Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa 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: The 10 Habits of Highly Effective Language Learners
Chigusa: ...that will carry you through to language learning success
Peter: ..and help you reach your goals.
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned how to create a language learning profile
Chigusa: ...in order to keep language learning...fun and relevant
Peter: ...to who you are, as a person.
Chigusa: And last time, Peter... you promised you’d reach 5 minutes of French conversation.
Peter: Right. So the month before that, I was around 3 minutes....
Chigusa: ....and? Did you reach your goal?
Peter: I did, Chigusa, i timed and tested as of last week.
Chigusa: Oh, tres-bien! So, 5 minutes of conversation. Just so our listeners know... is this a free-style, no-holds barred, anything-goes chat in French?
Peter: Wow, Chigusa, yes, that’s very nice French from your part. But, Chigusa, getting back to your point - actually far from it, Chigusa. I’m still a beginner, remember.
Chigusa: So then... how do you reach 5 minutes?
Peter: Well...I have a Skype teacher that I do these conversations with...
Chigusa: Oh!
Peter: But, more so, it’s .. preparation.
Chigusa: Preparation? What do you mean by that?
Peter: Well, it’s one of the habits that I’ve developed over years of language learning.
Chigusa: By the way listeners, this is topic of today’s Inner circle.
Peter: “The 10 Habits of Highly Effective Language Learners”
Chigusa: Let’s jump right in.
Peter: And I’ll also reveal how I apply them.
Chigusa: Listeners, you may have heard some of these in our past Inner Circle lessons...
Peter: ...and that’s because they work.
Chigusa: We apply them time and time again.
Peter: So, let’s start with the most important habit a language learner can have. It will set the foundation of your language learning success.
Chigusa: Listeners, if you walk away from this lesson and only remember one habit...
Peter: Let it be this one:
Chigusa: Number one — get into the habit of setting small, measurable goals....
Peter: ...with a deadline. And I want to expand on this point even further. You should set goals for every study session.
Chigusa: For example, your small, measurable goal can be to finish 30 lessons in a month...
Peter: ...and if a month has 30 days, you know you need to do 1 lesson a day.
Chigusa: And 1 lesson can be anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes long.
Peter: So now you have your goal for the day. For your study session: do 1 lesson.
Chigusa:...and spend up to 15 minutes on it.
Peter: That way, you’re not confused about what you should do, how long you should study for...
Chigusa: ...and now, you know what you can expect to accomplish.
Peter: Another powerful lesson here is... goals take away anxiety.
Chigusa: Listeners, imagine you set a big, vague goal like “I want to be fluent...some day”
Peter: You don’t have a plan but you buy a textbook. And you read the first chapter.....
Chigusa: ...and then you start worrying if you’re really learning. You don’t know how far you should go... you have no real plan or specific goal.
Peter: Then, you start worrying about if you’ll ever be fluent, you lose motivation and quit.
Chigusa: But if you set a small goal, you know you need to do 1 lesson a day. Just 15 minutes. And that’s it.
Peter: Okay, Habit Number Two: Create a Routine.
Chigusa: This ties back to the first habit.
Peter: If you set goal like.. Doing 30 lessons in 1 month...
Chigusa: ...if you work backwards, you know that you need to do 1 lesson a day.
Peter: So that’s how you create your routine.
Chigusa: I think another important thing is, you should decide when and where to study.
Peter: Great point, Chigusa. You’re absolutely right. Listeners, even if you’re putting in just 5 minutes a day...
Chigusa: You must know when and where you’ll do it. Why?
Peter: So you can make time, make a mental note that this time is language time..
Chigusa: ...and say no to other things that come up.
Peter: Just like you know when it’s time to brush your teeth...
Chigusa: ....you should know when it's time to learn a little language.
Peter: Creating and sticking with a routine is a great habit to have...
Chigusa: ...because the routine is what turns your goals into reality.
Peter: Habit Number 3: Don’t Cram
Chigusa: This is also similar to the 1st habit. You start small...
Peter: ...instead of going all out and cramming for 5 hours.
Chigusa: I think most of us developed a habit of cramming... back in school.
Peter: Yep, you’d wait til the last day...then you study for 5 hours...
