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Study ability?

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
13 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
J-Learner
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 4571 days ago

556 posts - 636 votes 
Studies: Yiddish, English*
Studies: Dutch

 
 Message 1 of 13
14 April 2009 at 10:23am | IP Logged 
Hello Professor A (and indeed everyone else).

I have been attempting to learn languages and other subject/tools for almost eight years running. Unfortunately, I have had absolutely no success with any of it. I have tried dozens of methods and languages and still seem to be lack the ability to persevere. I love the subjects and skills that I attempt to learn but the studying has become irritating even to the point of depression and anger. This is obviously a negative situation from which I wish to remove myself.

My question is simple but the answer, I expect, will not be.

How do I develop the ability to study efficiently and avoid stress and burn out?

Thankyou for your time,
Yehoshua.
1 person has voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4980 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 2 of 13
14 April 2009 at 11:26am | IP Logged 
A few tips, which have been given to you before:

1) Stick with something. No one can get anywhere spending three days on a subject, then ignoring it for years.

2) Consider starting with small amounts; Professor Arguelles has written elsewhere on this forum about starting with half an hour a day if you're not used to systematic study. Then, do it regularly, without excuses; and when there's the inevitable occasional glitch, don't beat yourself up on it, and get back into your schedule.

3) Do activities you find at least somewhat enjoyable, not ones you hate.

4) Don't give up and yell about failing after 2 days or 2 hours.

5) Stick to one method long enough to see some results from it; 1000 flashcards with sentences and 1 month of watching DVDs won't get you all that far if you start from zero, and neither will doing a handful of Assimil or FSI lessons.

Combining 2 and 3, deciding to start doing a large number of hours a day of techniques you dislike, from zero, is a recipe for large amounts of stress; don't do it.

Good luck.

Catalin Martone

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Sgt.Pepper
Newbie
Ukraine
Joined 4250 days ago

38 posts - 32 votes
Speaks: Ukrainian*

 
 Message 3 of 13
14 April 2009 at 6:16pm | IP Logged 
Something an Italian professor told me once stuck with me forever, I think it might
help you too:

"Every day you neglect your studies you cancel out three days of progress"

In other words, if you study 30 minutes a day for 6 days, and then take 2 days
completely off you basically arrive nowhere!

Naturally this is more a maxim than a scientific statement… but the message is lucid
and true! Try not to take days off, be consistent. 30 minutes a day is MUCH MUCH MUCH
better than 4 hours every Sunday. Also, on days when you absolutely can’t study (which
shouldn't happen often but will happen) try to sneak in something language related.
For example, I listen to Assimil audio on my mp3 as I do chores. This is more passive
than active, but still better than nothing.

So remember, study EVERY DAY… and if you are not motivated think of my professor,
every day you slack you kill THREE days of earnest work you already put in!!!

The ironic thing is that I did not take his advice when it came to Italiano… stupid
me.

-- Sébastien Rousseau




Edited by Sgt.Pepper on 14 April 2009 at 6:19pm

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J-Learner
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 4571 days ago

556 posts - 636 votes 
Studies: Yiddish, English*
Studies: Dutch

 
 Message 4 of 13
15 April 2009 at 8:30am | IP Logged 
I am quite aware of the need to study every day. For a long time I have know that it is best to do 10 minutes each day than 1 or even 2 hours once a week.

I'm am going to try studying a smaller amount and building up slowly.

Thanks.
1 person has voted this message useful



Sgt.Pepper
Newbie
Ukraine
Joined 4250 days ago

38 posts - 32 votes
Speaks: Ukrainian*

 
 Message 5 of 13
15 April 2009 at 7:48pm | IP Logged 
Yehoshua,

Although you are as you say "aware" of the need to study every day, your logs show
that you often do not.

Also I do not think you can learn a language in 10 minutes a day. 30 minutes of
intense study 3 x 10 minute sessions is (I think) the bare minimum. And you should
really strive for at least 6 x 10 a day.

1 person has voted this message useful



Sennin
Senior Member
Bulgaria
Joined 4575 days ago

1457 posts - 1759 votes 
5 sounds

 
 Message 6 of 13
15 April 2009 at 10:09pm | IP Logged 
I strongly disagree that "it is best to do 10 minutes each day than 1 or even 2 hours once a week".

Studying in big blocks gives you the opportunity to focus on what you are doing. In 10 minutes you can't focus properly.
1 person has voted this message useful



Sgt.Pepper
Newbie
Ukraine
Joined 4250 days ago

38 posts - 32 votes
Speaks: Ukrainian*

 
 Message 7 of 13
15 April 2009 at 10:51pm | IP Logged 
Sennin wrote:
I strongly disagree that "it is best to do 10 minutes each day than 1
or even 2 hours once a week".

Studying in big blocks gives you the opportunity to focus on what you are doing. In 10
minutes you can't focus properly.


Sennin,
I cannot agree with you 100% completely.

That is, I wholly agree that "10 minutes each day" is not enough. However I disagree
with the universal application of "big blocks".

I only see extended study (more than 15 minutes at a time) useful during "immersion
exercises" ... what I define as all exercises meant for you to dive into the language
to try your best at understanding the context. Watching a movie or shadowing a tape
are two good examples of this.

However, when it comes to another important study skill - acquisition of information,
nothing beats quick 10-15 minute bursts with flash cards. Our brain is simply
incapable of memorizing material actively for 2 hours. Sure, we can sit in front of a
vocabulary list and write down definitions for 2 or even 4 hours straight, but the
overall results will be (at least in my case) terrible.

-- Sébastien Rousseau

1 person has voted this message useful



J-Learner
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 4571 days ago

556 posts - 636 votes 
Studies: Yiddish, English*
Studies: Dutch

 
 Message 8 of 13
16 April 2009 at 5:02am | IP Logged 
10 minutes was only an example If you really read my logs you would see that I do far more than 10 minutes per day.

I did not start this thread to be a place for idle debate.

Thankyou.


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