Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'mChigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about….
Peter: How to Break Your Routine &Master a Language Anyway
Chigusa: You’ll learn...
Peter: One, The Importance of Taking a Break
Chigusa: And Two, How to Make Language Progress While Having Fun
Peter: ...All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned about the easiest way to speak more
Chigusa: ...by learning to talk about new topics and using our 1-minute cheat sheets… and how Peter applied all of this towards speaking more Hindi. How is that going by the way, Peter? Your goal.
Peter: Chigusa, I can always count on you to hold me accountable.
Chigusa: Well… who else will?
Peter: But it’s actually one of the most powerful things about making progress in anything - is accountability. I’ll be honest. I’ve been on track, and hitting my goals so far… but…
Chigusa: ...but?
Peter: ...The stars didn’t align or to rephrase, I kind of got fed up a bit. Well, I will say this, last month was impossible for me to stick with my routine.
Chigusa: That’s too bad but yeah, I can understand that. You’ve been pretty consistent these past few months. So, you didn’t hit your goal?
Peter: No, if you recall, my goal was 8 minutes but I think we spoke about this… I was traveling to Israel. So, picture this, Chigusa. I’m traveling in Israel, trying to remember my Hebrew, while speaking with my family, mixing between English and Chinese. Then, also calling back to Tokyo speaking in Japanese for work. So we have, trying to remember Hebrew, Chinese, English, Japanese…. So, something had to give and that was the Hindi. So, I did not come close to reaching my goal last month. Basically I took a little time off. And there’s a powerful lesson here. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about in today’s Inner Circle.
Chigusa: Part: One, The Importance of a Taking a Break
Chigusa: So, Peter. What exactly happened this past month?
Peter: Yeah, what didn’t happen this past month. Flights and hotels and traveling — getting back into traveling. Getting back into traveling was quite an experience. But, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Chigusa: Okay.
Peter: I think there’s a reason why many cultures rest for one or two days in a week, why people go on vacation, and why we take days off...
Chigusa. People need time to recharge their batteries…
Peter: Exactly. And let’s be honest. Language learning, it’s work
Chigusa: ...a lot of work. It really is!
Peter: It’s dedication to one goal... actually one of MANY goals in our lives, because we have constantly things going on.
Chigusa: Yeah... We have other things in mind. Bills. Relationships. Careers.
Peter: ...Kids. Making our flights. So, first and foremost, it’s work. Life’s work and language learning is work. So, sometimes you need to rest. Now, with that in mind, Chigusa, I was hitting my goals so far… sticking with the routine for the past few months.
Chigusa: And you got tired?
Peter: Tired is one way of putting it but also life getting in the way is another way of phrase. I thought I could stick with my Hindi routine but when you go to another country, you get pulled out of your routine and you’re trying to find the way to get back into your routine in your new environment.
Chigusa: Yeah, That’s how you end up quitting.
Peter: Yeah, you can easily not go back to the routine when you return. That’s why if you’re not hitting your routine, or life gets in the way, you can take a break, you should take a break. And that’s what I did recently, I broke my routine, my language learning routine and I just went with the vacation.
Chigusa: What did you do? 5:27
Peter: Well, I spent the last 3 weeks traveling around with family and I’m not going to lie, it was a little hard to find the time in the morning when you’re traveling. You’re extra tired, there’s so many new things that you want to fit into your schedule. You have to kind of give something up.
Chigusa: Yeah, I understand, but the traveling sounds great.
Peter: It was so great to travel again. New places, new people. New foods. So there was so much going on that if I let the fact that I wasn’t reaching my goals or sticking with my language learning routine really play in my head, I couldn’t have really enjoyed being there in the moment with my family, with the new people and these new experiences. So again, just flip the switch, step out of the routine but then know that you have to pick back up because that’s the really hard part. It’s so easy to shut it off and never turn it on again.
Chigusa: So Peter, you didn’t expose yourself to any Hindi at all? Or did you? To some extent?
Peter: One way I found to expose myself to the language…. Several times, I took the time to go to eat Indian food. And while I was there, I would listen to the people working there and try and speak with them a bit in the language. Again, expose myself to the language even though it was impossible to fit it into my routine. So that was my one way. There are certain languages that anywhere you go in the world you can expose yourself to.
Chigusa: Okay, so, you do something completely different… to break an old, tiring routine...
Peter: ...and make learning fun. Listeners, there are two ways you can go about this.
Chigusa: If you like reading and want to keep focusing on reading....
Peter: ...then put the textbook down and try a novel. Try a comic book.
Chigusa: So, you can still stay within that skill.