Chigusa: ...but even if you pass the test, you still forget it all.
Peter: But with language, you want to remember it, so you can use it.
Chigusa: Luckily, our lessons are short and sweet so you’re not spending hours...
Peter: But the point stands — 5 minutes a day, every day is better than doing 5 hours now...
Chigusa: ...and burning yourself out. Okay, what’s Habit Number 4?
Peter: Okay, this is a great one. Prepare Lines and Conversations Ahead of Time
Chigusa: You do this a lot, right, Peter?
Peter: Exactly. For every language that I learn, I always prepare lines ahead of time.
Chigusa: Hmm. Well, what do you mean by prepare?
Peter: Okay...Imagine you want to open a bank account ... in your target language.
Chigusa: Okay.
Peter: Now, You can show up at the front desk and grunt and point ...
Chigusa: ...and try and communicate with body language...
Peter: And that may not work out too well. Or, you can prepare: You look up words like “bank account” “open” and all the relevant phrases.
Chigusa: Ah, okay, that makes more sense.
Peter: So, preparing is a must. It gives you a foundation of words and phrases you can use in real conversations. It places you miles ahead of other learners.
Chigusa: How do you prepare?
Peter: With my conversation goals.. I took the Top 25 Questions Series on FrenchPod101 and now I have ton of phrases and questions to use.
Chigusa: Like “How are you? How was your weekend?”
Peter: Exactly. I can talk about my weekend. What I did with my family. And pretty much do everything the same with my family every weekend, so I can talk about this fluently usually after about 4 weeks of saying the same thing. Then, I can ask about their weekend. And this is how I build towards my goals.
Chigusa: But what if a conversation starts dying... and you’re not at the 5 minute mark?
Peter: Well, Chigusa, you can plan ahead for that too. In my case, I have go-to lines prepared like... “by the way, what's your favorite restaurant.” Or, “by the way.. My goal is to learn French because I want to visit France” and we can start to talk another topic.
Chigusa: Ah, that’s great. So, preparation is key. That’s pretty clever actually.
Peter: Thank you, Chigusa!
Chigusa: Okay, what’s next?
Peter: Number 5: Get into the Habit of Producing Output
Chigusa: So, input is... taking language in, right? Listening and reading?
Peter: Exactly. And output is ... putting language out.
Chigusa: So speaking and writing.
Peter: The big point here is, it’s very easy to just sit back, and listen and read...
Chigusa: Yeah, you can listen to lessons all day long... listening helps with listening
Peter: ...but it won’t get you speaking the language.
Chigusa: And the easiest ways to produce output are...
Peter: ...for speaking, repeat what you hear out loud.
Chigusa: ...and for writing, copy out the lesson vocab and dialogue by hand.
Peter: Okay, Habit number 6: Come Back and Review
Chigusa: A lot times, what we learn goes in one ear and out the other...
Peter: ...which means we don’t really learn.
Chigusa: So, this is where reviewing comes in.
Peter: Listeners, when you’re done with a lesson, come back to it a few days later.
Chigusa: ...and do another round. You’ll likely come across words and phrases you’ve forgotten.
Peter: Or even easier, download the dialog track or the lesson notes..
Chigusa: ...and review those at a later date.
Peter: Taking the time to refresh your memory is key to remembering.
Chigusa: Otherwise, if the language goes in one ear and out the other...
Peter: ...then, you’re not really learning. Chigusa, I recently started reviewing for 5 minutes a day. I turn on a stopwatch, look over the lesson notes and practice speaking.
Chigusa: Isn’t it tough to go back and re-do something you’ve already done before?
Peter: Well. It’s actually easier the second time around since I know it already.
Chigusa: Next... Number 7:
Peter: Look for Solutions
Chigusa: Listeners, One thing that separates new learners from experienced learners is...
Peter: ....How they react when they don’t understand something.
Chigusa: So, because beginners completely rely on the study tools they use....
Peter: ...they tend to blame them too.
Chigusa: I think textbooks get a lot of blame. You’ll often hear that someone gave up because the textbook was too boring. Or because their textbook won’t teach them to speak.
Peter: More experienced learners look for solutions. If you realize a book won’t help you speak...
