Language Learning Schedule – 5 Easy Tips
A language learning schedule is boring.
Consistency is overrated.
These are some the terms you may have heard when learning a skill for the first time. Make no mistake – learning a language can be tough work. You will have frustrations and moments where you want to pull your hair out.
This is all natural.
The process of learning a language is filled with ups and downs – much like a roller coaster ride. I’ve been through the mill and feel your pain. Frustrations like getting confused about when to use para or por for Spanish or how to answer a question in the negative for French.
I have what I believe to be a panacea to your troubles.
A daily language learning schedule.
Yes, boring I know.
You can thank me later.
Daily Language Learning Schedule
Having a daily schedule can reduce the above frustrations in a big way. For one, it shows commitment to the language you are currently learning. Secondly it builds the habits in order to become truly proficient at any skill.
The Japanese [one of the most hardworking nations in the world] have a method called the Kaizen method which focuses on incremental and continuous improvement. Kaizen is the Japanese word for improvement.
How does this relate to learning a language?
Well when you implement a daily schedule for learning a new language you are implementing the Kaizen method. This will build habits which, over time, will result in great improvements in your language building skills.
How do I start a language building schedule?
This is a relatively straightforward activity that can have great benefits down the line.
When you wake up you are groggy, hair unkempt and sleep in your eyes.
You are most likely not ready for anything intense so you’ll start with something relatively simple that is not only fun but is also informative.
See my top 3 free Spanish resources for more info.
This is step 1.
Now most people are either students or are working a job and commutes there. Most people consider sitting in traffic a total waste of time [I know I used to]. I look at it as an opportunity to learn while performing a mundane necessary activity.
Enter into a language learning program.
There are lots of language programs out that focus on listening and speaking. Michel Thomas, Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, Rocket Languages. The list goes on.
You will have much more fun during your commute with one of these.
That’s 2 resources you are consuming before you’ve even started your day. Kudos to you.
Next while working, you can always listen to some music in your chosen language. This is a good way to absorb the language into your brain because even though you are not consciously learning, your subconscious is taking all of this in. Please don’t sing along out loud though ha.
Boom that’s 3 resources and the day is not even halfway done.
When you get home, how much extra time do you have – 3, 4, 5 hours?
Take 30 minutes of this and go through a grammar book. I highly recommend the Practice makes Perfect series. There are some great exercises in there to get more familiar with the structure of the language and important items like the use of verbs.
Now you are up to 4 resources for the day.
Lastly I’m sure everybody enjoys a good television series or a good movie. What’s even better is when you can learn a language by watching. Netflix has made it very simple to watch shows in other languages.
A personal favourite of mine is La Casa de Papel [Money Heist in English], a show about how a group of people try to rob a bank. It’s surprisingly high budget and a very interesting story.
There are other shows available online to watch – see my list of recommendations to watch per language.
That’s 5 resources you can use in order to improve your language learning skills.
Of course the best resource to use is travel and immersion but for now a more realistic approach is the above formula.
This is the schedule that I make use of while learning my language of choice – Spanish.
It has proven to be very effective and everyday I feel more confident while the learning curve has been reduced as a result.
Remember that the key to the above formula is consistency.
Implemented daily, this schedule has the added benefit of encompassing speaking, reading and writing all in one. Only want to speak – no problem chop up the daily schedule to better suit your needs. What matters is daily practice.
The best part about this language learning schedule?
It only takes 1.5-2 hours to implement a day. In the bigger scheme of your day this is not that much time all things considered.
If we can break things down:
1. Duolingo/Memrise = 15 minutes
2. Listening to music = during work hours
3. Audio Course = 30 minutes
4. Practice Makes Perfect exercises = 30 minutes
5. Watching a Series = 20 minutes
Total time = 1.5-2 hours
If you are serious about learning a language – this won’t seem like a chore to do. To implement this in your daily lifestyle is quite easy if you follow my recommendations.
Language learning takes a big commitment from you. The reason why you’re reading this article is because you have a burning desire to learn a language.
Don’t be scared to implement these tactics and build these habits. They will compound over time and before you know it you will be proficient at your language of choice.
Spanish is becoming more and more popular to learn.
But it all starts with you taking that first step. You don’t need to implement all the recommendations at once.
Start by implementing Duolingo for 2 weeks and once you are meeting your daily habits you can add another habit in.
At the risk of sounding preachy I will leave you with one last quote – a popular Chinese proverb:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.
Hasta luego amigos