Ok, you jumped in whole hog, and started learning Chinese. You found Chinesepod, and were thrilled with the lessons, and the content. You were able to speak a few words after shadowing a lesson, and your progress was fantastic. From not knowing even 1 word of Chinese, to knowing a few hundred words in a couple of weeks. You're deliriously happy, learned, and now even a bit worldly.
3 years (or sometime later), the newness of learning Chinese has worn off. In the beginning, learning Chinese was flying down an interstate highway at 100 mph (161 kph). Now, it's hiking through an Alaskan bog in summer, and you're progressing at a snail's pace. You call for B.B. King, because the thrill is gone from Chinese learning.
What gets you through this period will be easily created, easily maintained, study habits. These were the secret habits that you created when you first started learning Chinese. They are as automatic as brushing your teeth, and as simple. They take as long to complete. Here are their key characteristics:
-15 seconds or less to get started, maybe 10-30 minutes to execute.
- performed daily, regardless of vacation, business trips, camping trips, job changes, changes in commuting route, and other interruptions of otherwise stable routines.
-- likely successful long term routines are indeed done right after you brush your teeth, but before you put on your clothes.
- covers the four horsemen of Chinese learning: speaking, listening, reading, writing.
- covers both new material, and a review of old material.
- likely requires the use of an iPod or mp3 player
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