Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:38:07 +0000Geralde Vincent-BancroftAs a language teacher I have noticed that the number one excuse given is “lack of time”. I hear very often sentences like this one: ” I would study a foreign language if only I could find time”.
So why is it that even though most of us have to juggle work, family commitments, social…
As a language teacher I have noticed that the number one excuse given is “lack of time”. I hear very often sentences like this one: ” I would study a foreign language if only I could find time”.
So why is it that even though most of us have to juggle work, family commitments, social interactions, some of us can still find time to include learning a language in our busy schedule, and some can’t?
The answer is simple: Motivation. First you need to have a mindset change and make sure that the reasons why you wish to learn a language are powerful enough. You should visualise the benefits this will bring to you and suddenly you’ll realise that time is not a real issue.
There is a massive misconception that to study a language you need to clear out 1 to 2 hours back to back. It is proven in various investigative publications that you retain more information with shorter study periods. A valid reason is because your level of concentration is higher.
You can adapt your learning to fit your schedule. Find 10-15 minutes here and there throughout the day to include a learning activity. Be specific about your timetable; the more specific, the easier it will be to stick to it.
Next, establish a set of mini-goals. For example, you can break a film into chunks and listen only to 10-15 minutes of it on your commute. On your lunch break read the transcript of the audio you previously listened to and highlight the words you don’t understand. At night, before going to bed, look up these words in the dictionary and memorise them. Make a note to revise them somewhere down the line. Without noticing it you completed a whole daily activity.
The following day your goal might be to include these new words in a 10 minutes conversation via Skype or Facebook Messenger with a friend from your target Country or with language partners that you can find online.This will give you a mini goal to work towards.
Some other day you might want to study 2 pages of your textbook paying attention to grammar structures. At night try to replicate what you’ve just learned writing similar sentences in a notebook .
Whilst in a queue you might wish to study a few more vocabulary. Technology is very helpful with an array of flashcard repetition Apps around. You could as well describe to yourself in your target language the guy in front of you or the woman behind you. Start with physical descriptions: clothes colour, hair, eyes and other characteristics and carry on with your impressions about them. Practice discretely, I wouldn’t want you to end up in hospital for offending anyone.
There are a lot of other productive activities that you can do like writing a journal, your to-do list in your target language. Describing the world around you, can be a powerful tool.
As you can see, not having time to learn a language is just an excuse that you tell yourself . If you’re serious about acquiring a second tongue you need:
* A mindset change
* to establish achievable mini-goals
* Time management skills
* Motivation: which will help you stick to your routine.
Start with little steps, it will be beneficial for two reasons: first it will be noticeable to you that these tasks are doable and you will get then a sense of achievement. On the other hand it will be easier to stick to your language routine and this will become a habit overtime.
How do you practice your language skills? Please comment below.
MOTIVATION WEEKLY PLANNER
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