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.
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Okay, today’s topic is:
Are You Putting Enough Hours Into Your Language?
Do you know if you’re putting in enough hours into your language?
If you’re not… chances are, you’re setting yourself up for failure. But the good news is… there is a way to know how much time you should be putting in per day, per week, and per month. Because if you know these numbers and you can hit them, you’re on the way to fluency. So, keep watching. Today, you’ll discover:
How Much Time Should You Be Putting in
4 Ways to Find More Time &Learn the Language Faster
And Much more.
But first, if you’re looking for new, free language resources and downloads… Here are this month’s new lessons and resources. Be sure to download these now before we take them down in a few days.
First - The “Talking About Dates” PDF Conversation Cheat Sheet
Learn how to talk about your plans on specific dates in the target language... plus must-know vocabulary for months, days of the month, and more.
And Second — The Ultimate Guide to Beginner Language ebook
Want a free way to boost your vocabulary? With this new PDF ebook, you'll master over 500 beginner words and phrases. More than enough to start speaking the language with confidence.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Now to today’s topic.
Are You Putting Enough Hours Into Your Language?
Part 1. How Much Time Should You Be Putting in?
When it comes to learning a language, there’s only one thing that will determine your success. It’s not an app. It’s not a hack. And it’s not on YouTube either.
What is it? It’s time YOU put into language.
Language learning is a function of time. The more time you consistently put in, the better your language will get… guaranteed.
Kind of what Malcolm Gladwell was hinting at with the 10,000 hour rule.
But, how much time should you put in?
10 hours a week? 20 minutes a day? 5 minutes… like some apps say you should?
Most self-learners don’t really know… and so they’ll learn for a bit here, a bit there, and give up… because they don’t know what they’re aiming for.
But having a specific number to aim for - the number of hours - can set you up for success. Kind of like, if someone owes you 5 bucks, you won’t rest until you get not 2… not 3… not 4… but all 5 bucks back. Specifics matter.
So, how much time should you aim for?
Well, there are a few ways to find out:
First, the CEFR. Ever heard of it? The CEFR stands for The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which many language schools use to assess your language. From Level A1, which is absolute beginner, to A2, B1, B2, C1, and up to C2… which is proficient.
And CEFR lists out the number of hours you need to reach each level.
The hours vary per language and level, but it can take anywhere between 70 and 150 hours to reach A1 for most common languages.
So, find out the hours you need for your language. You can find this by Googling for CEFR level hours and your language.
You could also compare yourself to someone studying a language at university. Why? Again, time. Language learning is a matter of time, so you should use time as a benchmark.
With a university language program...a 3-credit class is about 45 hours total of in-class time for a semester, which would be 90 hours for 2 semesters… And if you’re recommended to study about 2-3 hours for every hour you put in… 90 times 2 is 180, add 180 to the 90 and you get 270 hours.
Now, once you know the numbers. You can work backwards to see how much you need to put in per day, per week, and per month and see if you’re actually on track or not.
Let’s say it takes 80 hours to reach the A1 level of your target language, If you want to reach it within 2 months, 80 divided by 60 days is 1.3… so you’ll need to put in about 1 hour a day.
Is that too much? Then change that timeline to 3, 4, or 5 months to get a more reasonable duration like 30 or 40 minutes a day. Find a balance that works for you.
Once you know the numbers you need to hit, then it becomes a matter of “How do I put in more time into language learning?”
Part 2: 4 Ways to Find More Time &Learn the Language Faster.
So, how can you add more time?
First thing you can do is… learn with a teacher — whether it’s with our group classes, our Premium Plus plan. or your own tutor. Why? It’s easy to download an app and think you’re going to use it for 30 minutes a day, everyday. But you won’t. Or else you would have been fluent by now.
But it’s easy to put in an extra 30 minutes or an hour if you have someone waiting on you. Having that human connection boosts your motivation and allows you to get more feedback, and improve faster.
Number Two: Add more time to your routine.
Duh, you probably thought of it yourself but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Most people think “ok, I will just wake up an hour earlier and use that hour” But will you? Of course you will. Good luck waking up an hour earlier.
The trick is… to start with small study sessions and stick with them. Eventually, you’ll start seeing results, you’ll start feeling more motivated, and you’ll naturally want to put in more time.
Number Three: Piggyback on existing routines.
The reason why you will fail at waking up an hour earlier to learn a language is because you’re changing existing routines and trying to start new ones… which is very hard to do.
Instead, you should piggyback on existing routines where you can fit in language learning. Piggybacking is where you add a routine that you want on top of a solid routine you already have and do.
So, what you can do is… take our lessons while you’re commuting. You can turn commute-time into language time. Or listen to a lesson while at the supermarket. Find a routine you do daily, or every few days, where you can fit in a language, and start there.
Number four: Adjust for a longer time frame.
The other way to add more time is to extend your deadline. If you couldn’t reach it in 1 month, you’ll reach it in 2 months. It’s just as good. It just took you a bit longer.
This tactic is good for people who just don’t have that much time in the day...but still want to stick with their goals.
Number Five: Learn with proven learning methods…
This doesn’t add time per se, but it stops you from losing time that you’d waste by learning with methods that aren’t effective.
But, what do we mean by proven learning tactics?
For example, you can read a textbook… you can watch a YouTube video teaching you words… you can learn words on an app… but none of that will be any good if you don’t also test yourself. Testing yourself helps you remember better because you’re using something called active recall… a learning tactic that has been studied and shown to work.
Then, there’s spaced repetition… which we offer with our flashcards.
And spaced repetition is where you review words or a grammar point over a spaced period of time. So, you’ll see it on day 1, then on day 2, then day 5, day 9, and so on. And with every repetition, your memory becomes stronger.
There’s also the 80/20 principle, where you focus on 20% that will give you 80% of the results. With language, instead of learning all the words in the language, you should start with the 100 core used words, then the 200 most common words, which you can do with our word lists. We offer the 2000 most common words inside the vocabulary section of our site and you can learn them with our flashcards.
So, back to you. Are you putting in enough time?
Leave a comment and let us know.
Thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next Time we’ll talk about: Your 'Why' will Guarantee Your Japanese Learning Success
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