Wanting to learn a new language online? Avoid these 10 mistakes!

It’s awesome that you’ve decided to dive into the world of online language learning! We’re here to spill the beans on those mistakes that make lots of folks give up. Avoid them and fast-track your way to fluency. 

Maybe you’re looking to enhance your career prospects, connect with people from different cultures (that’s great!), or simply want to broaden your horizons…

That was the right choice: language learning is a rewarding and life-changing experience!

And there’s more: language learning online means making it more accessible and convenient.

Just don’t be carried too away – pay attention to these critical mistakes.

1. Picking the wrong language learning platform

If you’re stuck with a language learning platform that doesn’t match your groove, it can be a real buzzkill. You might get bored, frustrated, and feel like you’re not making any headway. Staying motivated could be tougher than finding a needle in a haystack. Plus, you’re burning daylight and maybe even some cash on something that’s not giving you what you need.

Before you start your online language-learning journey, make sure you choose the right platform for you. There’s a bunch of websites and apps out there designed for language learners, each with their own special way of doing things. 

Some of the well-known ones are Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone, Memrise, Anki and our Speaky app. And don’t forget about other resources like Coursera, edX, and YouTube, which offer language courses and tutorials.

The main thing is to go with the platform that suits you best, matches your personality, and serves your goals.

2. Setting unrealistic expectations

Using a language learning app with super high hopes can mess things up! Here’s why:

  • You might get really frustrated when you don’t see quick results. That frustration can make you not wanna learn the language anymore.
  • Going too hard too fast can tire you out. You might feel like you’re swimming in homework, and that can make you wanna throw in the towel.
  • Unrealistic goals can turn language learning into a snooze fest. You could end up losing interest in the language and the whole learning thing.
  • When you’re too focused on hitting unrealistic goals, you might just memorize stuff without really getting the language. That can leave you with lousy language skills.
  • Some language apps won’t flex to your needs and pace. That can make learning harder and get you down.
  • Going all-in on unrealistic language goals can waste your time and cash. You might spend too much time on one thing and forget about the other parts of the language.
  • It can make you compare yourself to others, and that’s no good. It can make you feel like you’re not good enough.

Language learning is a journey that requires time and effort. Set realistic expectations and understand that progress may not always be linear. 

There will be plateaus and moments of frustration, but persistence is key

3. Having no clear strategy

So, here’s the scoop: if you’re using a language learning platform with no clear plan or structure, you’re in for a bumpy ride. It’s like wandering around in a foreign city without a map. You might feel lost, overwhelmed, and not know which way to go. This can make it tough to stay motivated and keep making progress.

Plus, you could miss out on building a strong foundation for the language. It’s like trying to build a house without a solid base – things might come crashing down. In a nutshell, without a clear strategy, your language learning journey can feel like a bit of a wild ride without a destination in sight…

When we talk about learning online, you’re basically in charge, the boss of your own show

To keep the ball rolling, just jot down a study plan. Decide what you want to achieve each day or week and then, crucially, stick to it. Consistency is the secret sauce here, so be sure to set aside some time daily for your language learning adventure. 

Whether it’s watching cool videos, diving into interesting reads, or having a blast with chatting and writing, spice it up by using apps and websites that keep things fun and engaging. 

Oh… are you the kind of person who likes a bit more structure and guidance? Maybe you’re just not the most disciplined person, eh? You might want to think about signing up for online language courses. 

There are loads of universities and educational websites out there that offer these courses online, and they’re pretty much like being in a regular classroom. Places like Coursera and EdX are awesome because they give you access to classes from all sorts of fancy institutions from around the globe. 

4. Not giving interactive content its fair due

If you’re learning a language online and you’re ignoring all the fun interactive stuff, you might be in for a bit of a snoozefest. Those interactive resources, like language apps, chatting with language buddies, or hanging out in online language communities, can make learning exciting and real.

But if you skip them, your learning could get kinda dull and slow. You might miss out on the practical skills you need to actually use the language in the wild. Learning a language isn’t just about the books; it’s about diving into the real world of conversation and culture. So, skipping those interactive goodies can make your language journey feel a bit flat and one-dimensional.

When it comes to learning languages online, there’s a massive perk worth shouting about: the sheer amount of fun stuff you can dive into. We’re talking podcasts, YouTube videos, language exchange hangouts, and nifty apps – the list goes on!

Picture this: you can binge-listen to podcasts or binge-watch foreign films in your chosen tongue to level up your listening game. It’s like eavesdropping on real folks chit-chatting, and trust us, that’s gold for mastering a new language!

