Morning Routine for Language Learning
This post is a transcript of a video on my YouTube channel.
Studying English? Here’s the transcript as a lesson to study on LingQ.
The morning is a big part of my language learning day.
If you can get stuff done in the morning, first thing that kind of sets you up for the day so that even if it’s not a very active day, from a language learning point of view, at least you’ve taken that first step. So typically what I do in the morning is I might, first of all, review a couple of lessons on my iPad from the day before in whichever language I’m learning. Nowadays it’s either Arabic or Persian.
Then it’s time to get out of bed. I will set up in a room where it’s quiet and my wife doesn’t have to listen to me where I will play something that’s easy to listen to, like the mini stories for example, even though I’ve listened to them many times, or something that’s new and fresh, like a podcast that I’ve just downloaded. I’ll put that on and that’s now running in the background. Then I go to my muscle booster, a website where I have this seven minute routine which consists of sit ups, pushups, burpees, stretching and side planks. There’s a range of things and they mix them every day. I don’t know what’s coming at me next. It’s all in 30-second intervals and it’s extremely good. So for seven minutes, I will be doing these exercises while this Arabic or Persian is running in the background.
Then typically, if it’s the summer, I go for a swim in the ocean. The water is around 16, 17 or18 degrees, depending on the day so that really wakes you up I can tell you! Then time for breakfast. So typically I go in, I’ll cut up fruit, start preparing. We have muesli. I make my espresso coffee, so I grind some coffee beans set the table and all the while I’m listening. If the dishwasher is full from the night before we had just run the dishes, I’ll go in and empty the dishes. Preparing for breakfast and then also cleaning up after breakfast is at least a half hour of listening. Most days I will be doing those activities and listening to my language.
It has been the case that I tend to have my Arabic online tutor sessions around 10 or 10.30 in the morning. And right now I have sessions with Adel Samy. And so we’ll have an hour two times a week. Then very often my wife likes to play golf, so we’ve got golf set up at 12.30 or 1 PM. So we charge off to the golf course. If I weren’t in the car with my wife, I’d be listening to Arabic or Persian, but there’s a limit, right? There’s a limit. I can’t do that.
When I come home I need to find another half hour or so maybe an hour to sit down and go through whatever it was I listened to and save words and phrases or review words and phrases or read it. I basically pick up the pieces from what I started in the morning, but the morning is very important. First of all, the, the seven minute exercise routine, which is great, throwing myself in the water sure jars the brain cells, and then spending some time with the language. Every so often I have to vacuum or clean up or do other activities around the house. There again, I’ll be listening.
So a lot of that stuff happens in the morning. Now other people have other things happening in the morning. Like they might be going off to work, but there again, there’s an opportunity in a car or on a train or a subway to listen to language. So I find that if you can trigger, you know, or you get things started by listening in the morning, then you just have to circle back later on and go and find those things you’re listening to where maybe you’re curious about certain words or expressions that you kind of half know, or completely don’t know, and you can look them up and start on the process of learning them.
So I just thought I’d mentioned that my approach to the morning is to get a start on the day. If I come home from the golf and I have time, I might get on my stepper or go for a run down at the school yard or maybe lift some weights or use the TRX. But at least I’ve got in that seven minutes of exercise in the morning. And also at least I’ve got in that half an hour or 45 minutes combined listening in the morning to get a start on the day from a language learning point of view.