In a word: Yes. You can also learn to juggle, play guitar, and stand on your head at the same time—no problem. But it's NOT something I would recommend for beginners. It’s not reasonable to build a foundation in several languages at once. It would mean constantly playing catch-up in both languages because you’re forcing too much information into your memory. 😉
But if you're on an intermediate level in several languages and trying to keep those skills alive (and working to go from passive skills to actually employing the language), then YES, you can do that if you take the time for it.
In this blog post, I will explain what to consider when you're learning several languages at the same time with the Speakly app. Based on that, you can decide whether it's something you would like to do. ☝️
1. Choose Languages That Are Fundamentally Different
If you study two similar languages, you run the risk of mixing up both languages and failing to build a solid foundation in either one.
It's confusing for your brain to learn similar languages; it doesn't know which words should go into which cupboard, and so you accumulate quite a mess of information. So, don't study Spanish and Italian at the same time. You’ll get confused and mix up the languages while speaking.
If you choose different-sounding languages from different language families—like Spanish and Finnish—you won't mix them up. 🚀
2. Study Both Languages Daily
As you already know, making progress in a foreign language depends solely on one thing: Are you learning daily? Research says that your brain needs a reliable daily dose of the foreign language; if that doesn't happen, you won't get to where you want to be. Simple as that.
So, be realistic about your daily schedule and answer the following questions.
Can I learn at least five to ten new words daily with Speakly?
Can I find approximately fifteen minutes daily to do my daily listening exercise?
Can I take ten minutes daily to review learned words, read grammar, and complete some other Speakly exercises?
For many people, the answer to these three questions would be yes for a single language (which requires investing around thirty minutes into your language skills per day), but not for several languages. 😉
Just ask yourself: Can you take one hour per day to learn two languages? If you can, go for it! There is nothing better than improving your language skills. It will raise your self-confidence and give you actual skills that you can use to discover the world.
3. Avoid Multitasking
Nobody is good at multitasking. Even if you think you are, research clearly shows that no one is. Although multitasking may leave you feeling like you’ve done a whole lot, the results will say otherwise. Research insists that people who focus on one thing at a time reach better results.
So, while learning languages, take time to focus on a single task. With Speakly, it's super simple to do—just keep in mind that you have to complete the following tasks daily.
Reach your daily goal (five to ten new words daily).
Complete your daily listening (about ten to fifteen minutes).
And if you feel extra motivated, you can do extra stuff.
Review previously learned words.
Practice speaking with LIVE-situations.
Move from one task to another and ask yourself whether it’s realistic to integrate these actions into your daily schedule in two languages. It’s relatively easy to do with one language but learning two languages requires a bit of planning!
4. Don’t Rush!
Studying two languages at once means you won’t learn either one as quickly as you would if you were studying a single language. 🚀
It may take longer to learn two languages, and you may need to get a little creative about how you approach the process, so don’t beat yourself up if you feel like your progress is slow. Take it at a pace that’s right for you. If you’re committed, consistent, and passionate about studying both languages, then you will succeed.