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Forum Take Weekends Off?

Take Weekends Off?


So learning a new language can be tiring. Between work and the 1-2 hours I put in a day learning Japanese when the weekend rolls around I just want to relax. Is this ok to do when you're learning a new language? Or do you need to be doing it every single day?


I started learning Japanese in advance of a trip to Japan last November.  Nearly 12 months later, long after my trip  had taken place, I went back to learning it and many of the lessons had stuck.  If I can manage a 12 month gap, you can manage two days if it makes you happier  ;-)


For me, I need to study every day, without fail. But, sometimes life gets in the way of my formal study method of carefully listening to a lesson, and writing down as well as speaking the Spanish and English phrases, and taking the tests. For example, once every week or two I have to get up very early, drive several hours to do some work, then several hours back home again. I do not have time to formally study on those days, but I still listen to CNN en español on my truck radio, download the current lesson to my iPhone to listen to while driving, and during a meal break I study my flashcards in Anki. These are more "passive" study methods, but nonetheless still get me thinking in Spanish.

Maybe you need to take a break from your longer, formal study on the weekends, but could benefit from just doing a shorter session on the weekends or doing something different (and maybe fun) like watching a movie in old Godzilla film? Just yesterday I watched a very interesting documentary in Spanish about pre-Colombian civilization in Mexico. I was very interested in the subject so I turned on English subtitles to aid comprehension, but listening to the Spanish narrative while reading the English subtitles still helped cement word meanings in my mind.

Or maybe you really do need a day off once a week. We all learn differently. Find out what is best for you.

toru e

I do what Dan-H24 does for the languages I'm learning and maintaining. My Spanish and French are already advanced, so I just read books in those languages and there's no real pressure to finish at a certain time. However, my Japanese is just around A2 level, so I need the ritual. That said, you don't have to follow the same script or formula everyday though. For example this weekend, I don't have my usual Japanese class until later in the week, so I'm practicing writing Kana and Kanji on paper.

You can also watch NHK World which is mostly in English, but occasionally has Japanese conversations with English subtitles. It's a good way to learn about Japanese culture, and there's also a program called "Japaneasy" which only teaches a handful of basic concepts, so it's not too overwhelming.


I am sure the answer will be different depending on who you talk to.  I try to work on Rocket French every day, but I know a break now and then is refreshing and I pick up easily where I left off.   You don't want to get burned out on something like this! 


I agree with all of the above: it really has to be whatever works for you. I've tried learning my language many, many times over the years but this is the first time I've really stuck with it. I think it became a bit of a chore for me before and I eventually dropped it. I have no doubt that Rocket is making a big difference this time around, but I also try to mix things up a lot so I do some face-to-face tutoring once a week too which helps immensely. 


I take the "schooling approach"  to my language learning.  I work on designated lessons etc. Monday-Friday, and leave studying and free-range vocal practice for the weekend (although you shouldn't be afraid to do additional practice of this kind on all other days if you want). I think the weekend is a good time to just listen to your radio, read articles, and speak in your new language. It doesn't let your mind totally leave what you have been learning, but  lets it absorb the information while still providing some extra immersion. 


Nothing wrong with taking a break.  Just remember it's only a break.  You don't want to frustrate your learning by being exhausted; and you shouldn't break for weeks on end.  Take a week end off, but get back to it on Monday if you need a break.


I have this fear that if I take a break, I'll stop and give it up. I've started to try to learn my language so many times over the past 20 years, and eventually I'd stop and forget everything. This time I've been going for a year and studied almost every day, and every day for the past 8 months. I use the 'streak' as a motivation to do something every day, even if only 10 mins. 


Drewster, I agree.  I study every day, even if just long enough to get 500 points or review one lesson.  I love the streak as a motivator, too.  I don't want to break it!


For me, I think it's best for me to have several days of doing Chinese handwriting, and several days of the more "textbook" type of stuff, and a few days of doing fun extras, like translating as much of a paragragh or something into Chinese. This works best for me, but everyone is different, so it might not be the best way for any of you. I hope this helps!


I think you need some interaction with the language every day. If you don't use it you lose it is a good motto to follow.


I agree. It does get a little boring always doing one sort of thing, though. That's why I do some of each kind. I don't get as tired with doing one kind of thing so quickly that way, and it makes it so that I'm learning several different parts, and can figure out what I need to work on most. One of the "fun extras" that I like to do is to use Google Translate on things I already learned here, and see how much it needs corrected, or, I can have it translate names, although I wish I could do that on here, as it would probably be more correct.


Perhaps going from study to watching native videos of your language "movies" or TV shows will break up the monotony.

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