29 Tips for Learning Languages with ADHD

I’ve asked CHATGPT to give some ideas. What do you think?

People with ADHD may face some unique challenges when learning a new language, such as:

  1. Difficulty with sustained attention: ADHD can make it difficult to stay focused for extended periods of time, which can make it challenging to absorb and retain new vocabulary and grammar rules.
  2. Hyperactivity and restlessness: People with ADHD may struggle to sit still for long periods of time, which can make it difficult to engage in extended language study sessions.
  3. Impulsivity: Impulsivity can lead to rushing through language lessons without fully comprehending the material, or making careless mistakes.
  4. Working memory deficits: Working memory deficits can make it difficult to hold onto information long enough to use it in conversation or when reading and writing in the target language.
  5. Difficulty with organization: People with ADHD may struggle with organizing study materials, setting goals, and prioritizing tasks, which can make it challenging to stay on track with language learning.
  6. Frustration and discouragement: The challenges of language learning can be frustrating and discouraging, which can be amplified for people with ADHD who may struggle with self-esteem and motivation.

It’s important to understand that these challenges are common and can be overcome with the right strategies and support.

As an AI language model, I can provide some general strategies that may be helpful for individuals with ADHD to study languages and focus for longer periods of time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

  1. Create a structured routine: Establish a consistent routine for studying and practicing the language. Set specific times for studying and breaks, and try to stick to the same schedule each day.
  2. Use interactive methods: Use interactive methods such as language-learning apps or language exchange programs that provide immediate feedback and allow for hands-on practice.
  3. Minimize distractions: Find a quiet, distraction-free environment for studying, and turn off or remove any potential distractions, such as social media notifications, TV, or other electronic devices.
  4. Practice regularly: Consistent practice is key to language learning. Try to practice for shorter periods of time more frequently rather than longer periods of time less frequently.
  5. Use visual aids: Use visual aids such as flashcards or diagrams to help associate words with their meanings and make it easier to remember.
  6. Break tasks into smaller chunks: Break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and focus on one task at a time. This can help reduce feelings of overwhelm and make it easier to concentrate.
  7. Use timers: Set a timer for a specific amount of time to work on a task, and take a break when the timer goes off. This can help increase focus and productivity.
  8. Take breaks: Take regular breaks to stretch, move around, or engage in a relaxing activity. This can help reduce feelings of restlessness and increase focus.
  9. Use mnemonic devices: Mnemonic devices can be helpful for remembering vocabulary or grammar rules. For example, creating a story or visual image associated with a word can make it easier to remember.
  10. Use multi-sensory techniques: Engage multiple senses in the learning process, such as reading, listening, speaking, and writing. For example, you can read a text aloud, record yourself speaking and listen to it, or practice writing sentences.
  11. Find a study group: Join a study group or language exchange program to practice with others and receive feedback. This can provide motivation and accountability.
  12. Use positive self-talk: Use positive self-talk to overcome negative thoughts or distractions. For example, if you find your mind wandering, acknowledge the distraction, then refocus your attention and tell yourself “I can do this.”
  13. Reward yourself: Set achievable goals and reward yourself for completing them. This can provide motivation and a sense of accomplishment.
  14. Use repetition: Repeat words or phrases to help solidify them in your memory. You can also use spaced repetition techniques, which involve reviewing information at gradually increasing intervals.
  15. Stay hydrated and energized: Make sure to stay hydrated and well-nourished during study sessions. Eating healthy snacks and drinking water can help maintain energy levels and focus.
  16. Use humor: Learning a language can be challenging, but it can also be fun. Use humor or jokes to help remember vocabulary and grammar rules.
  17. Engage your curiosity: Curiosity can be a powerful motivator. Find topics or aspects of the language that interest you, and explore them in more depth.
  18. Use music: Music can be a great tool for language learning. Listen to songs in the target language and practice singing along.
  19. Use a variety of resources: Use a variety of resources, such as textbooks, podcasts, videos, or language learning apps. This can help keep things interesting and prevent boredom.
  20. Use a tutor or language coach: A tutor or language coach can provide personalized feedback and guidance, and help keep you accountable.
  21. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, can help reduce stress and increase focus.
  22. Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for concentration and memory. Make sure to get enough sleep and establish a consistent sleep routine.
  23. Use real-life situations: Try to use the language in real-life situations, such as ordering food at a restaurant or having a conversation with a native speaker. This can provide motivation and help reinforce what you’re learning.
  24. Take breaks to move: Physical activity can help reduce restlessness and increase focus. Take breaks to move around, stretch, or engage in light exercise.
  25. Use positive affirmations: Use positive affirmations to boost confidence and motivation. For example, tell yourself “I am making progress” or “I am capable of learning this language.”
  26. Use technology: Technology can be a great tool for language learning. Use language learning apps, online courses, or language exchange platforms to supplement your study materials.
  27. Use storytelling: Create stories using the vocabulary and grammar rules you’re learning. This can help make the information more memorable and engaging.
  28. Practice self-care: Engage in self-care activities, such as getting a massage, taking a bath, or reading a book, to reduce stress and recharge your energy.
  29. Stay organized: Keep track of your progress and study materials. Use a planner or digital tool to schedule study sessions and set reminders.

