There is a secret to be the best.
When we talk about French language, we often think about (hard) French conjugation, (hard) French grammar, pronunciation and listening. These are the skills French learners want to improve. But there is another part we can work on when we learn a language (or anything). It’s related to motivation. Motivation is the big issue nowadays, because as you know, we have so much to do, we have no time, no space in our mind and so much resources so that we are lost without having started yet!
Motivation is one of the keys of success. Everybody knows how to run (if you don’t know: put one foot in front of the other and speed up!). But a lot of people need someone to kick their ass to get motivated. That’s the use of all the apps on smart devices (like Runtastic…), to keep you motivated by having a constant feedback and a progression record. That’s fun, that’s a game, and it works!
Learning French is a bit the same as a constant work out session. We have to stick on DOING it, and stay regular. Since I’m independent, it’s a bit harder to stay focus because I work from home, my schedule is flexible so my personal and professional life are deeply connected.
A few weeks ago, I started to use a Pomodoro (or “minuteur” in French). Pomodoro is a countdown that you use to cook some dishes where timing is important. Instead of cooking, I’m working and it’s the same goal. I want my work to be well done! So I set up a time limit of 25 minutes within I must only work (it can be on whatever but I try to work on one only thing). When the time is over, I stop! (8 minutes left to write this article!). For me, it’s a very good tool since you have a 5 minutes mandatory break before going back to work. It’s 25+5+25+5 and so on. (you can find many online Pomodoro and even apps, for my case I use this one)
Recently I thought about using it with my students. Whatever your goal is. Not only you need to set up a minimum time to study French, but also a maximum, and a break before starting again. This system is a time limit system, the same when you workout for 10 minutes no more no less.
And depending on your goal and your level, you can set different times:
10 minutes on reading (out loud if possible)
a 5 minutes break (drink, stretch, clean, anything else..)
10 minutes on writing
a 5 minutes break
10 minutes on listening
a 5 minutes break
It allows you to set a start and an end to your session. And the most interesting is that when you MUST stop in the middle of something before getting bored, it makes you wanting even more getting back at it! The secret to be the best is to be constant and set achievable goals.
I finished my time now. I need a 5 minutes break!