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Too busy to practise? Here are some easy tips
Have you ever gazed in admiration at someone with a full-time job and a busy family life and wondered how they find time to pursue new goals and hobbies? Get in shape? Learn to knit? Study part-time?
The person you admire may have different goals than you, but the way they approach those goals is what leads them toward success. Instead of adding practice time to an already packed schedule, busy people find ways to seamlessly link their practice to their usual daily activities.
The same can be applied to learning a language. Some of the biggest improvements in language learning happen when both active and passive learning are integrated into routine activities. Active learning is when we are participating or creating language (e.g. reading, having conversations) and passive learning is when we are absorbing what someone else has written or said (e.g. listening to podcasts, watching TV).
Mauril’s learning experts have come up with three easy ways to fit more active and passive language learning into your day… even if you are extra busy.
Tip #1: Plan specific ways to optimize downtime
Think about all the moments of the day when you engage in routine or automatic behaviours like driving, commuting or even folding laundry. These behaviours don’t require much mental energy because you do them often, and without much thought or need to make decisions. The person you admire who seems to be doing it all (and doing it well) sees this downtime as an opportunity for learning.
The trick is to pair your daily downtime moments with a specific language learning activity. Here are some examples of things you can do in the language you are learning: While folding the laundry, watch TV; whenever you drive to work, listen to a podcast; while taking a shower or bath, listen to music; while waiting for an appointment at the doctor or dentist, open your Mauril app and complete a new unit.
With a downtime action plan in place, you’ll form new habits that will increase your language learning practice time. Every minute matters for those seeking progress on their language learning journey.
Tip #2: Narrate the world around you
We are not suggesting that you speak out loud to yourself in the middle of the grocery store. Instead, find moments in your day when you can narrate your actions and environment… in your mind.
Switch your inner monologue to the language you are learning. While on the train or bus, name a few objects that you see. While waiting in line at the bank, describe the people around you, like the clothing they are wearing or other features. Take this tip even further by writing down everyday words or expressions, look up their meaning or translation when you get home, and then add these words to a thematic list.
All you need for this added practice time is your mind. It can be as simple or as complex as you like. You are in charge!
Tip #3: Favour the language you are learning
There are many small opportunities to add a little more language learning into your day. For this tip, think of all your daily activities that use language, then make the switch to the language you are learning.
Do you glance at your phone for news every morning? Love looking at Instagram? Do you watch YouTube for things like tutorials or recipes? Choose content in the language you are learning to get up to date, mindlessly scroll, and learn new things. What about your voice assistant? Be brave and change the language!
As you can see, the key to adding more practice time is reframing how and when you practise. A mobile app like Mauril is also handy for adding daily practice. Discover what Mauril has to offer!