Category: Attitude

Never Skip Two Days in a Row

Written by Yuri Karabatov. Drop me a line on Twitter.

Language learning can be fun most of the time, but it’s still a tedious process, requiring months and years of our lives.

It takes burning motivation and unyielding willpower to spend all that time polishing one skill: understanding a foreign language.

Sadly, a lot of people miss on constant motivation, and even more on willpower — including me, and probably you, too.

How to make up for those drawbacks?

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DIY Language Immersion

Written by Yuri Karabatov. Drop me a line on Twitter.

I have good news: you mustn’t go to another country to immerse into your target language. You can do that at home, for free.

Immersion is when a foreign language cloaks you: you hear it, you see it, you speak it, you write in it.

This is the blueprint for the DIY language immersion project.

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The Value of Distractions

Written by Yuri Karabatov. Argue with me on Twitter.

Life is too full of distractions nowadays. When I was a kid we had a little Emerson radio and that was it. We were more dedicated. We didn’t have a choice. ~ Stan Getz

We fall for distractions every day. Distractions hinder our progress towards the final result, like speaking a foreign language.

Fortunately, we can turn this disadvantage of human nature into a powerful friend.

We will not avoid distractions, we’ll embrace them instead and make them useful.

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Learn Just for Fun

Written by Yuri Karabatov. Follow me on Twitter.

Study is hard work,” school taught us. “Dare to bash the granite of knowledge!

This attitude to knowledge became ingrained in our souls: chalk, ink and sweat. As a finger-smashing ruler, it stops us doing the impossible.

Succumbing to the calm of TV and remaining ignorant is easier.

It’s high time to banish this conspiracy of difficulty from our minds.

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7 Sure-Fire Ways to Overcome Language Learning Block

Written by Yuri Karabatov. Follow me on Twitter.

Time comes when you loathe the very thought of learning a language. But once you enjoyed it so much! Where has all the love gone?

I can name reasons, the most common is being bored with the same routine repeated over and over. Routines kill joy. Another one is studying the wrong material, either too hard or dealing with topics you don’t like, or don’t need.

Here’s how to reclaim the joy of learning.

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Overcome the Fear of Speaking

Written by Yuri Karabatov. Follow me on Twitter.

There is time, especially in the early stages of learning a new language, when it’s hard to make yourself speak out or actually talk to someone. The words won’t come out, or you feel shy, or both.

Beware: if you let this persist, it can stretch for years. Some people are known to leave speaking for later, when they are more confident or know more words. This later of theirs never comes.

Benny Lewis of Fluent in 3 months is sure that one should speak from day one of learning a new language: it helps memorize words and yields invaluable practice. I can’t but agree with him: you should speak as soon as you know a few words.

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Think Differently

Written by Yuri Karabatov. Follow me on Twitter.

The best way to learn a language is to use it all the time. Apart from speaking, reading and writing, it means thinking.

The ultimate way to learn a language is to think in it.

Now, there is a major point you should remember. Thinking in a language is the best way to retain knowledge, and that’s it.

Thinking won’t teach you anything. You still have to read and listen to learn new grammar and improve vocabulary.

Thinking, nevertheless, helps you solidify everything you’ve learnt so far. So, how do you trick your brain into it?

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35740868 Heartbeats

Missed me? I know you did.

Scientists say all mammals have an average lifespan of a billion heartbeats. It means us humans as well.

We can stretch it, but we can’t stretch it indefinitely.

2010 has taught me that every heartbeat of that billion not spent in happiness and joy and passion is wasted, and that’s true.

If you don’t push your dream, no one will push it for you.

Let 2011 be the year of the dreams come true. No obstacle is big enough. Sky’s the limit.

I’m putting conventional wisdom to shame and doubt everything about learning languages. Want it done, wipe the slate clean and start all over. That’s what I’m doing.

Dream the impossible, achieve the unachievable. You can do it. I wish you all the luck in the world.

Cheers, have a great 2011!

11 Things to Let Go: Forget the Old Ways

Written by Yuri Karabatov | Follow me on Twitter

This post was inspired by Reverb10.com, where you are encouraged to write 750 words (or about 3 pages) every day on a given topic which allows you to reflect on the year 2010 and manifest your expectations for 2011. Seems a great idea to me!

Today the topic is “11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011”. It won’t be only about me, but about you too, and many others who start on a new language and, to be true, sometimes fail miserably. Here’s to our success!

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