you need some tools to help you with that. Dictionaries, books, apps, Youtube videos, penpal friends, pencils, markers, podcasts, Instagram…AND A NOTEBOOK (or more than one). This little friend will be at your side always, and you need to organize it in order for it to work at its full potential.
Having a notebook to study the foreign language you love seems like is not a big deal, but actually, it is. A notebook can help you get inspired and motivated whenever you need a boost on both things.
Every time I start learning a new language, I purchase a new notebook or reuse an old one. It’s so motivating to start writing on it and practicing vocabulary and grammar patterns that everything seems more inspiring. You can do whatever you want in your language studies notebook because is yours! You can just write on it and highlight the important things, or you can put images and draw in there if you are a visual learner. Whatever you choose to do, you are completely free to do it.
Although I love books and websites, I think having your own notebook makes you feel more connected with your learning path. You decide what are you going to learn or review, you choose the format, the colors and the size of pictures or draws. Being creative also gives you the possibility of making the language your own. For those reasons, I think that sometimes having your language notebook is SO important and much better than just having grammar books or dictionaries of your target language.
If you like learning languages but don’t feel like you are achieving anything yet, think about the possibility of having a notebook to study and practice. In this post, I will tell you how to organize your notebook and some ideas for you to include in there.
Keep reading if you feel like this is something you need in your life!
As this is going to be your notebook, you can choose the distribution of the different contents and activities you may include there. But still, I want to help you by giving you an example of how you can organize your beautiful languages notebook.
This is just an idea and you can either borrow it or not, it’s up to you!
- Goal setting page
- Motivational page
- List of contents
- Basic vocabulary
- Basic grammar
- Specific and useful vocabulary
- Complex grammar
Want to see more about the previous list? I will explain it to you in more detail right now.
For me, having a clear vision of what I want to achieve in whatever I am into, is fundamental. When you are starting a new thing in your life, you need to know how far you want to go with that. It doesn’t matter if is about a relationship, a job, studies or traveling. Of course is nice to go with the flow and let the universe guide you to your final destiny, but you also have to think about what YOU want. In the case of learning languages, you can write about what level you expect to be at a certain time or what do you expect to learn.
In my case, I did the previous exercise with Korean. My goal was (and still is) to be able to understand Korean shows without subtitles. I don’t want to be excellent at the language (although it would be really cool) or know very complex grammar so that I can be able to teach it. I truly just want to be fluent when speaking, understand more reading texts, be able to journal in Korean and have a nice listening comprehension.
So what are your goals? How far do you want to go with the language? Start your notebook asking yourself those questions.
Motivational pages are like vision boards but in small. The idea is that you write whatever inspires you to learn your target language. That may include quotes, poems, song lyrics, isolated words, etc. But you can also include pictures, doodles, draws, and whatever makes you feel motivated to study and practice. This page is useful because whenever you feel disconnected from your target language or you are not in the mood, you can look at your motivational page and feel the passion for learning again in your soul. If that doesn’t work a specific day, then just try to rest. You shouldn’t push yourself to study every single day if your mind doesn’t want to.
Immediately after that, you can create a list of contents to study. You can do it at the beginning so that you have a clear view of what you will learn (like if you were in college or taking a language class). This will boost your mood because you’ll see all the things you want to know and don’t know already. You can also create the list as you study with your notebook. Maybe you can decide on a random topic to study and incorporate it into your list of contents AFTER you learned it. I would leave two pages for that because you never know how many things you can learn using that notebook.
Read my post: 5 Tips on How to Organize Yourself to Learn a Language
Ok, so learning the alphabet of your target language is crucial. If you are studying something like Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arab, etc. I truly recommend you to start learning the alphabet at the beginning. It’s so important that you know it so that you stop romanizing every new word you learn. At first is hard to get used to a new writing system, but is SO much better and with time you’ll feel cool about it. Something that happened to me was that as soon as I learned Hangul (the Korean alphabet), my pronunciation improved so much that I couldn’t believe it! It happened the same with Russian. Before that, I thought that learning a new alphabet would be impossible, and now guess what? I love doing it! Actually, knowing the alphabet is my favorite part of learning a foreign language.
