How do you build a language learning routine?

Posts209Likes 117Joined 6/10/2018LocationLagos / NG
Other French

Rose.Angelie wrote:

I started with listening to podcasts before then taking basic self-study courses. For listening practice, I used to do it every morning, usually on my way to work but I wasn't able to keep up. Personally, I don't think I'm good at intentionally keeping a routine. lol

The most important thing is to find what works for you and stick to it.

Kevwe A.

Posts21Likes 20Joined 3/8/2018LocationSeattle area / US
Other Italian, Chinese - Cantonese

At a high level, for someone who hasn't learned a language before I'd recommend month long 'sprints' or cycles:  

Try a routine for a month/4 weeks and see how it works for you. Each month, keep what works and change what doesn't.

A month is long enough to experience your process, feel its effectiveness (or lack thereof) and see how it fits into your life, but a month is not so long that you over-commit yourself to a bad idea... if you are someone who tends to have a problem with that.

Personally, if I were to start a new language, I'd spend roughly the first month or two doing a 'boostrap' to get a foot hold on the language:

1. Read a good explanation of the pronunciation (familiarize but don't attempt to memorize it)

2. Read/Skim a reasonable description of the grammar (familiarize but don't attempt to memorize it)

3. Anki/SRS the first ~500-1000 most common words

4. Start listening to the language in my dead time (e.g. while driving) with no expectation of understanding much, just to get used to the sounds.

5. Work my way somewhat casually/rapidly through a beginner text book like Assimil or Teach Yourself. Mostly I'd just listen/read the dialogs and decoding them and notice the nuts and bolts of how the language functions in practice.

After that first 1-2 months, I'd jump in headfirst, I'd...:

1. Try to find as much (hopefully interesting) Audio+Matching Text as I can.

2. Use the Reader app here, as much as I can, intensively read the above content (and anything else I find interesting)

3. Use a free app like WorkAudioBook or Audacity to listen to the above content while reading in the Reader. These audio apps allow you to easily short-loop phrases/sentences repeatedly so you can listen to each phrase until you _really_ hear it.

4. Get a tutor and try to start speaking and having conversations... and secondarily use them to answer questions that arise in my reading.

5. (Edit) Oh... and depending on your goals, start writing short journal entries in your TL and get corrections on them.

Some like to continue to use Anki/SRS and attempt to memorize simple definitions of 1000's of words, but I've found it doesn't work well for me. For me, intensive reading of interesting Comprehensible Input solves the same problem (and simultaneously many others) in a much more enjoyable way.

Lots of luck to you all!