How To Dedicate Time To Language Learning While Staying Sane
Dedicating your time to language learning can be tough. As with any other part of your life that you find difficult to dedicate your precious time to.
After all – you have to deal with the responsibilities and priorities in your life. On top of managing your career, a family, perhaps kids and the challenges you face on a day to day basis. So it makes sense to feel a little overwhelmed when you’re strapped for time.
Keeping that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of ways to dedicate your time to language learning, which will help you stay productive and focused.
1. How much time do you even have?
One of the most important questions to look at is: how much time do I even have?
If you don’t know how much time you have within 24 hours, 7 days or even 30 days down to the last second, it’s difficult to dedicate your time to anything worth pursuing.
Here’s an example of how to work it out:
- If you sleep 8 hours, you have 16 hours left in your day.
- If you work another 8 hours, you have 8 hours remaining.
- If you spend 3 hours with your family, you have 5 hours left.
- If you spend 2 hours with friends, you have 3 hours left.
In this scenario you’d have 3 hours of your day left after all is said and done. But in reality it would be even less than that when you factor in time to eat, shower, and so on. And also since certain days of the week would look different, this drastically changes the simplistic example above.
So before dedicating yourself to language learning, figure out how much time you have in a typical day, week or month. Only then are you ready to start moving on to the next steps.
2. Download a calendar app
It doesn’t matter whether you have an Iphone or Android phone. Both smartphones have apps have calendars you can use that are useful and convenient. Especially when you’re on the go.
So what app do I recommend?
If you’d prefer to use a “real” calendar, then by all means do that. Stick to whatever works best for you.
3. Throw “language learning” into your schedule
Once you’ve figured out how much time you have in point #1, you’ll know how much of your time can be dedicated to language learning. And whether you’ll have enough time to dedicate a serious amount of your time to learning your preferred language.
So with that in mind, fill in the blanks in your Google Calendar. Then when you’re ready to pay a professional for language learning, or simply free method of learning languages, you’ll know how much time you have and whether or not you can dedicate it to language learning. As well as how often.
Reading a blog like this is a good way of getting into the flow of language learning. While taking small steps that help you dedicate more of your time to language learning.
4. Record yourself
This won’t work for everyone, but recording yourself may do you wonders. When you do you’ll be able to go over your recordings of the words you’re learning, and bake that into your mind. Making it easier to remember and recall.
It’s all about repetition. The more you do it, the more familiar you’ll become with the words and sentences you’re studying.
If you use an app like Evernote, or have a simple voice recorder built into your phone, that will suffice. Otherwise you’re able to download a simple voice recorder from the app store both on your phone, tablet or computer.
5. Go over your notes
Remember what we said in point #1 about how much time you have?
By now you should have all that figured out at this point. If so, you’ll be able to make time to go over your notes and maybe recite some of the words and sentences for clarification. Also you’ll find it easier to learn the language you’re studying and will pick up on it much faster by going over your notes.
Similar to my last point, repetition is the key here. A musician who recites his lyrics is likely to memorize an entire song much faster than one who doesn’t. And going over your notes can be looked at in a similar way by dedicating time to it.
Well that’s a few ideas there. It’s hard, I’m not going to sugar coat it. You need dedication, and above all, you need to put it into your calendar. Get it done, make small, incremental progress and you’ll be closer to the goal sooner than you think. And well, you may even just enjoy the process!
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A polyglot and international traveller. Anthony speaks 6 languages and loves sharing his passion of language learning through his writing.
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