Jump to content
Linguaholic

How do you stay focused?


What's the hardest part about learning Spanish?  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. What's the hardest part about learning Spanish?

    • Speaking (Pronunciation)
      0
    • Reading
      0
    • Writing
      0
    • Grammar
      0
    • Listening
      1


Recommended Posts

I will be really good about studying and practicing for a week or two, then I will get distracted and not study again for a whole month. This doesn't help with fluency at all, obviously, and makes the next round of attempted learning to be extremely boring as I try to figure out what I've forgotten and what I've retained.

So how have you/do you stay focused enough to actually learn anything?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The main thing would have to be motivation, whether it is necessary to learn the language because of your surroundings, or a must because it will advance your career. The people I meet who want to learn a language "just for fun" or just take it as an extra-credit course in High School/College, generally never become fluent. Of course, there are always exceptions. I would find one certain thing to motivate you to keep at it. That way, it won't feel as much like a job to learn another language.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot of motivation to learn another language, in that there are better paying jobs if I can speak Spanish. There is also the 'fun' factor, of course, in that I think it would just be plain fun to be able to communicate in something besides English. I just can't seem to remember to study every day, even when I schedule it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree; motivation is extremely important. 

I think learning a language should be approached as any other ambition. If you have a specific goal and a deadline, that's even better.  If you're about to visit or relocate to a country where the language is spoken, that's ideal as it's a very specific goal with a very specific deadline. 

If that's not the case, you can always set some goals for yourself.  Perhaps there's a movie or a play you can strive to be able to comprehend without subtitles.  Or you might want to be able to converse with native speakers locally or on Skype.  Or you want to read some literature in that language.

You can then target your study towards those goals.  Spend time each day; schedule the time.  Make the time to study.  Remember your goals and your motivation at times when it's difficult. 

I went through this kind of process when I was learning Spanish.  I wanted to be able to take literature courses in college, and so that was my motivation the summer between graduating from high school and attending college.  I did a lot of studying that summer! :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also someone who gets distracted really easily. Most of the time I am distracted by the internet  :nerd:

So whenever I have something I really really need to get done, I make a list for myself and then I unplug the internet (or turn off my computer) and just sit through until I complete all or most of my tasks. If I need to learn a grammar structure or memorize vocabulary, I make sure I have those DOWN before I allow myself back on the net. I feel that I work more efficiently when I have a "goal" to reach (to my computer back on).

But of course, you also have to maintain interest in the subject if you want to do a good job. So basically, turn off all your distractions and set a goal for yourself. Working towards that goal will (hopefully) help you stay focus long enough to get some information in your head.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Exercise really helps me concentrate.

Its good for your health too. :laugh:

Exercise just distracts me. It would probably help if I had a stationary bike or something where I wasn't moving around. Less distracting! :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...

It is not difficult to stay focused if you have the need to learn a language or you have strong motivators in your life. Otherwise, it can be a challenge. One suggestion would be to set a schedule and stick to it comes what may and even if you miss a day just get right back to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have so much going on that it's easy for me to get distracted right now, but for me focus isn't too awfully hard. My hubby says I get scary when I get focused and am as single minded as a buzz saw.  :laugh:

Block out sound. (Easy for me... I'm a deafie.) Turn off all phones, TVs and shut yourself into a room if you have to. Set aside 1/2 to 1 hour everyday to study and STICK TO IT.

Hope this helps.  :smile:

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really a matter of motivation. What are you learning for, what is your goal? Keep that in mind and keep a track of your progress, seeing how we progress is really the best motivator there is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Distractions really come in many forms especially when you have to focus on a task. To counteract that, I heard that when you set up a ritual as well as a specific time of day to do your studying, you train your brain to focus faster on your learning and keep that attention longer. Personally, I do a simple routine after watching TV after supper. I bathe. That's about it. I take a bath and then go to my study corner and start learning French.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the best motivation is the realistic goal you have and to keep yourself reminded of it. I myself am studying Japanese and hopefully in the future, French as well, because I would like to live in both countries for a significant amount of time and would rather already know a good amount of the language by the time I get there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It does happen to me too, that i don't study for several days or so... But that's mostly due to not having time, rather than lacking motivation/willpower/focus.

I suggest setting up a schedule, to learn X amounts of words or somethign per day. Set a VERY LOW number, that you are guaranteed that you will make every day even if you have only 15 minutes each day. By doing this, you feel like "ah it will just take a few minutes and then I'm done with it". And if you happen to feel very motivated/focused/have a lot of time one day: you can just double that amount.

That is how I do with japanese atleast. Instead of learnign everything at once, I am now studying ONLY kanji so that I can put all my focus on that. I'm trying to learn atleast 5 per day, althoguh some days I have to spend entirely on repeating what i have already learned (because I forgot some of the ones I already learned). If I have enough time and all, I will double this amount, so I will learn ten one day. I rarely learn much more than that, but it has happened that I have learnt up to 15 or 20 kanji on one day, but I usually had to spend a day or so extra on repeating these, because a lot of them I forgot.

Setting too low goals is much better than setting unachievable high goals. Set high goals for your long term (unspecified time?), but short/easy goals for short term.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's really important to commit to a particular habit, before making a decision to start learning a foreign language.  If you don't do it consistently, you won't really end up learning, especially when you don't get to practice the language all the time. 

It will help if you will set easy targets first, just for you to get into the habit without much trouble.  For example, you can allocate only 15 minutes each day to learn.  It's not that much and so the likelihood htat you will get lazy is low.  Keep your targets easy and just increase it as you get used to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have ADD and it's hard to really focus for the most part. I use binaural beats whenever I want to focus. I do to absorb the language clearly in my head.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that helps me stay focused is classical music. I always have some classical music playing on YouTube whenever I am online trying to learn some Spanish. It helps me stat calm and relaxed so I can stay focused.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to being motivated to learn the language I think it's important to set aside and schedule yourself for learning and studying. I schedule a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week to study. If I don't make it part of my routine I'm incredibly committed for the first month or so and then become more lax about it. This then slows down any progress because I have to relearn the basics and the learning becomes choppy instead of at a steady pace.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This really requires extra effort for me. Having a quiet environment helps a lot. When I study I usually go to the library because there are less distractions. When things get hot - like if I am nearing a deadline - it is when I become supernatural. I go into overdrive and the urgency of the task at hand is the only thing that keeps me focused. In learning/studying a new language, I can only say that a genuine interest it the only thing that can keep you focused.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

When I am motivated in anything I can easily stay focused on what it is that I am trying to do.  With learning a language it will improve the quality of life for me because my employability will improve as will my salary.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use binaural beats these days and I'm telling you that they are super effective for focus. And it will help you absorb the languages you want to learn. Listen to one for like an hour and see the results.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've a lot trouble trying to stay focus, and I've had it since I was a kinder garden student.  Yup, that means that the conventional teaching methods don't work well for me, and that's exactly why I could never learn English using books alone.  I had to immerse myself in the language and practice it as much as possible without fearing or not caring whether I made a mistake or not.

I think the real key to staying focused is motivation, sadly I lack that right now.  I also lack the time to practice the language.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, my method in focussing is just to study deeply for about 3 hours, taking a break, then switching to another area of study. It helps me to rejuvenate myself and keeps things fresh. I think that helps me get motivated as well. Also, I listen to music when I study. I think I read a study somewhere that slow paced music is best.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...