5. Neglecting cultural context

Using a language learning program online without a cultural context can have several disadvantages:

  • Cultural knowledge is vital for interpreting idiomatic expressions, social norms, and etiquette.
  • Without cultural context, learners may find it challenging to communicate effectively and may inadvertently offend or misinterpret others.
  • Without exposure to the culture, learners might not fully grasp these contextual meanings, leading to misunderstandings.
  • Learning about traditions, literature, and history associated with the language can enhance motivation and interest in the learning process.
  • Without cultural context, learners may not be prepared for situations like travel, work, or interacting with native speakers.
  • Learning a language solely academically without considering cultural context may result in learners not understanding or effectively using informal language.
  • Without a cultural context, learners might not acquire accurate pronunciation and intonation.
  • A lack of cultural context may limit opportunities for language immersion, which is a powerful way to accelerate language learning.

Getting the cultural vibe of a language can totally spice up your language learning. Dig into the culture, traditions, and history of the folks who speak it. It’s not just more fun, but it’ll also level up your language skills. 

6. Ignoring language learning apps

Here’s the deal: if you’re learning a language online and ditching those language learning apps, you’re giving up some nifty tools that could make your journey a whole lot easier and more fun. These apps offer you structured lessons, interactive games, and all kinds of cool stuff that keeps you engaged and on track.

Without them, your learning could get a bit… well, boring. You might miss out on the convenience of learning whenever and wherever, plus the instant feedback they provide. 

Going app-less in your language learning journey is missing out on all those fun interactive quizzes, snazzy flashcards, and lively chatbots. Without them, your language adventure might become a bit less exciting and a tad more like an uphill climb through a dense forest, where you’re left deciphering road signs in a foreign land without a map…

Language learning apps are like your personal language buddies in your pocket! 

Speaky, Duolingo, Memrise – these apps got your back, giving you a step-by-step guide to mastering a new language. They cover all the bases: words, grammar, and even how to sound like a pro.

And the best part? They turn learning into a game. Fun, right? 

7. Forgetting the importance of reading

Here’s the scoop: if you’re learning a language online and you’re giving reading the cold shoulder, you’re missing out on a big piece of the puzzle. Reading is like your secret weapon for boosting vocab, nailing down sentence structure, and even becoming a better writer.

When you skip reading, your language journey might get a bit one-sided, mostly focused on talking and listening. But, you know, like 90% of what you learn about the world comes from reading stuff!

To kick reading off, begin with the easy-peasy stuff like kids’ books, news blurbs, or some casual blog posts. As you get the hang of it, crank it up a notch and tackle those hefty novels in your target language.

8. Setting unclear goals

The downside of using a language learning platform without a clear goal is like wandering in a maze without a map. You’re kind of all over the place, not really sure where you’re headed. It’s easy to lose motivation and get stuck in a cycle of uncertainty. Plus, your efforts might feel like they’re just scattered all over the place, and you could end up not reaching the level of fluency you really want. So, having no clear goal can make your language learning journey feel like a bit of a wild goose chase.

Please, be specific!

When you’re embarking on your language-learning adventure, it’s crucial to set clear and doable goals. Think about why you want to learn this new language. Is it for a trip, work, or just personal growth? Your goals will shape your study plan and how you go about it. Having a clear sense of purpose will keep you motivated and on track.

9. Forgetting to ask for feedback 

Learning a language online with zero feedback and corrections has some downsides: 

  • Stuck with mistakes
  • Slow progress
  • Communication woes
  • Bad habits
  • Confidence cracks
  • Hard self-assessment
  • Not-so-great learning
  • Motivation drop

Receiving feedback and corrections is essential for improving your language skills. In our Speaky community, you will have feedback from your partners. Constructive feedback is invaluable in refining your language abilities.

10. Ignoring language learning communities

Here’s the lowdown: if you’re learning a language online and steering clear of language exchange groups, you’re missing out on some serious real-world action.

Those communities are like a treasure trove of opportunities to chat with native speakers and fellow learners. It’s like a language playground where you can sharpen your speaking and listening skills, and get a sneak peek into the culture.

But if you give them a pass, your language learning might stay in the textbook zone, and you could find it hard to actually use the language in everyday life. Learning a language isn’t just about rules and words; it’s about connecting with people and diving into the culture. 

So, skipping those language exchange groups can make your language journey feel a bit artificial and disconnected from the real deal.

Getting in on the action with exciting communities of people who are all about the same language-learning hustle can seriously amp up your game. 

We’re talking about places like Speaky and iTalki, where you can find your very own language exchange buddy. Plus, hopping into online forums or social media groups can be a goldmine of insights, encouragement, and chances to flex those language muscles. You will leave stereotypes behind!

To finish…

All you’ve gotta do to effectively learn a new language online is to scout out the best platform – Speaky -, set your language goals, sketch out a study plan that suits your groove and… join online communities to boost your learning!”. 

Once you’ve got that roadmap, you’re on the fast track to an exciting language adventure.

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