What are your strategies for learning languages? Here’s the list of experts with their time management tips for self-study.
Why is time management needed for self-study?
Did you realize it? Your academic achievement is impacted by time management. A student who frequently crams their lectures may often lose motivation to learn. It frequently results in worse memory recall or, worse still, academic failure.
Lack of time management while studying also makes you more stressed and anxious. Of course, managing many objectives while studying will inevitably leave you short on time. Language learners frequently use a schedule planner and a time-zone converter when taking an online course. Learners can use this technique to concentrate on their daily goals rather than their timetable.
What are some time management tips for self-study?
When we are studying, we each have our preferences. Our surroundings, many bits of intelligence, and other variables influence how we choose to study. But it is a universal truth that effective time management takes concentration; therefore, work on what is practical and effective for you daily.
Since you create your system of organizing and planning, time management is also regarded as a skill. Find out what other professionals advise about time management when self-study.
Daniel Wong: Rely less on motivation and more on systems and pre-decisions
It’s advisable to rely more on processes and pre-decisions than on a basis when it comes to self-study. After all, telling yourself that you’ll “concentrate” and “manage your time effectively” rarely pans out. To avoid making numerous judgments on the fly, I advise you to pre-decide as many things as possible.
I advise you to plan your study schedule, including where you will study, when you will check, how often you will learn, how long each session will last, what subjects or themes you will study, etc. I also advise you to plan your three to five priorities at the beginning of each day.
In my own life, I’ve already chosen to start working at 8:30 AM and finish at 6 PM each workday. I usually work in 30-minute sessions, with a 5- to 10-minute break. I also take a one-hour break between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM for exercise and lunch. I am much more productive and have much better time management because all of these choices have been made in advance.
Daniel Wong is an expert at giving kids and teenagers the mentality and abilities they need to be successful and happy. Additionally, he tells parents what they can do to assist.
Michael Fray: Make sure you understand than simply memorizing
While finishing your study tasks as quickly as possible may seem efficient, spending more time on them upfront can often result in time savings. It’s crucial to make sure you understand the material you’re learning.
This could necessitate pausing to consider things, testing yourself, or looking for further information if you don’t grasp anything. By doing this, you’re laying a better basis for future learning that builds on this material, making it less likely that you’ll hit a wall later and need to go back and review the fundamentals.
Making sure you comprehend rather than merely memorize will better position you to apply the information in novel and uncharted circumstances. At Yearist.com, Michael Fray, a tutor with more than two years of expertise, enjoys blogging about study advice and student life.
Adam Schlomi: Study alone to avoid distractions
We think that eliminating cell phones from the study space and studying alone in a peaceful setting are the best ways to effectively self-study. One brief text message on the phone might quickly draw a student into an endless scroll on Instagram. Almost any phone message can be left unread for an hour while students finish their study session.
I also favor solitary study for students. While studying might be made more appealing by friends and cafes, the truth is that most students spend more time speaking with friends than they do paying attention. Being alone in a quiet library or office is the most incredible place to enter a flow state. Social cafes and friends are a distraction from studying.
Adam Shlomi started SoFlo SAT Tutoring. SoFlo graduated from Georgetown University with 1570/1600 SAT score, and today he earns an annual salary of seven figures. We at SoFlo offer online SAT/ACT preparation to students worldwide and have 100 tutors on staff. Even yet, he was recovering from ankle surgery when he started the business a little more than two years ago, and the doctors had warned him that he would never be able to walk normally again.
Emma Jackman: Use every opportunity to practice and study
My favorite time-management strategy for independent study is incorporating language study into daily living. Most people have smartphones, and there are so many language-learning apps available that you will never be able to use your target language.
My preferred language-learning tool, MosaLingua, uses flashcards to aid in retaining new vocabulary and expressions. Whenever you have any downtime, like waiting for a bus, an appointment, etc., use this opportunity to pick up some new vocabulary.
In other words, whenever you need to start scrolling through social media! Practice your listening abilities for your target language as another effective strategy to utilize downtime. Podcasts and audiobooks in your target language are your best friends if you frequently travel by vehicle or train.
The creator of Emma Loves German, a comprehensive website for people learning German, is Emma Jackman. You can read articles on German speaking, reading, writing, and listening as well as reviews of German language schools and grammar pointers.
Elzette Wilkinson: Strategize your time management
The lack of time for study is one of the key reasons why so many people put off learning a new language. The good news is that you can develop efficient time management techniques to make you a more productive learner with little work.
