Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to the Monthly Review!
The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips, study tools, and resources.
By the way, all the lessons and bonuses you’re about to see can be downloaded for free on our website.
So, click the link in the description right now to sign up for your free lifetime account.
Okay, today’s topic is:
Should You Cram when Learning a Language?
You probably crammed in school for final exams, right? If you did you probably took that study habit with you and applied it toward language learning.
So, today you’ll learn
Is Cramming Effective?
When should you cram?
How to cram with our learning program, or any other learning resource that you use.
And how to get our cram-friendly language cheat sheets for free.
But first, listen up! Here are this month’s new lessons and resources.
First — The Asking for DIrections Conversation Cheat Sheet
Can you give directions in your target language?
If not, then this beginner conversation cheat sheet is for you. You’ll learn all the questions and phrases for asking...and giving directions. So download it for free right now.
Second — The 35 Minute Listening Comprehension Course for Beginners
How are your listening skills? Take this beginner video course to sharpen them up!
Download it right now.
Third — Can you talk about drinks in your target language?
Learn how to say coffee, beer, tea, wine...and much more, with this quick vocab bonus.
Fourth — How do you say “Autumn” in your target language?
Don’t know? Access this 1-minute lesson
...to learn all the Autumn related words and phrases.
If you want to learn these words fast, use the free Audio-Slideshow tool inside the lesson.
Fifth — The 45 Must-Know Gym Words
Words like... Cardio, bench press, abs, deadlifts, and leg day. Don’t skip this lesson. You’ll master all the must-know gym words with this next vocabulary lesson.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Ok, let’s jump into today’s topic:
Should You Cram when Learning a Language?
Part One: Is Cramming Effective?
Is cramming effective? What do you think? Leave a comment.
Cramming might've worked for you back in school to pass tests but, how much do you still remember right now? Probably not much. You likely forgot everything right after the test.
So, cramming CAN work IF you have a test tomorrow when you need to know things in the short term. But, it doesn't work if you want to remember in the long run. Why doesn't it work?
Well, if you know about spaced repetition learning...and have used the spaced repetition flashcards on the sites… It's the spacing that helps you learn best. Meaning, you learn something today. You come back in 2 days and review it. Then you come back in 4 days and review it some more.
When you cram, it's a one-time thing. You take the test, and that's it – you're done. But when you do review and force yourself to recall, here's a little science lesson: you're strengthening the synapses in your brain. Synapses are like little roads that connect the neurons in your brain. So, the more you review, the stronger the connection, and the better the recall. This is why studying and reviewing for a little bit every day is better than cramming once for hours.
But, if you absolutely must cram, here's what you can do: Let's jump into part 2.
Part 2: How to Cram with Our Learning Program.
One: Pick The Lessons that Align With Your Goal.
In other words, focus on just what you need. If you're learning for travel, skip the other lessons, and focus on our Survival Phrases Series. If you want to learn basic conversations, Do the "Top 25 Questions You Need to Know" and skip the heavier grammar lessons. If you need special phrases for the bank or the post office, we have lessons for that too. And you can find lessons for all topics and scenarios in the Lesson Library.
Two: Skip the Hard Lessons and do what's easy.
Now, If you're working on a limited time, you'll get a better bang for your buck by doing easy lessons...and lessons that are at your level instead of doing the hard ones. Those, you'll need more time for. You'll have an easier time remembering the easy phrases then things above your level.
3) Use The Vocab Slideshow or Flashcards
Both of these features quiz you on vocab and help you learn fast.
4) Focus on Mastering a Few Must-Know Lessons.
It's better to know the dialogue from 5 lessons inside out..than to run through 60 lessons and not remember anything.
5) Print Out the Lesson Notes:
With the lesson notes, you get the lesson dialog, the translations, the explanations, sample sentences, and cultural insights. It's a quick summary of the lesson. So print it out. And if you have the notes on hand, you can always take 'em out and glance through them.
6) Print out your Word Bank.
The Word Bank is your personal collection of words and phrases, and you can print it all out as well. Just visit your WordBan, click on the "Printer Friendly Version" and print that out. Now, you have a physical study sheet.
7) Use PDF Conversation Cheat Sheets and Infographics.
These teach you the must-know words and phrases for all kinds of topics: travel, basic conversations, talking about hobbies, airport vocab, and much more. You can print these out or save them to your device. With the infographics, you can save the images to your phone and just swipe through them for a quick review. Listeners, we'll leave the links to the PDFs and Infographics in the comment section of this video.
8) Do a Quick Quiz Session.
Even if you're low on time, a bit of reviewing can help. So, after you're done with a lesson, stop and ask yourself: what was the main grammar point of the lesson? Try and explain that rule to yourself in your head or say it out loud.
9) Use as many senses as possible—
Shadow the conversation. Talk out loud. Walk around as you do so. Use your hands. It sounds strange, but the more senses you involve, the better it sticks. You can also explain grammar rules to yourself out loud.
So, let's recap what we just learned.
Cramming only works with short term goals. For long term retention, you need to come back and review over a spaced period of time. But, if you absolutely must cram, then… one: pick lessons that align with your short term goal, two: avoid hard lessons, three: review with our flashcards and slideshows, four: focus on mastering a few lessons, five: print out the lesson notes, six: print out the wordbank, seven: use our PDF cheat sheets and infographics, eight: do a quick quiz session, and 9) use as many sense as possible.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we’ll talk about: Starting Off on the Right Foot with Language Learning
If you enjoyed these tips, hit the “like” button, share the video with anyone who's trying to learn a language, and subscribe to our channel. We release new videos every week!
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See you next time! Bye!