Readlang Blog

Read for pleasure and super‑fast language acquisition

New Activity Monitor to encourage a daily language learning habit

September 10, 2015

The main reason people fail at learning a language is not showing up to practice every day. Effective language learners manage to incorporate the language into their lives on a regular basis, they form daily habits. Having a job where you must speak the language is ideal, but most of us need to find other ways to squeeze practice into our busy lives.

Here’s a tip: Avoid the temptation to set a very ambitious goal when it comes to daily practice. Try to set a small, manageable goal that you can accomplish even on your busiest days. When you have more time, that’s fine, hunker down for an extended study session. I would aim for a minimum goal that takes under 10 mins, that you can easily manage every day. You wouldn’t dream of not brushing your teeth, no matter how busy the day, and you should feed the same way about this goal. It’s the trick that Jerry Seinfeld uses, he commits to write at least one joke every day and never breaks the chain.

To keep things simple, I’ve chosen a daily goal for you: 10 translations or recalls per day with Readlang. This means you can:

  1. Read enough content to encounter 10 unknown words or phrases that you need help understanding.
  2. Try to recall 10 words or phrases using the flashcards.
  3. Any combination of the above.

You can keep track of your goal on the new Activity Monitor on the Readlang homepage:

Activity Monitor

Keep up this goal for many days in a row and watch your streak count increase. Remember that small sessions every day are more effective than occasional cramming. If you’re serious about learning your chosen language, cultivating a daily habit is the single most important thing you can do.

Leave feedback below, and please don’t hold back, constructive criticism is welcome!

Note: Words read may be a better metric than words translated, and it would be motivating to watch your rate increase as your skill improves. The problem is it’s hard for Readlang to know for sure how much of a page you actually read, especially when reading web-pages with the Web Reader.

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