Research-backed insights for language learning

Best Time to Plant a Tree + Learn a Language

Foresight to Plant a Tree

Last weekend the sun was shining and the temperature was somewhere between amazing and perfect. Strung between two strong trees, I laid in my hammock, appreciating the vibrant blue of the sky and the rich green hue of the leaves that stretched and swayed above me. I felt grateful to be in that very moment as I swung gently in the breeze, noticing the rise and fall of my chest as together the earth and I breathed.

A week ago, I watched my children lay a blanket out under the shade of the same two trees and play a card game. Without protection from the sun’s rays, I don’t think they would have lasted more than 5 or 10 minutes. But as it was, I watched through the window as they played hand after hand, laughing and making memories together.

I’ve watched birds make homes in the branches of those trees. We’ve had picnics and conversations and watched countless sunsets—all with the trees as constant and beautiful fixtures.

Someone who wasn’t me had the foresight to plant our cherished trees and without them, we would surely feel their lack. As I thought more about the trees I realized a profound truth: the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.

Foresight With Foreign Language Fluency

This truth can be applied in many circumstances. What seeds will you wish you had planted twenty years from now? Exercise, nutrition, wearing sunscreen? I imagine if you are here, reading these thoughts, you might answer learning to speak a foreign language.

Acquiring a foreign language is much like cultivating a growing tree. Small, consistent, daily efforts produce extraordinary results. A tree only needs a little bit of daily sunshine and water to grow into it’s strong and proud form, capable of providing joy, connection, and memories. Similarly, you only need small doses of consistent daily exposure and practice with your target language to create joy, connection, and memories.

Your Future Self Will Thank You

With time and dedication, your efforts with learning a foreign language will gift you with unique life experiences. You’ll become more empathetic, more patient, and more courageous. You’ll meet people you wouldn’t otherwise be fortunate enough to know and you’ll experience life in a greater capacity.

But don’t wait twenty years to get started. Twenty years will pass by whether you continually move closer to your goal of fluency or not. Start your fluency journey today, right now. Your future (and fluent) self will thank you!

Have questions on how to get started? Email me, Brittany, at and I’ll be happy to help!

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