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Tips for Pacing Yourself while Learning a New Language II

Hallo und wilkommen, Ich heiße Evan.

<pre> Allow me to begin by thanking all those who took the time to read and reply to my previous post, and to give even more thanks to those who gave constructive criticism and helpful feedback. There were a few replies, in particular, that gave me cause to post a part II, and those posts were authored by the following users ; Elvper, TNel1, AmalieB39, and Capser_Duo. The common theme between all of their comments was that the methods I posted were too slow and time consuming for successful learning. Because of that, I feel that a disclaimer is overdue. Each and every tip I give is from personal experience and the experiences of others, and as such, they will not work for everyone. The tips I post are meant to be a starting place, not the end all be all source of information. So I implore you to search through multiple sources and discover the method(s) that works best for you. So with that out of the way, lets get into this series of tips. </pre>

1) Designate a schedule for practice. Whether it's 10 minutes or an hour, scheduling is important. Not only because the routine will help you remember to practice, but knowing when and where you will practice will allow you to prepare accordingly.

2) If you have the time and ability to do more, then do more. My personal method is slow and steady, but everybody learns differently. If you feel that you can learn 4 or 5 skills a day, then do that. In the end, it's not just the pace at which you learn new skills that is important, its the repetition and cementing of the knowledge you have learned.

3) You're not in school (unless you are), so don't treat it like school. Now, while I can't speak for the rest of the world, in the U.S. all learning is test based. In America, we don't learn to learn, we learn to pass the test, and we forget the small information soon afterwards. Your learning should not revolve around memorizing words so that you can repeat them, as that leads to the issue of having too much going on to keep track of everything. Instead, allow yourself to fail, you're not on a clock, and you can re-try a lesson as many times as it takes. Don't rush when it's not a necessity.

4) Patterns! Patterns! Patterns! All languages have patterns, be it in how words are conjugated, or the sentence structure. Don't kick yourself because you couldn't remember one small detail, instead, attempt to see the patterns in the language. Because once you understand the rules of the language, the words come easier.

5) Don't translate it in your mind! I can speak from personal experience on this one, one of the worst mistakes I made was thinking "oh, that is the word for this, and that means this". English was not the first language to exist, so treating other languages like they were based off of English is a huge mistake. Lets look at an example. "Ich habe durst". In English, that would be translated to "I'm Thirsty", however, the literal translation is "I have thirst" with habe meaning "To have". This goes back to the previous tip about patterns, and as such, you need to find a balance between learning the literal translations and the cultural translations. This balance, however, is different for everyone, so please play around with it to find what works for you.

6) Your learning will not progress at a constant pace. Some subjects are easier to learn than others, and some rules and patterns are more difficult to wrap you're head around. No matter what your personal pace of progression is, it will not remain steady, so don't expect it to. If you realize that your pace will fluctuate, then you can prepare for when you crash, and keep a level head when you power forward.

7th and Final ) Compartmentalize! No matter the speed at which you power through skills, keep them separate and build off of them. You don't need to re-do every skill just because you're behind in one area. Grouping certain aspects of a language together not only helps with managing things in your mind, but also keeps you from stumbling once you hit a wall. It is always best to know where you stand, and by grouping aspects of the language together, you can view the overall status of your progression in a much simpler manner than you would otherwise be able to.

<pre>Now, I know what some of you are thinking, "I thought this was going to be a post about tips for learning a language at a faster pace" and to that person ( we're gonna call them Tom ) I say hold up. This post was already getting too long, and I had only just finished giving some tips on the mental components to learning (that I found successful). So Tom, before you go off and tell me that my tips are useless, read them slowly and wait for a day or so. Chances are the next post will be up by then, and you can read all 3 posts and give feedback regarding the whole series. As a final note, I want to say that by no means am I a professional nor am I the smartest person here. These are simply some tips that I have found to work for me, and I implore you to add your opinion down in the comments. After I make Part III, I will probably release a part IV featuring the best tips and tricks that I saw down below, so that those who disagree with all my tips may still find some help. But as I said, I'm not a professional, so chances are, I am very wrong on a few things. So Tom, if you see something that is glaringly obviously wrong, please inform me. I don't mind looking a fool, I just want to get better at what I do. </pre>

bis nächstes Mal, -Evan

April 15, 2017


Sorted by top post


This is one of the most wholesome posts I have seen in a while.

April 15, 2017


Thank You.

April 15, 2017


Unfortunately this pacing, just got to level 6 in German after a year, burn out case?

March 30, 2018


E-Asthetik, I just saw this post, about a year late. When I responded to your original post, I was supporting you and your suggestions. Not sure how that later got misconstrued, or if you made a mistake in the names you mentioned and intended to name someone other than me.

To set the record straight, here is what I posted:

"When I'm learning new material, I may only be able to accomplish one new skill in a week or two, due to older age and less ability to retain new words and grammar rules. I still do lots of practice in both the new skill and general review, even though I'm focusing on one skill for quite a few days.

"E-Aesthetik's suggestions are right in line with the way I can best learn from Duolingo - slow pace in moving through the tree, lots of practice spaced throughout the day, and not powering through the lessons without really learning the material.

"For people who can learn more quickly, other methods may work better, and that's fine, too.

"But E-Aesthetik is stressing lots of practice to master new material, which, believe me, takes a lot of time daily - often at least an hour for me. In over a year, I'm close to halfway through the German course. I'd love to have finished it by now, but that's impossible for me. I have to work hard and keep plugging away. I will eventually get there, and I will really know the material and be able to use it to communicate - which is the whole purpose of Duolingo, right?

"Different learning styles work for different people. I'm sure E-Aesthetik doesn't expect all Duolingo users to follow these suggestions."

And here was your response: "You are far better with words than I think I will ever be. You hit it almost directly on the head."

Sorry that I got your user name wrong then, but other than that, I have no idea what the issue was with my response, and I am sad that I was specifically named as someone who doesn't read posts carefully and is critical of others' suggestions. I wish you the best in your language learning and appreciated your original post, but I feel the slam against other Duolingo users was unnecessary and unhelpful.

April 9, 2019
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