I’ve decided to make a brief survey and ask the audience about your way/method/approach of studying languages, advancing in that kind of activity and keeping yourself in a good mental “shape”. What I mean. Usually when it comes to studying a language on your own common advice is to do as much as possible of these activities: reading, listening, watching videos, speaking, building vocabulary + doing some grammar. Sounds and looks pretty easy – just do it. But. After two months of trying to fill any moment of my spare time with English language (even when commuting – what’s the point in just plane driving a car, let’s combine it with listening to BBC Radio) I found myself completely exhausted. I realized that I had reached my limit and also found myself in a point of uncontrolled consuming of dozens of information – videos on Vice channel on YouTube, numerous articles from magazines, books, podcasts, grammar exercises and (last but not least) – Info Wars with Alex Jones:))
Also I’ve noticed that when I spend all my energy on practicing language I work worse on my daily job (I’m a lawyer), can’t do my physical exercises and spiritual practice, and even less often shave my face and clean shoes.
Now I’m on a two weeks break and I’m just reading something in English for my pleasure. I’ve also decided to reconsider my language practice and maybe to sat a rule of a daily limit in order to avoid plunging into fatigue and mental exhaustion.
So, could someone share here some ideas for planning language study in a way that helps to advance in it further without spending ALL spare time?
Most polyglots spend only 15 to 30 minutes studying language a day. The trick is to do 15 - 30 minutes of concentrated learning per day. Set small goals and work on those intensely.
You can also trying a "layering technique". That is learn or work on something...and then don't look at it for a week or two. Then go back and see how much you remember. Don't worry about not remembering everything. Review and work with it again. Then leave it alone for a while. Then come back and review. If this works for you, you'll notice that you will remember more and more each time you work with a topic. This doesn't work for everybody, however.
Welcome to the club!! :-)
You seem to be in the same ship as I am. I’d like to have better control over my spare time too. But, I can’t.
I think that choosing a specific skill to focus on for a certain specific time migh be the best solution for me alongside taking regular lessons based on specific materials with teachers or tutors.