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Сергей Лебедев
Sensible everyday schedule for language study on your own

Halloo everyone!

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?

Mar 4, 2018 7:53 AM
Comments · 4

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. 

March 4, 2018
I think instead of trying to fill all your spare time with English, it is more important to set goals. Create goals of things you want to learn; rules abc and klm, learn 100 new words in x amount of time, write about x in 20 sentences etc.
This will create more progress than simply filling all your time with English. And you will also feel motivated after having completed your goal.
March 4, 2018
I agree with Berengaria. Quality beats quantity. Take only a rather short amount of time per day for concentrated and focused study and apart from that just use English for pleasure. Read something or watch a movie but without looking up words. Talk to foreign friends. Using the language on a regular but relaxed basis can be more effective than actually studying it.
March 4, 2018

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. 

March 4, 2018
Сергей Лебедев
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language