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: How to Adjust Your Routine &Learn Language from Home
Chigusa: And today, you will learn...
Peter: 1) The Pros &Cons of Learning at Home
Chigusa: 2) How Peter Adjusted and Hit His Goal for June 2020
Peter: and 3) How You Can Learn from Home &Add Variety to Your Day
Chigusa: 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 how to get back on track with language learning...
Chigusa: …after failing a goal…
Peter: ...or if you’re just looking to restart your language learning journey.
Chigusa: And Peter, you failed your April and May goals. Now, what about June?
Peter: So for June, I set a smaller goal of 3 minutes of Hebrew conversation. And I hit it. By the way, listeners, just so you know, we’re recording this at a much later date than June. We weren’t able to use the recording studio due to the pandemic, and so we’re catching up.
Chigusa: So, you hit your goal!
Peter: I did. Well, then again, 3 minutes isn’t much.
Chigusa: But that’s the point, isn’t it? You set such a small goal so that you can quickly bounce back.
Peter: You’re exactly right.
Chigusa: So, how did you do it? Was it hard to get back to Hebrew after a two-month hiatus?
Peter: Chigusa, great question. I think you kind of know the answer already, but let’s get into today’s Inner Circle because that’s what it’s all about.
Chigusa: How to Adjust Your Routine &Learn Language from Home
Peter: So let’s get into part 1.
Chigusa: Part 1: The Pros &Cons of Learning at Home
Peter: So, I went for two months without practicing Hebrew… and I only started getting back into it this past June.
Chigusa: And you’re learning at home, right? Was it hard to bounce back?
Peter: It’s strange to say that I’m learning at home because… some of my study sessions already took place at home, before the pandemic.
Chigusa: Ah, that’s true. And probably for some of our listeners too...
Peter: But my daily routine did get flipped upside, so that was challenging, and I think maybe a lot of people can relate...even at home, your routine, your daily routine is radically different.
Chigusa: How so?
Peter: Well, earlier in the year, in a normal daily routine... I’d commute to work and take my HebrewPod101 lessons on the train. I’d do a bit during my lunch break at work. On certain days, not every day. Then commute back home. But, there’s none of that now.
Chiguysa: Right, because you’re working from home…
Peter: And staying at home pretty much the whole day. My previous learning routines were built into my existing routines… like commuting. So, when I shifted to home, my daily routines changed.
Chigusa: ...you lost your language learning routine and had to start over.
Peter: Exactly.
Chigusa: But learning at home or working from home doesn’t sound so bad.
Peter: I think like everything in life, there are pros and cons. So first the pros, first there’s convenience. I can learn whenever I want. I also have more time in the day since I’m not commuting, or walking from the train station into work. It’s also easier to practice speaking.
Chigusa: Is it really easier to speak at home?
Peter: I can’t really practice on the train or at lunch break or in the office during work. That might sound a little strange.
Chigusa: ...Ah, because you’re in public. But at home…
Peter: ...I have all the freedom in the world. So I can dedicate more time to practicing speaking.
Chigusa: Okay, now about what about the cons?
Peter: Distractions. There are a lot more distractions at home.
Chigusa: Yes, there’s the tv, there’s the couch and the food...
Peter: You know, it’s funny. When you’re at home, that concept of “I’m working
Is so distant. So the kids can come in, family members can come in. So, I think the difference between physical borders and mental borders; it’s a little hard to realize.
Chigusa: Mental borders?
Peter: Let’s go back to my regular routine, the physical routine before the pandemic. I would leave the house, physically leave the house and physically walk to work and physically be on the train, so I actually had this physical separation, and in doing each thing, in my head, I could tie that to a routine. So, the mental part was there. The mental stuff was easy because I would actually leave the house, and while I was walking, I could listen to the podcast, right? You’re with me so far?
Chigusa: Mm-hm.
Peter: But now that I’m at home, everything’s structured in my head. Okay, 9-10 work, 10 coffee break, then back to work. So everything is structured in my head, plus there’s no physical separation from family members so... “hey, what’s going on in there, hey dad,” people coming in. So, it’s so easy to break down that mental border. So, then I get a little offtrack. All of a sudden, the routine gets thrown out of whack.
Chigusa: I understand. But you were able to bounce back. How did you learn this time around?
Peter: Let’s get into the second part.
Chigusa: Part 2: Peter’s Process
Peter: So, as I mentioned last time, I scaled my goal down from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. I also scaled down my routines. Because I had a two-month hiatus, I had to reset and set new routines.
Chigusa: So, you did just the HebrewPod101 lessons.
Peter: Exactly. Earlier in the year, I was doing lessons on the train, flashcards at lunch. I was also taking online classes and using Premium PLUS. So I had to restart with something easy… the lessons. Mostly because it’s just easy to listen to audio lessons.
Chigusa: What was your routine like? Did you just pick a random time of day?
Peter: Well, as I usually, I looked at my existing routine...which I had to reset when I moved to this new routine. It took, to be honest, several weeks to get into a new routine.
Chigusa: Right, you always have to build new routines on top of your existing ones.
Peter: To start... I wake up around 7 AM. Start work at 9 AM. Lunch break at 12 PM. End around 4 or 5 PM. So I had some room for lessons during lunch and in the evening. In the morning, during breakfast, I’d play a lesson and just take it in. During lunch, I’d listen to the lesson again and also read along with the lesson notes. I’ll also shadow the conversation. In the evening, if I don’t want to take a walk, I’ll come back to the lesson notes and write out the dialog. And I’ll listen to the dialog and shadow some more.
Chigusa: Oh wow, so how long does this all take?
