Lesson Transcript


Peter: Listeners, what’s the best language learning advice you've ever received?
Chigusa: Do you remember?
Peter: In today’s Sunday News, we’re going to reveal 7 pieces of advice that are guaranteed to help you...
Chigusa: ...stay motivated with learning languages...
Peter: ...speak the language and improve faster...
Chigusa: ...improve your memory and retention.
Peter: .....and we’re giving away a free PDF cheat sheet with bonus learning tactics at the end.
Chigusa: Welcome to this episode of Innovative Language Learning Sunday News! 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: Okay, Peter. You’ve been learning languages for... how many years?
Peter: Wow, middle school? 11 years old? Quick math, 35 years. Middle school. High school. University. Immersion. So, over those 36 years, maybe I’ve studied 13 languages or so? Wow, oh boy.
Chigusa: Wow, that's impressive. So, based on your years of experience, what's your best language learning advice?
Peter: I can think of a few but… Chigusa, are you sure you want to hear it? Because some people like listening to advice but what works for some people may not work for others. Remember, if you really want to hear it, remember this is what worked for me in different situations. Hopefully it’s applicable to you.
Chigusa: I would love to listen. Well, I’m listening, and I am ready to take action too.
Peter: Well, since you’re interested, let’s go on and introduce them. Okay... number one has to be: Always remember that language learning is a marathon, and not a sprint.
Chigusa: So, what does that exactly mean? How would you tell the listeners to apply this?
Peter: Let’s start with a secret. Would you like to know a secret, Chigusa?
Chigusa: I love secrets, yes!
Peter: Learning a language… takes a bit of time. It’s not a weekend project for most people. I’m sure there’s some people out there who can do it, but for most people, myself, it’s not a weekend project. So, instead of thinking that you need to go all-in… and start with studying for 2 hours a day… you have to accept that One: it’s a long-term project. Which means… Two: You can’t get it all done in a day or two or even a month. Which logically leads to Three: It’s okay to move at a slower pace. It’s okay not to understand something right now. And four: Try to keep a consistent routine, that might be daily, that might be 3 times a week, it might be once a week, but even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes, try to build up from once a week, to 3 times a week, and if you can, the ideal thing is daily. But if you try and jump in and do daily right from the start, it’s going to be tough so….
Chigusa: Right, so, consistency is the key.
Peter: Exactly. Eventually, grammar rules you don’t understand on day 1 will start making sense on day 20 or 30. You’ll start understanding the language and speaking better. But that comes with putting in the time. Learning a language is simply a function of time.
Chigusa: So, do it every day. Even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes.
Peter: And if you can’t start with every day, try to go from once a week, and after a month, 3 days a week, and then build towards that. if you miss your goals, if you miss your deadlines, don’t beat yourself up. Start again. But don’t double down, start again with the original goal or even lower it. Just try to be consistent. Because imagine if you try to go for 1 or 2 hours right off the bat....?
Chigusa: ...You’ll only tire yourself out and quit.
Peter: But by doing it for 5 or 10 minutes consistently, you’ll get used to it...
Chigusa: Right, you’ll be able to stick with it and stay motivated.
Peter: And with marathons, it’s not about finishing first...for most people...but going at your pace, sticking with it, and finishing it.
Chigusa: Yeah, running at full speed is the fastest way to fail. You have to pace yourself. And the same goes for language.
Peter: Well said. Number two: Make use of your spare time.
Chigusa: So, if you’re at home and have 5 or 10 minutes to spare...
Peter: Or, if you’re commuting to work… you can put that time to productive use and learn a new conversation.
Chigusa: And our lessons are around 3-15 minutes long, so you can easily finish a lesson.
Peter: Listeners, here’s a tip. Open up the clock app on your phone, set a timer to 5 or 10 minutes, and start learning. Once the time is up, walk away. You’re going to be shocked at how fast that 5 or 10 minutes goes by when you’re actually working.
Chigusa: Peter, one thing that helps me is I like to ask, “How much language can I learn in the next 10 minutes.” And then I try to make that time as productive as possible. I don’t focus on anything else.
Peter: Great tip. You’d be surprised at what you can accomplish if you give yourself a short time frame.
Chigusa: Okay, what’s number three?
Peter: Number three is a simple one, but it’s super powerful: You have to commit.
Chigusa: And what do you mean by that?
Peter: Well, a lot of us, including myself, when we first start learning a language... we just thought it’d be interesting to try out. Just for fun.
Chigusa: That’s true.
Peter: And there’s nothing wrong with that. But at some point, you have to make a decision: on a scale of 1 to 100, how much do you want this goal? Or are you going to just play around with it? Because in order to really make progress, as we mentioned before, learning a language isn't the easiest thing to do… so you kind of have to make a decision at some point to really go in.
Chigusa: Peter, for you, how did you commit?