Here are some pointers:
- Take a moment to evaluate how you spend your time specifically.
It’s crucial to know exactly where your time goes before you can begin to optimize your calendar. Keep a log of your activities for the first week or so. What do you do with your free time? Can you reduce some of your activities to give yourself more time to study
- Recognize the causes of your procrastination.
Every person will have their own set of reasons for procrastinating. Ask yourself, “What is preventing me from finishing this task? ” if you notice yourself putting off (or being sidetracked from) your study.”. After a few days of doing this, you will start to notice a trend. You can use this to pinpoint and deal with your procrastination causes.
- Adhere to a study routine.
Create a detailed daily schedule so you know exactly what and when you will be studying. Here are some suggestions for creating a productive study routine. To keep yourself motivated, don’t forget to treat yourself to a job well done.
A blogger from Cape Town, South Africa, is named Elzette Wilkinson. She is the author of the language learning blog Fluency Pending, where she shares advice on how to learn a language effectively. For helpful resources for learning a new language, follow Elzette on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook (and the occasional picture of Frank, her pug).
Olivia Fuller: Make learning a habit
Learning a new language cannot be easy if you don’t already live in a country where it is spoken. Setting a goal for yourself is essential if you want to maintain motivation. For instance, “By the time I go to Rome, I will be able to order a lunch in Spanish.”
You’ll be able to keep on course and have a goal to strive for a result. Making learning a habit is another helpful suggestion. Establish a timetable for yourself and follow it, whether 5–10 minutes daily on a language-learning app or an hour twice a week.
Finally, try incorporating the language as much as possible into your daily life. Find a speaking partner, and consume media in the target language by reading or watching movies. Use Facebook to discover a language partner or language meetup in your area.
You can even switch the audio or subtitles on your favorite Netflix show to a different language. Although it might be challenging and time-consuming, learning a second language is worthwhile. Along with feeling successful, you’ll discover a lot about another culture.
American Olivia Fuller has spent the last six years working and traveling around Europe, Asia, and North America. She works as the marketing manager for Ultimate Budapest, a ticketing company and city information source, and she resides in Budapest. She enjoys learning languages and has acquired a working knowledge of Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Hungarian through either formal instruction or self-study.
Sam Campbell: Find what works best for YOU
I’ve provided three recommendations below that are helpful for my language learning efforts; you may also find them useful.
- Understand why you are there.
Knowing your initial motivation for learning this language will make it much simpler to determine each step of your self-study method. Do you require it for work? Or a prerequisite for an interview? Whatever your motivation, ensure it is understood so everything else can flow easily.
- Decide how YOU prefer to study.
Where do YOU feel most at ease learning (for example, whether using headphones at home or outside)? To maximize your focus and potential, make sure YOU decide how YOU like to learn. While driving, some people might like to listen to audio courses, while others prefer to study grammar books from cover to cover.
There isn’t always a “correct” or “wrong” way to do something, as long as you decide what suits YOU the best and stay with it.
- Establish a plan and objectives.
One of the most important things you can do if you want to start studying on your own is to create an action plan for yourself. How much time do you plan to dedicate to studying? What chapter or lesson are you going to start with? If your goal is clearly stated, you will find it much easier to achieve.
Additionally, as a method of motivation, consider establishing small goals along the road. For instance, “I’ll review this grammar point five times this week” or “I’ll watch one dialogue lesson per day.” This will help you stay on course and prevent you from experiencing any overwhelming feelings.
Reddiquette, a blog by Sam Campbell on digital marketing, is devoted to assisting advertisers in improving their success on Reddit. He aids companies in developing their expertise in digital marketing.
Michail Korovin: Keep practicing no matter how long it takes
My first recommendation is to learn a few language-recovery words before going to bed, during your commute on the train, or while you’re exercising on the treadmill. This will keep your brain functioning usually and keep you from losing what you’ve learned.
The second thing I’d advise is to try different approaches to learning. Consider using programs like Duolingo, which emphasizes teaching grammar while emphasizing reading comprehension, followed by real-world conversation practice.
Include some listening materials, such as podcasts or videos where you can hear various accents being spoken aloud, to help your brain understand pauses and pauses between English words that are not separated by vowels.
Suppose you’re doing any more formal studying. In that case, using a spaced repetition system like Anki will also be incredibly beneficial. You can play for a little while each day without worrying about eating up your entire evening.
Additionally, I advise you to plan how many hours or minutes you’ll devote to learning a language and then try your hardest to stick to that schedule.
