¨You cannot copy what the superstar weightlifters, guitar players or super-star linguists do every day because you are not in the right developmental stage to do that yet.¨ - Anthony Lauder a.k.a FluentCzech
Lauder explained that he tried to emulate the daily routine of successful language learners, and found himself increasingly frustrated by it. When one is emulating the athlete, doing everything the athlete does, it follows that one will start to feel like they just can´t do it. For the professional language learners, we know routine is the backbone of any language learning program. Routines facilitate teaching and learning.Routines make life easier and save valuable time. As we are self-taught language learners, routines are good for the teacher in ourselves and the student in ourselves. His video first put into question, at least for me, is it realistic that any Tom, Jane or Sue watch someone like Mike Campbell, McCormick, or Loki, emulate what they do, and become just like them?
I have watched Alexander Arguelles video, Polyglots Linguistic Workout, many times. I had to wonder, how on earth can a person do 25% of his daily routine? That is just crazy. What about family, children, and life?
Lauder continued his athletic routine, he found that after going through the process there was a significant shift in his approach to language learning. In his video, he explained the shift in the following way:
Heroism (okay, this is going to be painful, this is going to hurt my brain...but god dammit!!! I am gonna do it)
Persistence (having an internal believe that results will come if I work at it every day.)
Analysis (god dammit, I am going to break a sweat learning the grammar, rules, and flogging myself!!)
Absorption (not caring that I do not understand everything, fitting things together over time. )
Hard Work ( not satisfied until I knew that I broke the sweat, suffered, and pained through it)
Working Hard (the work itself does not have to be strenuous. This is where the persistence pays off. Rely absorbing through repetition)
He tied this all together explaining how one gets a PhD. You do it by writing one paragraph at a time. The analogy would then be - take language learning one paragraph at a time. Remember Asope´s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare.
I take the same approach when I am jogging. I could say to myself ¨Okay, I have to run this track six times to complete two miles.Instead, I focus on one loop at a time. Eventually, I do work up to that goal of two miles a day. Things are easier when we take things in small bits.
I hope you watch his video. These are the videos linguists should be watching. There is a wealth of good advice when it comes to language learning. I hope to reproduce as much of that good advice as I can in this blog.