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I was studying spanish at the time. Watching television in Spanish seemed like a good idea.
I had read the idea in a few blogs and I was pumped to give it a shot.
I figured I could spend hours watching shows in Spanish and in no time I would be picking up more and more new words. From the things I read online, (silly me) it sounded like a great idea.
Within the first 5 minutes of watching my first spanish television show I noticed the problem.
I couldn’t care less about the television show. I was completely zoning out. When I really forced myself to focus I was able to make some progress but it was a constant struggle. By the end of the first show, something started to click.
I hate watching television!
It’s true… I thought watching television in Spanish would help me learn while I really don’t enjoy watching television in English.
Whenever I do sit down while a television is on my brain zones off to think about more entertaining things like how cool it would be to see a giant kangaroo race a train!
This is a bit of a silly example because it seems so obvious but it’s a problem that a lot of students accidentally step into.
You shouldn’t try to learn in a way that you don’t normally spend your day. If you don’t watch television then you shouldn’t watch it to try and learn for fun. If you don’t read books then you probably shouldn’t try to learn through books for fun.
Notice the words “for fun.”
In general the 15MSS is my goto strategy for stuff I have to learn.
If you’re learning something for fun then you can get creative.
While you’re getting creative, try not to get too creative.
Immersion isn’t about flipping your life upside-down to immerse yourself. It’s about learning to live with more of the subject.
(The valuable part about moving to another country to learn the language isn’t the moving. It’s the fact that you’re using that language to eat and do all the things you normally do. If you’re like me and cooped up on the internet all day, it doesn’t help!)
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