If possible, study the language every day. Many studies have proved that it is better to study for a shorter time everyday than study for a long period only one or two days a week.
Try to set a schedule and stick to it. If you want to study more it’s alright, but do not study to the point of fatigue. If you’re going to study for more than one hour, plan also taking short breaks to rest.
Review the contents
Always review what you studied at least once a week. This serves to enhance the knowledge and to check if you absorbed well all the subject. Do not wait weeks to review, because by the time, you’ll have forgotten most of what you knew.
If you are unsure of your knowledge in some topic do not go deeper into the subject. Best review and get the basics right.
Set goals and put them in writing. Small and measurable objectives work the best. For example, “I’m going to learn XX kanjis at XX weeks” is better than “I want to achieve proficiency in X months of study”. If you reach your goal give yourself a prize.
Sometimes, when we are studying a language, it seems that we are not progressing. That happens mainly when we are at intermediate or advanced level, and we have the impression that we are not learning anything new. This is quite normal; everybody that studies languages feel that way in some point of the journey. Do not get discouraged because of this, the best strategy to overcome this problem is to temporarily change the material or method that are being used and remember the reasons you first decided to learn the language.
Do not be afraid to make mistakes
Often we are afraid to make mistakes or to speak in the wrong way in front of colleagues, teachers or native speakers. But do not be scared, the most important thing in this kind of situation is to practice and to get your message across. If you are in a more advanced level, ask the person you’re chatting to point out your mistakes. It is not common for a foreigner laugh of your mistakes, but if happens do not get angry or upset with her/him, if the situation were reversed, you would probably laugh also.
Do not settle down
Do not assume that just because you understand most things or can keep a conversation that you should stop studying. If you don’t keep in touch with the language you’re going to lose fluency. Of course, you don’t need to keep studying every day. But, remember that there is always a new word to learn.
Above all have some fun while studying. Studying a language doesn’t mean you have to stay on a chair all day long. Listening to music, reading, watching TV, playing games, chatting with new people and travelling around are a few of fun things you can do while learning a language.