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Building a study schedule

Commit to a minimum amount of time to dedicate every day. People generally recommend approximately an hour per day, with an absolute minimum of 20 minutes. 

Beyond the need to sleep or complete any other essential responsibilities, there is no maximum to the amount of time you could spend. The more you can commit each day, the faster your progress will be. Every additional minute helps.

Make sure you also have a large enough block of time sometime in the week to get some focused study done. That might be an hour on the weekend, for example.

How much time you can spend during the day is going to be the primary indicator of how achievable your goal is. If you think you can’t reach your desired goal given the time available, you need to either make time or adjust your goal’s timing.


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Make sure you’re not distracted while you’re studying.

Everyone gets distracted by something. Maybe it’s the TV. Or maybe it’s your family. Or maybe it’s just too quite. Some people actually study better with a little background noise. 

When you’re distracted while studying you (1) lose your train of thought and (2) are unable to focus — both of which will lead to very ineffective studying. Before you start studying find a place where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. 

For some people this is a quiet cubical in the recesses of the library. For others is in a common area where there is a little background noise.

Use study groups effectively.

Ever heard the phrase “two heads are better than one?” Well this can be especially true when it comes to studying. Working in groups enables you to (1) get help from others when you’re struggling to understand a concept, (2) achieve goals quicker, and (3) teach others, whereby helping both the other language learners and yourself to internalize the subject matter. 

However, study groups can become very ineffective if they’re not structured and if groups members come unprepared. Effective students use study groups effectively.

Review your notes, everything you’ve learnt and other materials over the weekend.

Successful language learners review what they’ve learned during the week over the weekend. This way they’re well prepared to continue learning new concepts that build upon previous work and knowledge acquired the previous week.

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