Peter: There are small bursts of effort. Try to keep it to 10 minutes of silence where I can actually focus … is kind of; we have currently 5 people in the household, including myself. So 10 minutes is the ideal time I can carve out for myself.
Chigusa: And how do you space them throughout the day?
Peter: It’s like studying a little bit over a long period of time rather than cramming it all in one shot. And by doing it this way, you remember it better.
Chigusa: You also end up adding some variety to your day.
Peter: And that’s a really good point. If you’re working from home… and if it’s just... wake up, eat, shower, work… I guess you can play around with the order here, wake up, shower, eat...but what’s happened is that it’s kind of like that movie, Groundhog’s Day where it’s the same routine over and over and over. Saturday becomes Friday. The days start to blur together. So, I think that actually doing this and adding this language component to my daily routine helped a lot.
Chigusa: Yeah, doing that gives you some variety.
Peter: Exactly. Sometimes I’ll take a walk in the evenings, and I just match it to my routine, and I just match it to my routine. That’s the nice part about the system, if you’re out for a walk, you can listen to your audio lessons, if you’re in front of the computer you can do some words quickly if you need a break. It’s a lot more productive than going down a YouTube rabbit hole.
Chigusa: Okay, we covered routines. Which HebrewPod101 lessons were you taking?
Peter: I was taking the Absolute Beginner audio lessons. In all of our lessons, you learn a practical conversation...which is what I used to hit that 3 minute mark.
Chigusa: And the 3 minutes… Did you do a timed speaking session?
Peter: Exactly. You know, when I speak to my teacher, I have a stopwatch. Again, I think this helps with the goals. It’s how I’ve tested myself with all the goals I’ve taken on. I have an online teacher for speaking practice… and we turn on the timer. Again, the first minute and a half to two minutes are catching up. It’s the repetition of things we discussed in the past. And that usually opens up a conversation. So, for example, what did we do last weekend? My weekend schedule for the pandemic was fixed. Took a couple of weeks, but it’s fixed again, so now when we speak about the weekend, I’m usually hitting the same words so, but again that drills it in. That’s usually what I’m doing - stuff with the kids.
Chigusa: ...and that’s quick 3 minutes. You’ve reached your goal. Now, what about our listeners. What can they take away?
Peter: Let’s get into the third part.
Chigusa: Part 3: How You Can Learn from Home &Add Variety to Your Day
Peter: Learning at home, while convenient, does come with its challenges, and I think you can apply this to work too or doing anything at home.
Chigusa: For example, it’s a bit harder to concentrate or have any kind of structure…
Peter: ...because your home is first and foremost, a place where you relax, sleep, eat, watch TV, spend time with people...
Chigusa: But there are ways to turn at-home time into productive time. So, here’s how you do it.
Peter: Number One: pick a time and a dedicated place for learning. And preferably not your bed.
Chigusa: Just like an office is associated with working time and your bedroom is associated with rest, you need a certain place associated with language learning.
Peter: It could be your desk in the corner of the room. It could be your basement. For me, it’s actually the balcony.
Chigusa: The balcony?
Peter: You know, before the pandemic, I never used the balcony. It’s small—about 4 feet. We put a little table out there and sit outside with my coffee. I close the door. It’s soundproof, so the noise is reduced, and that’s my space I associated with speaking and learning a language.
Chigusa: As long as it’s far from distractions and places of rest.
Peter: Next, pick a time. That way, for example, when it’s 9 PM, you know it’s time to put in 10 minutes of language learning.
Chigusa: Two: Timebox your study sessions.
Peter: Timeboxing is simply setting a fixed amount of time for an activity.
Chigusa: For example, you’re going to dedicate the next 10 minutes to language and nothing else.
Peter: If you usually have trouble concentrating, timeboxing is a good way to set boundaries and get things done.
Chigusa: Three: Start small.
Peter: Just like with setting small, measurable goals and realistic routines, don’t set aside 2 hours for study time.
Chigusa: Instead, try to timebox 5, 10, or 15 minutes…
Peter: ...and stick with that for a week or two. You can always increase your time later.
Chigusa: Four: Do multiple sessions in one day.
Peter: Instead of trying to master a lesson and the lesson dialog in one shot…
Chigusa: Space out your learning throughout the day. In the morning, afternoon, and at night.
Peter: So, take an audio or video lesson and read along with the lesson notes in the morning.
Chigusa: You’ll get acquainted with the conversation, all the words, and grammar rules.
Peter: Don’t rush to memorize it all. You’ll come back later to it in the day.
Chigusa: And do this for around 5 to 15 minutes.
Peter: During the day, Practice shadowing the dialogue. Practice recalling the words. Do this for around 10 minutes.
Chigusa: You can also write out the lesson dialogue, practice using the grammar rules, or drill the words with flashcards.
Peter: And at night, come back and review for about 10 minutes. You can relisten to the lesson or just the dialog track.
Chigusa: You can also re-read the lesson notes.
Peter: Or shadow the conversation two or three more times.
Chigusa: At this point, you should be a lot more comfortable with the language…
Peter: Simply because you spaced out your learning and came back to review.
Chigusa: And while it may feel repetitive…
Peter: it’s the repetition that helps you master the language over the long term.
Chigusa: Five: Use at-home-time to practice speaking more.
Peter: It would be hard to practice if you’re commuting or out on a walk…
Chigusa: But, if you’re at home, you can easily speak out loud…
Peter: ...actually, you could probably practice on a walk but… whether you’re shadowing a conversation or just reading out loud.
Chigusa: Alright, Peter, let’s get back to goals. So you hit your 3 minute goal. What’s next?
Peter: The next goal will be 5 minutes.
Chigusa: Sounds good. And listeners, let us know what your small, measurable monthly goal is.
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com, 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!