This AI has a taste for cruel jokes. 29 points for people with ADHD! How are they gonna read it in the first place?! :smiley:


Solid advice. It is applicable to all types of learners. I already use some of it for example using a timer (Pomodoro Technique) while reading. I feel like I should practice advice 21 more; I should start praying more first thing in the morning so that I can have a clear mind for the rest of the day. I should keep aside 20-30 minutes a day for prayers/mindfulness.

1 Like


Yes, definitely mindfulness or meditation could help a lot. It should put the mind in alpha mode and help with deep learning.

I particularly like number 10. Use multi-sensory techniques. I think I should implement it more often.

1 Like

Sounds like “all” learners suffer from one form of ADHD or another, don’t they? :-0
And when I read the run-of-the-mill tips above, I’m not even sure anymore that ChatGPT doesn’t also suffer from ADHD…


Well, chatGPT is trained by humans so I suppose it suffers from our same problems. So probably it is a psycho! :wink:

1 Like

Yes, our “biases” in the underlying data are a serious problem for all machine learning applications.

However, a basic problem with ChatGPT is a different one, IMO: The answers tend be too generic to be useful (at least for experts). And this means: if users are clueless in a domain XY, their questions will be too generic and therefore ChatGPT’s answers will be too generic as well.

That’s the “fool with a tool” constellation…

Reminds me of a conversation I had with a nurse a few years ago:

  • She: You work in IT? That’s boring.

  • Me: What do you mean “boring”? On the contrary, it’s exciting because I can work with high tech stuff bla bla blubber.

  • She: No. You’re one of those people who stare at a screen all day and just hammer away at a keyboard - that’s not a “real” job, and it’s also totally boring.

In short, so much low-level complexity is generalized away until the statement (or here: the value judgment) becomes more or less useless (i.e. content-free).

Maybe the nurse was just an older ChatGPT version - 0.xy? :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yeah, that’s why they are machine learning and not actually AI. But the more data they’ll have the better they’ll be. Maybe! The war will be in the control of the data, unfortunately.

But it’s better than nothing. Probably we pretend too much too soon. We are already, with our mind, to wanted to speak to a superpower AI to give us all solutions to our problems. :smiley:
We are not even close to that yet.

1 Like

Well, we shouldn’t forget generative AIs are “tools”.
Unfortunately, people (esp. non-techies) resort to “magical” thinking when it comes to ChatGPT:
“This is like human intelligence”
“It has so much data - it’s infallible.”
“We all will lose our jobs.”

bla bla bla

However, these are the same “IT experts” who told me a few years ago things like:

  • “We don’t need experts any more. Everyone can just use Google.”
  • “My computer hates me today. That’s why I can’t write my text in Word.”
  • Superior: “You have destroyed our office computer. I have to buy a new one!” - Me. “What did I do?” - Superior: “The bar with the icons in Word is gone. We can’t use the computer any more.”
    etc. etc.

AI is really not the main problem that plagues humanity… Dragons are (ah, ok: that’s the wrong streaming service :slight_smile: ).

But, ok: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” (Arthur C. Clarke) - and I would like to add: esp. for the “magical mind”, which liked to talk to trees etc. in the past and now has found new toys…

We need lot of compassion and understanding of ourselves. They say: “the more you understand yourself the more you understand the others, the more you understand the others the more you understand yourself.”

It’s a journey after all. And I have a lot of walk to do!

“We need lot of compassion and understanding of ourselves.”
I really like buddhism (kindness, compassion, etc.).
Unfortunately, the blind spot seems to be here:
You have to know what you’re doing. Usually many people (and this includes the majority of languages learners, in my experience) rush forward having no clue what they’re doing.

In the real word, this can not only harm yourself, but others as well.
In the worst case, it’s “death by cluelessness”. See, for example, Frederick Sterzel’s YT channel “Surviving Africa”:

But, ok: If being removed from the gene pool by an apex predator is part of compassion, it’s probably a learning experience de luxe.

PS -
I’m not talking about you here, Davide (I mean other people in my environment)! On the contrary, I like your AI enthusiasm…

1 Like