Thursday, June 28, 2012

The real secret to language learning

The Real Secret To Language Learning
Okay, so I am going to ask you a question about your study habits. Answer the Questions honestly.

It is better to study...

A. Forty Minutes Monday, Wednesday, Friday
B. Thirty Minutes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
C. Twenty Minutes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
D. Three hours every Saturday

The Correct Answer is at the bottom of this blog....

Language learning is not something you should do in chunks. If you want to become fluent, you must spread out your time. It is far better to spend less time studying several days a week than to try and ‘cram’ the material in all at once. Cramming works if you are learning science, but it does not work with foreign languages. Trust me. I have studied four foreign languages, and am now upon my fifth. Cramming DOES NOT WORK.

 Language learning is different from learning history, geography, or science. It must be done daily, in small doses of fifteen to twenty minutes. The only time I have ever crammed is when I had to review the material for an exam. I never in my life tried to learn new material by cramming before an exam. It would be insane to try that.

So – here is the secret to language learning. Make a study schedule and stick to it. Spread that language learning time out over the week. The more you spread it, the better you will be.
I have been listening to Mandarin Chinese for fifteen minutes a day every day. And that is it. I will not even consider going over fifteen minutes a day right now.

Fifteen minutes a day is something we all can do. Make a list of every free minute you have. (sitting in traffic, subway, bus, walking, bathing, cooking). Do not tell me that you do not have free time because you do have it. If you really cannot find it – then make it and schedule it.

If you know how to make time for your language, you will learn it. I promise you that. The magic will happen. If this is something that you do not get, guess what, you will never learn the language.

The reason so many people fail at language learning is because either they do not know how to study, or they are lazy.

So, there you have it. The secret to language learning. It is probably not what you want to hear, but it is the truth. It takes many years to become fluent in a language. 

Oh...and the correct answer to the question? In the image below. Can you read upside down?

1 comment:

PalinPower said...

Very interesting idea. I used to often find my self dedicating a large portion of a day to language learning, and then feeling proud of myself, I would take a few days off. But you really lose a lot of what you learn that way. The cramming doesn't work, this is true. I got a lot of A's on vocab exams in Spanish class, but never really retained any of that information because of it. I think it is best to study once a day for 30-45 minutes right before you go to bed. I can't remember where I read it, but the brain logs information when you sleep, so that any studying you do before drifting off is retained better than if you were to study it mid-day.

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