Finding time to study languages isn’t always easy what with all the other things you have to do. You can probably find moments during the day when you could study a bit, each of which might be only short. This doesn’t matter as long as you manage to accumulate a sufficient number of moments.
Some people advise you to fill every spare moment with language-related activity. This is all very well if you’re the kind of diligent person who carries around textbooks, dictionaries, flashcards and other language learning paraphernalia which you can whip out whenever the opportunity arises. If, like me, you don’t always have such things to hand, you can practice your language(s) by thinking of the words for the things you see around you, trying to describe the appearance and actions of any people and or animals you encounter, or just talking to yourself.
While I do try to use my spare moments to practise my languages, quite often I spend them just daydreaming or leting my mind wander instead. Sometimes my daydreams are in other languages though.
Last week GeoffB over on Confessions of a Language Addict wrote a good post about planning your studies – he suggests that when planning language study, it’s better to find times that fit into your routine and make them part of your routine, rather than thinking something like ‘I’ll study for an hour every evening’, then failing to do so.
He goes on to comment:
“Too often when we formulate our language learning plans, we are making them not for ourselves but for our idealized version of a dedicated language learner. Then we beat ourselves up for not being motivated enough to stick to it. In laying out your language learning plans, think about how you live your life and how you do things. Try to lay out some routines you can actually see yourself sticking to.”