Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Listeners, if you want to finally learn your language…
Peter: ... there’s one thing that will guarantee your success...
Chigusa: It’s not an app... It's not a textbook... It’s not some new program...
Peter: The one thing that will guarantee your success is your ability to stick with a routine.
Chigusa: But how can you do this?
Chigusa: Welcome to an Innovative Language Sunday News! I'm Chigusa and I'll be hosting today's Sunday News with my co-host, the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Chigusa: In this Sunday News, you’ll discover…
Peter: ...how to create successful language learning routines...
Chigusa: ...what makes a good routine and what makes a bad routine…
Peter: ...how to stick with learning languages…
Chigusa ...and we’re giving away a free PDF cheat sheet at the end…
Peter: ...that’ll keep you locked in with your language learning routine.
Chigusa: So Peter, I’ll be asking you some rapid-fire questions… all about routines. How you stick with language learning... What’s your advice for beginners... Things like that.
Peter: Alright, I’m ready to go.
First question. Ready?.
Peter: Ready.
Chigusa: Why is it so important to have a routine… with language learning?
Peter: That’s a great question. If you think about it, though… routines rule our lives. We wake up at a certain time, brush our teeth, eat, go to work, watch TV - we do the same things day in and day out for months and years.
Chigusa: That’s true...
Peter: Now, what if you did something for your goals and your dreams every single day? Think about anyone that started playing sports or a musical instrument from an early age. All that time put in… into playing and practicing.
Chigusa: Yeah, they get really good… Just because of all the time they put in.
Peter: Exactly. And learning a language - or any goal - is an equation of putting in the time. So, imagine if you stick with your learning routine… guess what happens?
Chigusa: You’ll master the language.
Peter: Exactly. That’s why it’s important to have a routine.
Chigusa: Alright, next question. I think I may know the answer to this one, but… If you had to pick one... between having A) the best language-learning resource or B) a strong routine, which would you choose?
Peter: B, it’s not even close. I think the best example of this is handwritten flashcards. I mean, that's how I studied one of my first languages - Japanese Kanji, the Chinese characters. I literally walked around with 500 flashcards. So, I mean, a strong routine. You can have the best app or textbook in the world, but if you can’t stick with it… it’s useless. On the flip side, if you have a so-so resource, but you stick with it, you WILL make progress guaranteed.
Chigusa: Agreed. If you don’t stick with it… you won’t learn anything. Next question… What is a good learning routine?
Peter: A good routine is any routine you can stick with long-term… so, it depends on you. If you’re busy and you can only spend 10 or 20 minutes a day on our lessons...but you can maintain that… then that is a good routine. If you can sit down for an hour no problem...if you can stick with that, it’s a good routine. Smart small because adding something to your routine… you probably don’t even realize how busy you are. So, it’s quite hard to actually add something big in, and a lot of us try to add in an hour of something new every week when we don’t have that hour. And that’s a recipe for failure.
Chigusa: So, why do you think people struggle with their language learning routines then?
Peter: That’s a great question. The number one answer is time. It tends to be a mix of few reasons. One: most people don’t plan their routine and schedule ahead of time. You don’t say, “alright, Weekend nights 8 to 820PM are for language learning,” so there’s no planning. If most people take a look at their google calendar, there’s probably a few outlines of things that you have to do each week, but it’s not a very detailed breakdown. And when time’s the most important thing, managing your own time is one of the most important things you can do. And managing your time effectively is very challenging. Number two: I think people overwhelm themselves with one big goal. They want to lose 20 pounds; they want to get fluent at a language. They set this big goal for somewhere down the line, maybe 3 months, and it’s nice psychologically, but it’s really better to say, “I want to lose 1 pound in the next 2-3 days,” or whatever’s safe to do. But these shorter-term goals will help you rather than this big goal down the line. And number three: People don’t have a plan for when they miss their goals. The best is the New Year’s resolution. When you miss your New Year’s resolution, it’s like, “Okay, I got it next year.” If you give up in January, that’s 11 months. So there are no backup plans to get restarted. And maybe another reason is, a lot of people feel like they can take on more than one thing at once. They want to learn a language. They want to learn to dance. They want to lose 10 pounds. They want to save more money. So you’re taking on 4 or 5 really tough goals all at one time, and that’s another recipe for failure. I think these are the challenging things that set up for failure. And to recap them, 1) poor management of your own time, 2) setting up a goal that’s too big, and 3) no plan for when you don’t reach your goal, and 4) taking on too many things.
Chigusa: Okay, What about for someone brand new to language learning. Is there any specific routine you’d recommend for beginners?
Peter: For someone brand new to learning a language. If you’re in a car, I would listen to audio lessons. And if you’re on a train, I would watch some of our lessons. And I would see if you can maintain multitasking - meaning while you have your existing routine of commuting, piggyback on that and cut out the Netflix, cut out some of the entertaining stuff, and try just to multitasking and do some learning on the train. I would say to piggyback on an existing routine. I think it’s the number one mistake people make. January rolls around… I’m going to go to the gym. I’m going to go twice a week for 2 hours. That’s 4 hours. That’s a massive amount of time to try to carve out of your schedule. Working 8 hours at a desk, try and see for one month you can even exercise at your desk, or near your desk, or take breaks and just exercise in that area. Try to multitask first or piggyback on existing routines. Then, if you can after 2 months, then you take that step into actually carving out time. So I think this approach to building a routine...starting with your existing routine is the key to really understanding how much of your own time you have or you don’t have to add to your schedule.
Chigusa: Great. Alright, Last question. How can you use our learning program to build a routine?
Peter; Well, maybe we can hear from some people how you use our material. It’s always great to hear how people are using our things because a lot of times, I ask this, and I get ideas from the users of our material. They have some really great ideas. A case in point, I was on Instagram, and I found a student of ours doing what she called a “studygram.” So she listens to our lesson, and then she makes notes of everything she learned inside of a notebook. Two pages for 1 lesson. On one side, it has the new words. On the other side, it has the phrases and the grammar. She uses different color pens to focus on the different areas. She uses different calligraphy, different styles of writing for each heading. I mean, I saw this, and I was blown away. I found it by following the hashtag JapanesePod101. I took this studygram idea. I reached out to her and said, “hey can I do this?” and she said, “of course.” And I took inspiration from here. So I think one way is… let’s find out what the community is doing. For me, and back to your original question is first identify what you want to practice, whether it's studying, speaking, listening, reading and writing, vocabulary, and grammar. If you want to study vocabulary, then we have our flashcards. If you want to study speaking, we have the tools on the site where you can listen to the line-by-line over and over so you can shadow that - speak at the same time you’re listening. There are many different types of approaches. If you want to do reading and writing, we have a whole section of books that you can read on your own. So, I think first, identify what you want to get better at. Once you do, feel free to mail me or feel free to contact us, and we can give you some more advice. There are many tips inside of the Inner Circle on ways you can get better.
Chigusa: Right, we also have a PDF routine cheat sheet where you can write out your schedule… see where you can add language learning… and stay on track with your learning routine.
Peter: Listeners, if you want this cheat sheet, leave us a comment.
Chigusa: And, listeners, what about you?
Peter: What’s your language learning routine?
Chigusa: Leave us a comment in the comments section of this Sunday News.
Peter: There’s no wrong answer.
Chigusa: Yes, as long as you can stick with a routine, then it’s a good routine.


Chigusa: Okay, well, that’s going to do it for this edition of Innovative Language Learning Sunday News!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Chigusa: Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you all next time.