Welcome to Week 2 of the Kick Start Languages 10 Week Course! This blog accompanies my Week 2 YouTube video which was released yesterday so if you haven't seen that yet check it out here:
Hopefully, as I said in the video, if you are reading this you have now completed your first week of 25 minutes of language learning per day. If you've achieved that exactly as you hoped you would that is an immense achievement and something you should be really proud of! Very few people achieve that sort of behavioural change as easily as you have so make sure you keep practicing as consistently as possible in the next couple of weeks. You have nearly formed a language learning habit already and just carrying on doing what you're doing will get your there in a few weeks. This is huge. Well played!
If it hasn't quite gone to plan yet don't worry too much. Very few people are able to adopt new habits quickly. Persistence is the key so rather than giving up or telling yourself you 'tried' but 'life got in the way' try to be very specific about what it was that went wrong. Really drill into it and work out what you can change for this week because if you change nothing the chances are you'll be sitting here next Sunday in the same boat and by that point you'll be too far behind to start Week 3. If you've done two or fewer sessions this week it is highly likely you need to look at my section on habit formation again as you won't complete this course unless you're consistently smashing out five (or at the very least four) 25 minutes of learning per week. However, don't despair because I have deliberately designed the course on the assumption that the majority of my participants won't have completed Week 1 'properly' and that quite a lot of people will be joining us live in Week 2. As such, if you are new to the course or you haven't 'done' Week 1 yet don't worry! You're just going to have more 'conscious' learning to do this week than those who have already nailed Week 1. On that note, if you have smashed the first week please don't be thinking 'Well, that was pointless I could have skipped a week!' As I've said before the unconscious learning is actually the key to the course so you're still at an advantage! So, with all that out the way, what are you going to be learning this week?
As the title of this blog suggests the aim of this week is to learn the numbers 11-20 and the 'question words'. Specifically the words for:
Can I / Can you?
That's literally it! If you want to learn each question word in isolation that's absolutely fine or you can learn each of them within a couple of useful sentences eg 'Where is the bank?' 'Can you help me?' 'Who are you?' However, whilst this is a bonus this isn't necessary at this stage. It's very much a matter of personal preference as some people find it a lot easier to learn words in context and others are happier learning the word on it's own. There's no right or wrong here! As usual, it's up to you how you learn these words but there's a bit of extra help for those learning Spanish, French, Italian German or Dutch.
When it comes to the numbers just make sure you continue with where you set off last week. Remember, you're banned from counting in English and by the end of this week you'll have 20 new numbers to think about! How exciting! Don't forget to learn the number '0' too and another quick tip is to learn how to say 'plus', 'minus', 'times', 'divided by' and 'equals'. That way you can start testing your knowledge of the numbers by giving yourself impromptu maths tests! This is by no means essential but it's a great way to practice your numbers at random intervals through the day!
Don't forget, your conscious push to learn the question words and the numbers should only be for around 10-15 minutes per day out of your 25 minutes. Don't worry at all if they don't sink in to start with or even by the end of the week! You can keep coming back to them. This is far better than cramming them to 'tick them off'. In your 'unconscious learning' time this week I'd like you to really focus on listening to the same 'dual translated' (English and foreign lyrics) song as least twice every single day. Don't try to consciously 'learn' it. Just listen to it day in day out and try to mouth along to it as the week progresses. If you can sing along by the end of the week that is an amazing effort but don't let this be the focus. Obviously this involves picking a song you like or at least don't hate because you'll be hearing it a lot! Personally I've picked this one for my French learning:
If you want more tips on using music to learn a language look no further than Megan's incredible blog on the topic.
Finally, don't forget to keep trying to 'think' in the language you're learning and loop the phrases 'I'm learning ....' and 'I speak....' over and over in your mind to keep priming your brain and reminding yourself that this is a key part of your new self-identity!
That's it for today! Keep up the great work you legends and let me know how you're getting on!