This is crucial because while you might be motivated occasionally, getting out of bed and moving around might be challenging.
Additionally, avoid comparing yourself to those who may be picking up the language more quickly than you are; everyone learns at a different rate, so it’s crucial to be optimistic and keep practicing no matter how long it takes!
In his regular life, Michail Korovin works as a chef. He is from Moscow, Russia, as is his family. He resides at home with his wife, Angie, and their two sons. On the internet, though, Michail is known as “The Caviar Guy,” a self-proclaimed caviar expert whose mission is to alter your perception of this unique cuisine.
Thomas Jepsen: Do a 10-minute commitment
- Robust espresso
It’s crucial to start every Italian lesson with a strong espresso to manage your time effectively! Putting jokes aside, I think clearing my head by embracing the culture of the language I’m studying.
- Ten minutes daily
I compel myself to spend at least 10 minutes studying a foreign language each day. Though I occasionally work for 90 minutes, committing to 10 minutes of daily studying keeps me disciplined and focused. I never work more than 120 minutes a day to prevent burning out.
- The daily target of one
I had a single objective for the lecture that day before I started—something I’d like to improve. Most of the time, I end the day when I feel that I have achieved my aim.
The CEO of Passion Blueprints is Thomas Jepsen, and the company offers everything from house plans to building guidance to help individuals build their ideal houses. Thomas, originally from Denmark but raised in Belgium before relocating to the US, is currently learning a fifth language.
Benjamin Houy: Associate your language learning time with a specific trigger
Making studying the first thing you do when you get up is my best advice for learning a language. This keeps you from getting sidetracked and ensures that you advance daily.
This is how I find that I not only feel much more accomplished when the day begins, but I also find that I am much more productive throughout the day. You can also link the time you spend learning a language to a particular event.
The trigger can be a ceremonial cup of tea you make before studying, a specific study space, or something you do just before. The trigger must be constant for your brain to correlate language learning with you. The company French Together was founded by Benjamin Houy, who aims to help English speakers learn the 20% of French necessary to understand 80% of regular discussions.
Ingrid Truemper: Accountability can boost productivity
Start your active language learning early in the morning when you are still alert and before your daily concerns take over. You can focus before starting by using an app like Headspace to perform a brief guided meditation. Set a timer for 25 minutes and experiment with the Pomodoro technique to stay focused.
Put your phone in another room or, better yet, turn off notifications. Close any open email or social media tabs. Begin with the most challenging study topics, such as grammar. Include a passive study session later in the day using entertaining immersion resources like podcasts, YouTube videos, and TV episodes.
While working out or completing domestic tasks, listen to podcasts or YouTube videos in your target language. Accountability can significantly increase productivity. I have weekly meetings with two other female language students. We discuss our progress and potential obstacles before writing out our weekly objectives.
Learning a language takes time, and studying alone can be isolating and discouraging. Set up a teacher-led class every week. Join forces with other independent language learners to hold consistent Zoom quiet study sessions. Through websites like Focusmate, you can also locate virtual accountability partners.
At 43, Ingrid Truemper gave up her job as a software engineer to focus on writing, language study, and travel. Ingrid is currently learning Russian and speaks English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
Janice Moskoff: Utilize available tools when busy
As a working mother of a teen and tween, I spend much too much time driving the kids from one activity to the next. It suggests that I don’t have a lot of free time. I can only use audio classes and podcasts to study a language or brush up on one before traveling.
I can then do double duty and both drive carpool and practice. This may make me appear ridiculous to other drivers, but it’s a little price to pay for linguistic ability!
Travel writer Janice Moskoff runs the Gather And Go Travel blog. She has taken numerous local and international trips, visiting more than 40 nations. She is fascinated by various cultures, faiths, and languages and is a true trip-planning nerd and lifelong book lover passionate about tying reading to travel. In Janice’s opinion, every journey is a fantastic chance to master.
Use time management to clear your study goals faster
You can use one of the previously mentioned strategies to organize your study time efficiently. Also, keep your timetable in perspective. Each person has a unique learning style and set of circumstances that may make it difficult to manage their study time.
It takes complete commitment and immersion to learn a language. However, your vocabulary and memory recall will enhance even with a little 15-minute audio session. If you want to get the most out of studying a new language, look at our suggestions for learning languages rapidly.
Continue to translate in your mind. Want to learn authentic Spanish? Check out Stefano’s courses if you’re going to speak and think fluently in Spanish quickly!