Learning a new language is a great, useful hobby but it can sometimes become challenging and frustrating. Figuring out the best way to acquire a language sometimes seems impossible. If you wish to learn a new language but you feel confused and overwhelmed, don’t worry. You are certainly not alone.
There are numerous language learning tactics out there that you may find helpful. Everybody knows that watching foreign movies and listening to songs helps a lot, but many people are missing an essential strategy, which is having a plan. Creating a clear schedule and being consistent may be the key elements you weren’t aware of.
Having a learning plan is something you have already faced at school and it’s easy to see all the benefits. But what you may not know is that your sleeping patterns greatly affect your cognitive skills and your learning abilities and by creating a sleeping schedule you will master a new language much faster.
If you are curious about this topic, please continue reading. Today we will explain how to create clear learning and sleeping patterns and how it can help you acquire a foreign language. Let’s dive in.
The Importance Of Sleep In Learning Process
Many students have a habit of staying up all night before an exam, hoping they will stuff in as much information and knowledge as they can. But did you know that that is absolutely the worst thing you can do? Studies have shown that sleep impacts your memory and cognitive skills, especially when it comes to learning a language. In fact, a good night's sleep is necessary for embedding knowledge in the brain.
In one research study, students had to learn vocabulary in a foreign language while staying awake all night. When compared to students who didn’t face sleep deprivation, the group could recall almost twice fewer words. This shows the importance of recovery sleep - it makes more difference than you may think. Basically, sleep is a central part of learning because your brain keeps working.
A while ago there was a popular theory that you could learn a new language while sleeping. For example, many people tried learning Japanese in their sleep by listening to courses during the night. However, studies have shown that it’s very unlikely to register anything while sleeping, so - you will need to do it the hard way.
How Many Hours Of Sleep Do You Need?
Most studies show that an adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night in order to function but knowing the general recommendations is only the first step. Everybody is unique and has their own needs based on various factors, such as overall health, activity levels, etc. Since everyone’s sleeping schedule is individual, many people use different strategies to create a consistent sleep routine - for example, a sleep calculator is becoming more and more popular. You can familiarize yourself with it if you click here. It can suggest the best time to go to bed and wake up and it also takes sleep cycles into consideration.
When you have a sleeping plan, you will notice that your memory and focus are improving and you already know that this is essential for learning a new language. You have probably heard that the best way to learn something is to “sleep on it”. This isn’t a myth at all. Rest strengthens your memories and helps them create a link to earlier ones, which is crucial for mastering a foreign language.
Make The Best Language Learning Plan For Yourself
There are many ways to be more productive and to create a learning schedule but studies have shown that sparing some time during the weekend and planning the week ahead is the most efficient option. Mapping out your goals and intentions will help you stick to your schedule and stay focused. This can really help you learn a new language faster. Here are a few tips you may find useful.
Set Clear Goals
To start your plan, try focusing on achievable and specific goals that will help you learn a language faster. Start small and don’t aim too high at the beginning. For example, you can watch one episode of a TV show in a new language or complete 3 pages of your grammar book that week. Make sure you keep it simple and don’t overload yourself. It’s better to stay consistent for a long time than to set crazy goals and burn out in a month.
Try Having Contact With The New Language Daily
Being in contact with your target language every day can be extremely helpful. Of course, you don’t need to study for hours. If you find a convenient way and do something you enjoy, chances are you will look forward to spending time with your learning materials.
For example, you can watch movies or TV shows, read books and magazines, or follow some accounts in your target language on social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.). Downloading language learning apps can also be fun. Try using Duolingo, Memrise, Clozemaster, or HelloTalk. These activities can’t compare to hours of studying but they are essential if you want to keep your brain engaged and learn a new language while having fun.
Make A Realistic Schedule
The foundation of a language learning plan is to decide on how much time you have available every day and divide the time into various activities. Try identifying which skills you will be working on that day and make sure you dedicate enough time. Based on your language priorities, you can choose whether to work on your vocabulary, grammar, reading, or listening.
It’s very important to stay focused and avoid any distractions. So, set this time aside for language learning only. Put your phone on silent and concentrate. You will likely accomplish more in an hour of focused studying than you would in three hours with all the distractions.
There are 6500 languages in the world but most people can’t speak more than one or two. Learning a new language isn’t just another skill to put in your CV. It can open you a door to different possibilities and give you perspective on various cultures across the world. Follow this simple guide and try including some of these learning and sleeping tips that will help you acquire a new language faster and easier than ever before.