We think it’s important to have realistic expectations about learning a language. Learning a language can be easy. But the question is; do you have the time and patience for it to be easy? Since the beginning of time, learning a language has been known to be a lengthy process.
After all, you have to learn thousands of words, new sentence structure, a different writing system, a new way to pronounce things and a bunch of other skills. It makes a whole lot of sense that people need to dedicate a bit of time to learn and master this skill. But in today’s advertising world, things have changed. We are surrounded by ads that tell us the complete opposite.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great products out there. The problem is often how they are sold to consumers. You’ve probably heard lots of claims like these ones on the web:
These ads work because they sell a dream. They’re the same type of ads that you see for a revolutionary workout equipment showing an extremely fit couple and promises the same results in a few minutes a day. The equipment can be excellent, but these ads don’t help a lot of people actually reach their goals. If anything, they distort people’s expectations. Learning a language is easy, I mean every baby on earth manages it without any complications. However, it can seem very difficult or even impossible if your timeline is completely out of wack.
Learning a language is exactly like climbing a mountain. There’s a certain number of steps that you need to take. The faster you want to get to the top, the harder it will be. If you’re at the bottom and you’re wondering how you will get to the top in a single bound, you’ll soon realize that it’s impossible. There are lots of different trails to get to the top. If you take a steeper route, it will be more challenging, but you will also reach the top faster. You need to choose the trail that fits your style. Some people love to take their time and enjoy the climb, and others need the challenge. Everyone is different.
The best route will give you an enjoyable climb with a good balance of challenge and progress. In general, easy and fast are not synonyms in language learning. If you find something easy, the progress you make will likely be slower. If you use an app or method that’s really easy, ask yourself how much progress you are really making. It is when you truly challenge yourself that you make the most progress. On the other hand, something that’s easy is not nearly as demanding. This allows you to put in more hours during the week. Find what works for you.
For example, listening to Spanish podcasts while driving to work or watching French television a few hours a week is really easy. It doesn’t require much effort on your part, but it is still there in the background and you should learn from it nonetheless. It can take a while to see noticeable progress, but it requires very little effort on your part, just a lot of time.
However, you will need many hours of passive listening to get the benefits of a single hour of active learning. If you do something more challenging, like learning new words from flashcards or struggling through a conversation on a topic you’re not comfortable with, you will learn a lot in a short amount of time. The only problem is that it’s very difficult to keep it up for a long time. Only 30 minutes of serious learning can be pretty draining. But it is also very rewarding and effective.
In the end, the best learning method is one that works for you. But it’s best to find that perfect balance between easy tasks you can sustain for long periods of time, and challenging tasks that will propel you forward. Easy tasks compliment more challenging tasks incredibly well. Each word you learn through conscious effort will constantly get reinforced in those easier activities. It’s the perfect way to transfer your knowledge from short-term to long-term memory.
We have combined everything we know from years of language acquisition and research to create an awesome language-learning method. Visit OUINO.com to learn more.
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