Peter: We speak about many different ways and topics on this subject. I think we discussed something called anchor points - meaning, making connections to the language. I think each language is slightly different. Japanese was immersion because I moved here; that was a powerful motivator. Italian was interest in the language and friends. Those helped. So, I think…. You have to first, understand why you’re learning a language, and in addition to just putting in the time, you have to build connections and bridges to the language and the culture and that will help you stick with it. Because without the connections… it will be hard to stay in your forefront of your mind… to do this every day.
Chigusa: So Peter, what’s number four then?
Peter: Four is to start speaking from day 1. And one popular technique to do this is called shadowing. You may not even know what you’re saying but you’re reading along after you hear the conversation or trying to repeat what you hear very quickly, and this is one of the easiest ways to start speaking… Even if you don’t know what you’re saying, you’re still speaking in the language.
Chigusa: By shadowing, you mean: repeat what you hear?
Peter: Exactly. And we talk about this tactic often in our Inner Circle lessons.
Chigusa: Yeah, we do.
Peter: And the reason is it works. So, if you’re listening to our audio lessons: in the first minute, you hear a basic conversation. Then, our teacher slows the conversation down and translates every word for you. Once you’ve gotten familiar with the dialogue, you’ll hear it again, and you'll be able to repeat what you hear.
Chigusa: Or use the line-by-line dialogue tool in our lessons to practice each line.. one at a time.
Peter: Number five: Do 50% input and 50% output. Again, this is a tough one to hit on day 1. So, input would be something like listening or watching something in the target language. It could be a lesson or it could be a movie. Output would be something like speaking or writing. To apply this simply, imagine watching a Netflix movie, and then afterwards, you write a review even in your language - not even language related. But the input is, you’re processing the movie. The output, you’re writing your opinion on it. And even that can take quite some time. So anytime you input passively - enjoy something, you should actively do something afterwards, whether it’s sending your Premium PLUS teacher a quick message or writing something down, keeping a diary, or a language learning journal. Something productive. …Could be one of the most productive tools in actually helping that language stick.
Chigusa: And, input is where you take the language in: by listening or reading.
Peter: And output the productive side of the language:
Chigusa: Speaking or writing.
Peter: So, for every minute you spend listening or reading, you’ll want to spend an equal amount of time practicing… Even though again, day one, please don't try that. Day one may simply just be shadowing along. You don’t really have to keep track of anything, Just trying to produce something from the input, the information that you took in.
Chigusa: Right, so, this is, so you get to practice.
Peter: And you need to practice. Taking the language in is not enough. You want to speak the language, right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Number six. Read along as you take our audio and video lessons.
Chigusa: Listeners, this helps you understand the language...
Peter: ...because you have something visual to follow along with. You have the transcript, the translations, and the romanization - if your language uses a non-roman alphabet.
Chigusa: Right, sometimes it’s hard to understand what you hear in another language... especially in real-life situations.
Peter: ...but if you have a transcript of what’s being said, it makes life easier.
Chigusa: Yes, listeners, you can do this with every one of our lessons.
Peter: Listen to an audio lesson or watch a video lesson...
Chigusa: And at the same time, read along with the lesson notes and transcript.
Peter: Plus, keep reading along so it makes it easy to shadow the conversation or practice speaking.
Chigusa: Yes, you can read out loud... Which helps with speaking.
Peter: Number seven: If you’ve been with us for a while, then you’ll recognize this piece of advice. Chigusa, can you guess what it is? It’s about goals.
Chigusa: Is it... Set small, measurable goals?
Peter: Exactly. The thing to any success in life, at least I believe so. For example: Speak 1 minute of conversation by the end of this month.
Chigusa: Or, learn 100 words by the end of this month
Peter: Or learn the alphabet by the end of this week. The point here is, instead of overwhelming yourself with a huge goal like “I want to be fluent someday.”
Chigusa: ...you give yourself small, achievable steps.
Peter: And it's a lot easier to learn 100 words in one month than to become fluent “someday.” So, Chigusa, this was quite a news lesson, no?
Chigusa: How many pieces of advice did we cover?
Peter: 7 pieces, but we did not gloss over them, they went kind of really deep there. So, this is a very valuable news lesson so maybe listen to it a few times, try a few things out, but yeah, we just covered 7 pieces of advice…
Chigusa: And listeners, what about you? What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Peter: Leave a comment.
Chigusa: And by the way, we’re giving away a PDF cheat sheet called…” The Mindstate of a Successful Language Learner”...
Peter: Where you get even more tips on how to approach language learning.
Chigusa: So, if you want it, take action.
Peter: Exactly. If you want something, go after it.
Chigusa: So, leave us a comment, and we’ll reply with the link in the comments section.


Chigusa: Okay, well that’s going to do it for this edition of Innovative Language Learning Sunday news!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Chigusa: Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you all next time.