Learning how to pronounce in your target language is fundamental if you really want to be fluent at it. Of course that you can also be understood by natives if your pronunciation is not perfect, but if you want to master any language, you should pay attention to this thing in particular. Apart from that, having a good pronunciation gives you more confidence to speak the language. It increases your self-esteem and prepares you to communicate better with foreigners. Set some pages in your notebook to go deep into the basics of pronunciation in your target language. If it’s too difficult for you, you can always relate foreign sounds to your native language sounds. Go to youtube and search for some videos; there are tons of people teaching language pronunciation out there for everyone to practice FOR FREE.
These are the words that we learned as kids in our mother tongue. Colors, animals, numbers, clothes, family, etc. You need to start with this because they are very common. If you want to learn just what is most useful for you, then you could learn the animals that you can see in your country or city, the colors you tend to talk about, the family members you live with, etc. In these pages, you can include pictures or draws to make it more visual and easier to learn.
Read my post: Use This Checklist to Study Languages Every Week!
This is as simple as past, present, and future. Learn the simple patterns and practice as much as you can. Try to learn the verbs in their different formats (past, present, and future) and create your own sentences (or steal some on the internet). Search for the most common verbs in your target language and you’ll find lots of lists with plenty of verbs for you to learn. Practice and practice, because this part is one of the hardest when you are learning a new language.
Remember when I told you to learn the most specific vocabulary if you don’t want to learn all the basic ones? Well, now it’s the time for you to search for all the words that you tend to say more often in your native language. What is your career or your hobbies? Try to learn the things that you like and talk about with your family and friends. When you study vocabulary that resonates within your life, it is much easier to acquire it.
When you have already learned the basic grammar patterns, you can move on to more complex ones. Try to go slow but safe with this because verbs and grammar sometimes (almost always) tend to be very confusing. Practice one pattern or grammar rule at a time and try to get with as many examples as you can before moving to the next one. Create your own example sentences to make it more motivational.
This is something that helped me to improve my English a lot and I just can’t recommend you enough. Writing and letting go your words and feelings connects your brain with your soul. Doing this you make your practice more valuable and increase your fluency to communicate in your target language. Set some pages to do it at the end of your notebook or do it in random pages as you work on it. You can do it once a week, every day, twice a month, whenever you want to. Start simple at first, make short paragraphs or poems, and then move on to more large texts. If you are into journaling as a daily practice for meditation, you can start journaling in your target language as well! Remember you don’t have to be perfect, so don’t over stress. Just go with the flow and write the words that come into your head.
Read my post: Create your Own Language Studies Curriculum Right Now!
So this is the time I’ve been waiting for so long. It’s time I make the announcement I told you some time ago about.
Do you remember my languages project? Well, I just released my first Ebook!
My Ebook is called Sweven, which means ‘a vision seen in a dream’. This project was a dream for me because I thought a lot about it since last year, and now it’s finally out for sale for you to have it.
Sweven is a practical workbook that is like a notebook for your languages studies. You can use it instead of a notebook or together with it. This workbook is for all of you who desire to learn a foreign language but don’t want to take classes or pay for online teachers to help you.
The Ebook is for you to download it and print it as many times as you want so that you can study more than one language if that is what you wish to do.
What does the workbook contain?
- Pages to plan your language learning journey.
- Goal setting page.
- Basic grammar and vocabulary pages.
- Pages to learn vocabulary that is useful for you.
- Create your own self-introduction pages.
- First oral presentation planning.
- Review pages.
- Different activities for each content.
- And more!
As I told you before, you can use this ebook instead of a notebook because it will guide you to every step you need to take when learning a new language. You can use it in whatever level you are but is most useful if you are in the beginner stage.
You can print it or write on it from your technological device if you want to. You will also need internet connection or a dictionary/book of your target language so that you’ll be able to complete all the information that is required for you to study.
Is like having a notebook already made for you to start working on it. Doesn’t it sound cool?
If you love learning languages I am sure you would like to have this in your life. Practising will be easier because you will have everything already set up for your language acquisition.
If you are interested in purchasing it or see some pages inside, go to the following link.
>> Are you struggling to learn a foreign language on your own? Check out my course down below!
Have a beautiful day ahead!