Tips

How to create a language learning routine that works FOR you

We’re busy, everyone is busy!

So how do you build learning Spanish (or any new language for that matter) into your already busy schedule without getting overwhelmed?

It’s true that encorporating a new routine into your schedule can be tricky – but it’s not impossible. You just need to look at what is working for you at the moment, along with what isn’t working for you and start to make some changes.

For example; me and my family recently moved to North Wales and I wanted to start learning Welsh. I already had a healthy morning routine that suited me (it involves getting up at 6.30am doing 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reading and 20 minutes of meditation 20/20/20). I really didn’t want to interrupt that successful routine.

My “morning me time” as I call it ends at 7.30am when my children start to get up for school. But there is still a 10 minute window, until 7.40am that I have to myself. Usually I use it to tidy the kitchen but since moving to Wales I now dedicate those 10 minutes to learning Welsh.

This might not sound like much, but 10 minutes a day, five days a week (weekends are usually for free-styling) is 50 minutes a day. That is enough to make decent progress over time.

Throw into the mix that my SatNav and Alexa are in Welsh and I practice a little with my kids (who are both fluent after 18 months of schooling here) and becoming a Welsh-speaker is starting to become more of a reality to me.

So, what do I do with those 10 minutes a day?

Well, I alternate between lessons on YouTube and the App “Say Something in Welsh” mainly. If there was a course I cold take that delivered 10 minute videos a day with practical exercises then I would definitely do that (if that sounds like something that would work for you take a look at my Holiday Spanish Course here). However the only Welsh courses I have found are 1.5-2 hour long weekly lessons and as you can imagine I just don’t have time for that at the moment. I do book private lessons during the summer holidays though. Private lessons allow me to put into practice what I have been learning, ask questions, fine tune my listening skills as well as build my own speaking confidence.

Once you’ve found a gap in your day work your learning routine into it and try it out for three weeks – this is how long it takes to build a new routine – it’s important to give yourself enough time.

If you can’t find a gap of even 10 minutes in your day it’s time to take a closer look at your daily habits. Are there any habits that you might call unhealthy? For example checking your phone for 10 minutes before you get out of bed? Or sitting scrolling through Facebook while you have your breakfast? Maybe you’re a smoker?

Look at replacing one of those “unhealthy habits” with a new “language learning habit”. To make it easier try “habit stacking”, that is stacking one habit after another. For example; I really enjoy my morning cup of tea and always have it while I’m doing my 10 minutes of Welsh each day. Once I’ve done that I have a lovely warm shower and get ready for my day. Habit #1 Make my tea, habit #2 learn Welsh, habit #3 shower!

Stack habits like these Mexican pots

I hope you find this useful. Believe me I know how frustrating it is to really WANT to learn a new language but struggle to fit the “learning” bit in.

There are some more Top Tips on How to Boost Your Language Learning in this Blog Post too šŸ™‚

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