Chinese Resources

Monday, September 26, 2011

Making time for language.

There are very few people in this world (if any) who can wake up one morning and decide they're going to run a marathon the next day, the next week, heck... even the next month. We aren't able to pick up the guitar and shred like Jimi Hendrix after just a few lessons. Things we do in life require practice, patience, and most importantly dedication. Learning a second language, especially for those of us who can hardly even remember what hitting puberty was like anymore, takes time and energy. 

Go out and ask someone who does something really well how they achieved success.  99.99% of the time it's because they put in a lot of time. They got up every day and worked toward their goal until it became a reality. So what does that mean for us, the language learner? It means we need to stop thinking that things are going to come without effort, or over night. Those kind of thoughts lead to disappointment and failure.

Maybe it's time we take a different approach. Learning a language isn't riding a bike. If you don't keep peddling (and peddling often) you are going to forget how to do it (or rather speak it in this case). So today, I propose that we re-think about how we go about learning a language. Let's start making the time, every single day, so that we can obtain our goal. Of course, the more time we spend, the better the results... but first and foremost lets find our rhythm. 

With the rise of the Internet, possibilities are endless. Everywhere you turn there is information ripe for the taking. We have music, movies, blogs, news, textbooks, podcasts etc. all just a single mouse click away. However, just like learning to shred like Jimi, or pushing yourself harder and harder to reach that end goal of 26 miles (and 385 meters) in a marathon, we need to be active and engaged. We need a healthy balance of output and input (especially to speak a language) and we need to practice... a lot. 

I don't know about you, but my goals are set high, and I'm going to take the first step toward reaching those goals... I'm going to make the time.

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