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Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Teach Yourself a Language [part 6]

Tempering the Knowledge by Letting Yourself Cool Off
Everyone has the moment of frustration, the one where it feels like no matter what we do to make something work, we just can’t make it work, and everyone responds to it in their own unique way (mine? Lots of raging and possible throwing of things like some sort of petulant child *laughs*). Quickly, can it cause you to do things you’ll regret later, so the three best things you can do for yourself in such tense moments are to just put it down, do something else for a while and sleep it off. Why those things?

            When you don’t let yourself get caught up in the moment, you can see a situation for what it is and approach it from a more objective perspective, thus giving you a better chance at finding the roots and changing what needs to be changed. In addition, once you come back, you can zero in on where you went haywire and get through the obstacle in front of you, however long or short that process may be. They may not be the easiest thing in the world to do, more so if it seems like something needs to be done right away, but as someone who has a short fuse for lots of little things, I know how much it means to not let those emotions sway the next things we do(which are often the things we later regret the rest of our lives).

            Similarly, when you do something else, your mind has a chance to piece things together in the background and make connections the heat of the moment didn’t let you do before, which is often the source of many ideas we get while we’re out and about and getting things done; this same process goes for when you hit the sack after your studies and get into a deep parts of your sleep, this portion referred to as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. That principle is what drives the “learn while you sleep” tapes they peddled back in the day (which don’t work that well unless you were learning that stuff while you were awake).

            In addition, when you have some form of white noise in the background while you study (e.g. a show you like but already saw, songs you’re into and have heard many times before), your brain works double time to hold on to what you’re currently learning and makes it stick that much stronger once all is said and done, the same applying for when you change up your learning environment and apply the same info to different circumstances. If you’ve ever had to retell someone something else told you, you know you won’t often remember the whole of what they said and instead give them the essence of what was said; the same applies for when you keep changing up where you learn, in turn letting you develop the ability to apply it in any number of situations under any amount of pressure (and as you put this stuff to the real world test, this will become crucial to hitting the nail on the head).

            Naturally, this is becomes much more meaningful when it means to us and how we live our lives, but how can we make a method our method? (coming up next post!)