Did you know that on average, it takes 25 minutes to refocus on a task after an interruption? And to reach fluency, you should spend at least 20 – 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week practicing. So, you’ll need to find distraction-free periods of time to focus on learning Swedish each day. The best way to make this happen is knowing how to schedule learning Swedish.
Why You Need to Schedule Learning Swedish
Structure matters. Without a schedule, you won’t have the structure you need to reach your language learning goals. Mainly because you’ll lack a way of gauging your progress. Sticking to a schedule makes it easy to track your efforts, the strength of the strategies you’re using, and the actual time you spend studying.
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This is important because you will stumble in your language-learning journey. But failure isn’t the end of the world, as long as you can learn from your mistakes and grow. But without a schedule in place that allows you to see where you failed, you won’t be able to make the necessary adjustments that allow you to grow.
Cramming in Language Learning Won’t Work
When it comes to learning a language, cramming doesn’t work. In fact, there’s science that proves this. So, before you begin your language learning journey, you have to get rid of that belief. Your brain needs to form new synapses to help you remember the language. And that takes time. This is why there is a limit to how fast you can learn a new language.
To get the best results, you need to slowly create these new pathways over time. The best way to do that is to study for about 20 – 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You can do more, but giving yourself two days off each week helps rest your brain. This is much better than studying once a week for 3 hours. All that will do is hurt your head and leave you frustrated.
The Importance of Goals
Before you can lay out a schedule, you need to look at what you want to achieve. If you’re interested in reaching fluency in Swedish, then you need to understand that your lessons will have to take priority over other things in your life.
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For instance, if you’re trying to figure out whether or not you have time to study, you need to look at what kind of activities you do for fun each day. While Netflix, YouTube, and social media can be fun, they won’t get you closer to mastering Swedish. (Unless you’re using Netflix to learn a foreign language or watching Youtube Language lessons).
Once you realize what you want to get out of your language learning efforts and how important learning Swedish is to you, you’ll be able to schedule time each day to learn the language.
When Is the Best Time of Day to Learn a Language?
The short answer is that it depends. We all have a circadian rhythm, our body’s way of regulating wakefulness and sleepiness. It keeps us balanced and healthy. 4 out of 5 people do their best work in the mornings. That means that 20 percent of people are night owls. But the rest of us are better off scheduling our language-learning lessons in the morning.
If your mornings are busy, try scheduling a nap or meditative period after work that will help you clear your mind before studying Swedish. Alternatively, if you work out, you can have your lesson after going to the gym. Physical activity can recharge the brain and body, giving you the focus you need to study.
Keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with studying Swedish before you go to bed either. You’ll fall asleep thinking of Swedish while giving your brain the time it needs to build new neuropathways, helping you remember your lessons.
How to Create a Language-Learning Calendar
Once you’re familiar with all the aspects around a schedule, you’ll need to create a calendar. While you may not pull it out every day, it can be beneficial to have that structure in place at the beginning. Whether you like digital or paper, start by blocking out the time where you cannot study. Everyone has to sleep, most of us have to work, and we have other life obligations.
After you do that, look at which time blocks are free and where you can put in a slot of 20 – 30 minutes to study Swedish. If you have more time than that, great. But first, try and focus on making sure you give yourself at least that much time each day to study.
Finally, you’ll want to test it out. We sometimes forget about obligations when we first sit down to write out a schedule. These may push your lessons to later in the day. You may also realize you’re more of a late owl when it comes to language lessons than you thought. You might also find that certain days of the week are simply too busy or that you’re too distracted at certain times. Either way, test out your schedule and adjust.
Your Language Learning Schedule Needs to Work for You
Flexibility is key. If you don’t enjoy your schedule, you won’t follow it. If your friends want to go out on a Wednesday night, you should be able to push your efforts to learn Swedish to a different time or a different day. This will help you stick with it in the long run.
You also want to give yourself time to adjust to this new schedule. Human beings aren’t great at handling sudden, drastic changes. So, if you miss a few days starting out, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Habits take time to form (about 2 months). And know that the longer you stick with the schedule, the easier it will be, and the faster you’ll reach fluency in Swedish.
How to Schedule Learning Swedish, written for Daily Scandinavian by Jonty Yamisha
Entrepreneur and Linguist, Jonty Yamisha created OptiLingo after his efforts to protect his native language, Circassian, from extinction. Using scientifically proven strategies such as Spaced Repetition and Guided Immersion, OptilLingo has helped thousands finally achieve fluency.