Chigusa: it’s not really the books fault, is it?
Peter: It is not.
Chigusa: It can still teach you grammar and tons of words...
Peter: ...so you should look for ways to practice speaking too.
Chigusa: Like reading out loud... or getting a conversation partner.
Peter: Number 8: Focus on What You’re Good At
Chigusa: And the reason we say this is...
Peter: ...it’s good for motivation overall. If you’re generally better at speaking than writing...
Chigusa: Then, you’re more likely to enjoy it...
Peter: ...which means you’re more likely to continue with it.
Chigusa: ...and that means it’s a successful routine.
Peter: Well said Chigusa. There’s no point in breaking what already works.
Chigusa: What are you good at, Peter? How do you apply this?
Peter: Well, I have a habit of jumping into speaking and listening from day one. I just prefer it more. So, I think I’m good at speaking... but that’s because I devote so much time to it.
Chigusa: Number 9: Don’t Procrastinate
Peter: Oh, this is actually easier said than done, but, this is an important habit to have.
Chigusa: And let’s be honest. Most of us procrastinate....
Peter: ...and I think a lot of that is a result of “overthinking”
Chigusa: What do you mean?
Peter: Well, lor example, let’s say you plan on studying today. So you remember “ah, i have to study...I have to study...” and now it becomes something you have to do and that’s kind of a hassle.
Chigusa: Ah, yeah, if I think about it like that, I’m kind of ruining my head. It feels a chore.
Peter: Yeah, very very well said. But if you set a small and measurable goal... and set an easy routine...
Chigusa: For example, just 5 minutes a day..
Peter: Then, that’s not much to work to do. 5 minutes and you’re done.
Chigusa: So if you want to beat procrastination...
Peter: ...make sure that you’ve made your goals and routines easy and most important - realistic. In my case, listening to FrenchPod101 lessons on the train is a no-brainer. I have nothing else to do.... So, i put that time to good use.
Chigusa: Number 10: Remember that Learning a Language is a Marathon...
Peter: ...and Not a Sprint. It’s a long term game.
Chigusa: And remembering this is a good habit to have. If you’re having a bad day...
Peter: ...or if you missed a goal... like i have, many times, it doesn’t mean it’s all over.
Chigusa: It’s just minor stumble-bump in the grand scheme.
Peter: Actually, I like this one the most because you can tie this habit back to a few others...
Chigusa: ...like don’t cram?
Peter: Exactly. Because it’s a marathon, you shouldn’t cram. A 5 hour session will only hurt you. So, it’s okay to do 5 minute study session.
Chigusa: And it goes back to setting easy goals and routines, too. It’s okay to start small and go slowly.
Peter: So listeners, right now you’re in your 4th month of language learning.
Chigusa: You learned how to set goals and routines....
Peter: ...you know how to practice language input and output.
Chigusa: ...and how to keep learning fun and relevant.
Peter: You’ve learned a ton, but remember, it’s the habits that will carry you through in the long run.
Chigusa: So, here they are again:
Peter: Number 1, get into the habit of setting small, specific goals.
Chigusa: Number 2, create a routine
Peter: Number 3, don’t cram
Chigusa: Number 4, prepare lines and conversations ahead of time
Peter: Number 5, get into the habit of producing output
Chigusa: Number 6: come back and review
Peter: Number 7: look for solutions
Chigusa: Number 8: focus on what you’re good at
Peter: Number 9 - this is a hard one - don’t procrastinate
Chigusa: and Number 10:
Peter: ...Remember that Learning a Language is a Marathon and Not a Sprint.
Chigusa: If you want to remember and apply these habits...
Peter: ...then check out the PDF cheat sheet available with this lesson.
Chigusa: You can even print it out and keep it around as a reminder. Alright, Peter, so you’ve hit your goal for the month.
Peter: For my next one... I’ll aim for ... 7 minutes of conversation.
Chigusa: Sounds great! Deadline?
Peter: Deadline is May 31st.
Chigusa: Listeners, how about you?
Peter: What’s your small, measurable monthly goal? And what’s the deadline?
Chigusa: Let us know.
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Chigusa: 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: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.