Peter: Or, you can completely change it up. If you’re focusing on grammar...
Chigusa: Jump over to speaking... or passively listening to audio lessons.
Peter: If you’re learning Japanese...
Chigusa: ...watch a drama or anime.
Peter: The big takeaway here is, you break away from your routine - what you’re used to. and relax with something more enjoyable... Because, when you only focus on reaching goals, you can lose sight of what actually brings you the most fun.
Chigusa: That’s very true. But, let me play devil’s advocate here. If you’re just doing what’s FUN, can you REALLY learn a language? As in like, watch TV and actually learn something?
Peter: Well, let’s get into the 2nd part first.
Chigusa: Part 2: How to Make Language Progress While Having Fun
Peter: Okay, I have a story for you Chigusa. So… I knew this one person who was learning Japanese. And the person just started learning intensively so his Japanese wasn’t at the highest level. In fact, it was nowhere near the novel he started to carry around. And my Japanese was at a very, very high level at that time and I couldn’t really understand what he was doing with the novel. To be honest, I had never read a novel in Japanese.
Chigusa: Yeah, there are easier ways to learn.
Peter: So, I asked him: “why are you carrying around the novel?” And he tells me, he’s reading it to learn Japanese. So, in my mind, I’m thinking....
Chigusa: There are much easier ways.
Peter: Precisely, and also, good luck! I flipped through it and it was a struggle for me. But, he said “I like to read.”
Chigusa: So, he was learning like that because he liked reading?
Peter: Precisely and in English, his native language, he liked to read. So he applied that to Japanese. Fast forward half a year, and the first time I saw him it took him maybe a day to do a page, now he was doing 10 pages a day. I was shocked. He wanted to read. Instead of drilling flashcards and learning the basics, he started at the top of the mountain. He learned to read through the novel.
Chigusa: He just got straight to it. That’s actually really impressive.
Peter: So he took what he liked to do in his native language, and he went all-in in another language. His target language. So, yes, you can learn BUT...first, you have to ask yourself... two things. First, what’s your goal or the reason for really learning? And second, what brings you the most amount of pleasure?
Chigusa: And then work backward from there?
Peter: Exactly. Whatever your goal is, start applying some of your time to that goal right away.
Chigusa: If your goal is to speak with a significant other, try it today – speak. Don’t set a plan for someday.
Peter: If your goal is to watch TV, watch it. Even if you don’t understand all of it.
Chigusa: If you like books, read a book.
Peter: Take the purpose, that goal, that you’re studying for, and apply it right away.
Chigusa: Now, Peter, I would still think: Your friend… if he’s a beginner or an intermediate level, I would imagine he would STILL struggle with defining a ton of words on every page. Now, that doesn’t sound too fun.
Peter: Not to me. But, you know, if I learned one thing in my many years on this planet - everybody has things that they find fun that ... other maybe people don’t. So I guess everyone has their own personal interests.
Chigusa: What’s your thing? Talking? Speaking?
Peter: Definitely speaking. My thing is talking at the restaurant about good food… or talking with the barista about coffee
Chigusa: Okay, I can see that.
Peter: Now compare… with his, he enjoyed reading and memorizing grammar out of a textbook.
Chigusa: Well yeah, memorizing grammar is not as fun.
Peter: To us maybe. How often do you think you’ll jump out of bed, excited to do this?
Chigusa: Never.
Peter: But, both methods technically can work. And both require work. I’m sure my friend spent a lot of time looking up words but… .but if you enjoy one more than the other...
Chigusa: ...you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.
Peter: If you like reading grammar from a textbook, you're probably going to do really well focusing on that. If you like reading novels, watching Netflix, talking about restaurants…
Chigusa: ...you’ll make progress as long as you put the time in. And you’ll get to actually enjoy the learning process.
Peter: And that’s important. Let’s be honest listeners, learning language is hard work.
Chigusa: Yes it is. Alright, Let’s talk goals. What’s your small, monthly, measurable goal, Peter?
Peter: Last time was 8 minutes but now I have to go back in, so 10 minutes.
Chigusa: Great. 10 minutes. Deadline?
Peter: September 30th. Now, let’s see if the theory holds. The reason you’re supposed to take these days off and take a rest is so you come back refreshed and you can do even more work. So, let’s see if the theory holds. I had a lot of rest, so now I should be able to come back twice as strong.
Chigusa: Okay, looking forward.
Peter: And listeners, let us know - how often do you take a break?
Chigusa: Do you ever switch up your learning to make it fun?
Peter: And let us know what your goals are for the month.
Chigusa: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Peter: And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


Chigusa: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Chigusa: Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you next time.