1. Head Start

According to their daughter, first prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew and his wife Kwa Geok Choo said “Languages were best learnt young, when the brain is most plastic.”

2. Get Ready, Go!

Earlier is better than later when it comes to language learning. As soon as your child is aged two, start finding a suitable class for your child. If you are no longer a child – well better late then never but when it comes to languages the early bird really does catch the worm!

3. Expert Energy

A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client. Have you ever wondered what that adage means? It means that a person who tries to do his own legal work is actually stupid because when you need advice and assistance another person may provide you with a better input.

We also need expert input at times or another's input which is helpful, and not just when we have legal challenges. When it comes to language learning, getting help will act as a leg up and you can travel faster.

4. Work Hard, Play Hard

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Make time for fun or better still when learning a language make the time for as much fun as possible. Getting the balance during study and professional life is an art!

5. Polish

Language development doesn’t just happen naturally. It takes the assistance and patience of a whole village usually. When I watch American TV reality shows I am often amazed at the number of grammatical errors especially with the use of adjectives and adverbs, not to mention verb tenses. Be prepared to spend a lifetime practicing and polishing up your languages including your mother tongue!

6. Practice Makes Perfect

You have heard this adage so many times that it is a classic cliché (an overused expression). Perhaps it is overused because we know it to be so true! Many British native speakers have a book on the go for all of their lives. This may be a traditional practice nowadays but is still worth emulating.

7.Reading is Key

Reading is key for language development. In the Singapore press, Lee Wei Ling revealed her study habits when she was a student. For Chinese, she had a tutor and they read Dream of the Red Chamber in its classical form. When she had an English tutor, she read Shakespeare and conversed about it. She opines that these were not her favorite activities but the effort helped, she says.

8. Put Your Money where your Mouth is!

Some people feel that the adage Practice Makes Perfect is not a perfect adage itself! The reason being that if we are practicing in an imperfect way we are not going to perfect our practice. Thus put your money where your mouth and practice in a public way! Lee Wei Ling reveals in the Singapore press that she was encouraged to write articles and publish them. If that is too much for you, consider a diary or a blog. In the day of the blog, you could write something daily and post it! I still think daily practice like the daily dozen works wonders even if it is not at the same level as a professor of English.

9. A Journey of a Thousand Miles Starts with the First Step

I am no professor of English either but that does not stop me in my quest to be the best English teacher possible. Whatever your quest, we all have to start somewhere but start we must and daily we must toil away.

10. Repetition is the Mother of Skill

This is one of my favorite expressions and one I feel many people are too impatient to do. Practice includes repetition. Practice includes going over and over and over what you have learnt or should have learnt. One of my greatest law teachers was the eminent lawyer Fred Philpott. He said if it is not in your head then you don’t know it! He said that for success you have no time to keep looking things up – get as much into your head and you will be faster in your professional life.

11. Inspiration

The best teachers are also your mentors. There is a value in sourcing for the greatest teacher too – they leave a lasting impression and for all your life you will be recalling their great examples and their great sayings. You can actually live some of the tips your teachers teach you. Source for the most inspirational teachers while you learn, and their teaching will continue playing in your mind and actions for the rest of your life.

12. Religious Zeal

We are all aware of religious zeal. Sometimes we need zeal to add the power to our studies and professional success. Find ways to put more zeal in all you do.

Sources for the quotes by Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Wei Ling: Lee Wei Ling is the daughter of Lee Kuan Yew.
The Sunday Times (The Straits Times), When tuition was optional, 23 September 2012 by Lee Wei Ling

Author's Bio: 

I am an English specialist with I CAN READ. I have worked for major British institutions – British Council, British High Commission, British Railways Board and Linguaphone. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. I am an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). Email susanmckenzie2003@yahoo.co.uk about I CAN READ. For more on English, self-improvement, blessings and business success: www.abetoday.com