by Gillian Rodriguez
There are multiple things that can distract your attention while you are studying something. For instance, the new and the upcoming things would distract me when I was studying languages. Initially, I started to work on a coursebook. However, when I found a web-based learning tool for languages, I would shift to it. This way, I abandoned the older resource for a new one. However, the material became more and more challenging, and even intimidating, for me.
Then I started to look for something that could be fun, and for that, I tried multiple diverse and interesting web resources. However, I was still not able to do the basic task (language learning) well enough. My choices were not aligned well enough with the goals I had.
Success and breakthrough came when I changed my entire approach towards language learning. I created a well-organized learning system for language learning. The organizational inputs helped me be more productive. Today I possess conversation abilities in multiple languages, and I am no longer a novice due to the organization.
During my journey of language learning, I learned how to organize my resources, learning routines, and the methods to minimize the efforts. My experience tells me that it is always better to set up a system in advance when compared to creating it, as one goes by the journey. It helped me better utilize my time, routine, and materials. The organization helped me be a better learner. Now, I use both digital as well as physical resources for tracking my learning activities. My activities towards learning may vary from one language to another. Still, below are the tools that are used consistently by me to achieve the goals and to be an organized learner.
I have a notebook for all the different languages that I study. I use these notebooks for:
Apart from the essentials, the notebook is also proof of my progress in a particular language. A look at the notebook tells me how far I have come in learning a particular language. It also helps me know the knowledge that I have gained so far. The notebook makes it easy for me to memorize the new words of a language, and to remember them.
The web-based study tool and application Memrise helps me study vocabulary. Memrise itself has several courses on languages. I also used the other material and the flashcard decks for learning. When I use the app every day, the software and the application tell me what I should be reviewing.
The intuitive and simple application TeuxDeux can be used for creating and modifying daily lists. The app provides a five-day view of the tasks and the items can be moved, jumped, and modified as well. The best thing about the app is that it will transfer any unfinished activities/tasks to the next day. Some of the important things that I write down in this particular app include a "to-do list of the study habits" that I am improving, the specific learning tasks that may I may have for a given day, and my exchanges and lessons.
There is a special panel on the app that is called "Someday". Any task that you may have to complete, but are not aware of when you will have time for it, can be listed here. The app now has a subscription fee.
I can store all of my language notes in the application Evernote, which is a digital notebook. I can use the app to create video, text, and voice memos, and to send emails to the exchange partners and the tutors. All my blog posts, topics, and ideas are stored here as well.
The Asana web application can be used for managing projects. I used the application for:
The intuitive and user-friendly application Asana helps me easily know what I am currently working on. It also helps me know the resources I am currently using and allows me to sort the languages based on priority rather easily (through the "drag and drop" function).
Powerful video messaging and screen recording tool Stork.ai is also helpful for studying languages. The screen recording function of the app provides for asynchronous presentations and lesser meetings. The screen recording feature also ensures that no meetings are missed and anything is recorded easily. The voice notes and the voice messaging feature helps you to record your calls and save time, as you need not send texts every time. There are also other useful features available in voice messaging, including the voice-to-text transcripts and the "pause and continue" functionality. You can also collaborate remotely through the video messaging feature and can share voice screen recordings and videos directly in the app. Video messaging provides for efficient communications. The inbuilt speech recognition feature will transcribe any video note and message. Stork provides for better communication and more productive collaboration.
When you want to have good forward progress, you must try to stay on top of things. The tools, resources, and organization tricks worked well enough for me and helped me refine my work. I can undertake my studies and learn systematically now, and no longer repeat the same materials again and again by using the different tools. Appropriate methods and selections diversify my learning experience.
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