I have made a big deal on this blog about my system that I am using to learn Spanish/improving my Thai. I wrote 3 posts about my system of language learning, which is summed up under the My System Page. Reading the system page and the posts, one might get the impression that when following it; one cannot deviate from the system. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
My system is a pattern. That is it. It isn’t anything more than that. It is a pattern that lets you organize what you are doing so as to attack your language learning obstacles.
Why is that good?
With out a pattern, one will haphazardly start learning random stuff with out knowing why or how to use it. You will be able to order food at a restaurant (which you may or may not need), but you wont be able to talk about yourself or what your passions are (which you will always need)
When you have a pattern you can organize what you are learning and how. You never have a question, what am I going to do today to learn X. You decided before hand and you do it.
Isn’t that enough then?
Here is the thing. Life is never going to fit your perfect system. You need to be able to adapt the system to fit your life and your needs. That is why it is a pattern. It is the framework. Only you can figure out how to make that framework meet your needs.
For example, I now have a new job which means I commute 40 minutes each way. On the commute there, it’s great! I am fresh out of bed and excited to learn more Spanish. On the way home, I am fresh from work, tired and not really in the mood to concentrate on what I am learning about.
What do I do? Well I could just listen to the radio, but since I am extremely motivated to learn Spanish, I listen in Spanish instead. Maybe I talk to myself about the day, in Spanish. If I don’t know the words in Spanish or the proper grammar, I just do the best I can and use English to fill in the gaps. Sometimes I even listen to an audio that I plan on using for the next week.
As you can see I am following the overall pattern, but adapting it to my needs. As my needs change again, I will have to adapt it even more. The important thing is that you are doing it and that you know WHY you are doing it.
If you have any experience with this I would love to hear your comments down below.