How to get back into language study after a break

November 10, 2023

We all take breaks from learning a language.

Perhaps you’ve taken time off over the summer and are now going back to school, college or work. Or maybe you’ve just lost motivation after a long, relaxing holiday.

Whatever the reason, you’re most likely reading this because you want to dust off those language skills (what a fantastic decision!).

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Now, starting your language learning again might feel like a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be if you start with the right approach.

Here are our top tips on how to get back into language study after a break:

Remind yourself of your goals

First and foremost:

Why did you start learning a language to begin with?

Language learning requires motivation, so start off by reminding yourself what your goals are.

It doesn’t matter if they’re serious goals or casual ones – what matters is that they’re important to you and encourage you to take your language learning seriously.

“Begin with the end in mind” is a great principle that you can apply to any kind of learning.

Ease yourself back into learning

Picture this:

You haven’t exercised for the entire summer and you try to run a marathon.

How would you rate your chances of finishing?

The age-old ‘tortoise and the hare’ adage springs to mind…

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After a long break from learning a language, you’ll want to take things slowly to begin with. Start with short but regular practice, and work your way up from there.

That brings us to our next tip…

Create an action plan (and stick to it)

A language learning plan doesn’t have to be in depth or overly detailed.

To keep things simple (and increase your chances of sticking to your plan) we recommend planning the following:

    • When you’ll learn – this could be as simple as deciding you’re going to start with 10 minutes every day in your first week.
  • How you’ll learn – in short, the tools and material you’re going to use to study your language. This could be anything from an app like busuu, to reading books and listening to podcasts in your target language.

And that’s it!

Did you know that busuu Premium features a unique Study Plan to help you stay on track with your learning?

Balance fun with serious learning

For your first few weeks, it’s a good idea to mix fun methods of learning with serious ones.


Because you’re more likely to commit to something you enjoy doing than a task you consider a chore.

So consider dividing your study time between, for example, revising grammar and binging on your favourite Spanish películas.

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Once you’re back in full swing, increase the time you spend on ‘serious’ language learning. But make sure you still leave some time to relax!

Celebrate initial progress

Hopefully you’ll start to notice some progress in your first few weeks.

To keep motivation levels high, don’t forget to reflect on whatever progress you’ve made.

Even better, give yourself a small reward. Our favourite is ice cream…

Don’t forget:

Successfully learning a foreign language requires good learning habits. And it’s okay to take short breaks – little and often. Just make sure you don’t put off learning for too long…

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