Take advantage of this habit to boost your language learning speed!
Buenos Dias Language Learners,
Hope your Spanish studies are going well! So what is this one habit I am talking about? Well. I am talking about interacting with the target language, in this case Spanish, as much as possible. Notice that I say INTERACT, not learn or study. Why is this, you might ask? Because I do not find it to be a good idea to commit more than 2-3 days a week to actively learning the language, as anything more typically leaves you feeling mentally drained, because your brain is trying to process lots of new information.
Great, you are thinking. Less studying for me. But what can I do with those other 3-4 days of the week that are left? Well, here is where we will discuss passive learning, AKA learning without studying. We are going to focus on practicing the skills we already have versus taking in new information. So what things can we do in order to passively study? Let's take a look below:
Review -> Take a look at your notes and review & study any grammar bits you might need to work with. Be sure to look over any new vocab and review again hard to remember words
Write sentences / Journal -> Take what you know and work on creatively expressing that. Whether it is just a short outline of a basic "how are you?" convo or a more in depth discourse, give a go at coming up with something. Try not to refer to your notes, even if you have to search for a while. Of course, if you are really stuck, go look it up. But the idea is to see what is in your head!
Listen to music -> This could be as simple putting on Spanish music in the background while you clean, in order to get a feel for the rhythm and pronunciation of the language. Or it could be more in depth, such as sitting down with an online dictionary & the lyric video, and working on learning whole phrases or new words.
Read -> Make it appropriate for your level, and if it is a book you are already familiar with, even better. This will allow you to focus on what is most important, which is actually reading (not trying to understand the story) and learning new words
Watch series & movies -> Whether this is with just Spanish subtitles to pick up vocab or Spanish audio as well to practice your listening abilities, this is a fun and easy way to learn.
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Passive learning is an important skill to master, not just during the language learning process, but also to use afterwards. The idea of learning any language is to be able to use it passively at some point. I.e., speak and read fluently, without need for dictionaries all the time. And so hopefully, we arrive to a point where we are no longer actively studying the language, but rather using it passively to read, write, speak, watch movies and listen to music.
During the language learning process, we use these tools to practice. And after we learn Spanish, this is how we will continue to practice and learn new words & phrases.
Be sure to hit reply and let me know: Have you used passive learning before? What did you do? Do you have any ideas that I missed?
Looking forward to your answer!
Anthony "Passive Learning is the Best" Mullis