Based on what I’ve learned from experience and in my training as an ESL instructor and communication coach, here are a few tips and reminders that I like to share with my clients:
Motivation powers your learning.
When we choose to take action, we are more likely to follow through and finish something that is difficult. None of us like to be told what to do; instead, we need to feel that we are in control and making decisions about how to get things done.
Find and use the learning strategies that work best for you.
Be aware of how you learn best, what strategies have worked for you in the past, what your best learning experiences have been. See the patterns in your moments of success, and try to apply them to challenging communication situations.
Use it or lose it. And I mean really use it.
As simple as this sounds, it actually points to the benefits of immersing yourself in a language, as opposed to only studying the language in a classroom or by yourself. Research shows that an adult language immersion learner develops the ability to process a language like a native-language speaker, while language classroom learners do not.
Your adult brain is not “old”, it is an extremely capable learning machine!
Our brains are “plastic”! Neuroscience research tells us that as we age, our brains continue to build pathways for learning if we make efforts to stretch by challenging what we already know by learning and discovering new things.