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Neil Kendall Languages

The language learning challenge

A polyglot's worst nightmare - time management!

May 19, 2017

Well, I should start this post by stating that 'biggest challenge' might be a better phrase than 'worst nightmare' here. And what is the biggest challange facing a budding polyglot? 

Is it memorising words? Is it learning the grammar of a language? Is it speaking, reading, writing or comprehending the spoken language? Although all these things can be taxing and require hard work, I've personally found there's one thing that's even more demanding than all of these, and that is time management!

Yes...there are only so many hours in a day, and when a language learner has to juggle several languages, while trying to move forward and learn new things in each, but also revising and maintaining what he/she has previously learned, it can very quickly eat up large chunks of time. It gets even more challenging when one has to fit all this around the rest of their life too!

And to top it off, if one lets the languages slip for a while (and that's easy to do when life gets in the way....), they'll quickly find themselves getting a bit rusty and just not as sharp in each language. So what is the solution?

Good time management, that's what! If you are a serious language learner and want to get to a high level of fluency in whatever language(s) you're learning, you're going to have to be able to control your time properly in order to fit in regular language learning/practice in order to progress. 

For me, that has meant getting up earlier, starting earlier in the day, fitting language studies around other things, and giving myself a set amount of time and/or certain targets to reach in each language (such as finishing a section of a course, etc) before moving on to the next language I'm working on. Fortunately I'm self employed, so can be more flexible with my time, but I dread to think what it would be like for someone holding down a full time job and bringing a family up who is trying to become a polyglot.

I guess it's slightly harder for me given that I am studying several languages at once, and in fact I will be writing a blog post on that very subject soon to giving my thoughts on how to manage just that.

So how do you other budding polyglots manage your time? I'd love to hear back from you if you happen to be reading this post.

Until next time, take care :-)

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