How would you invest your time?

If you were given an hour a day, how would you use it to learn your target language?

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At my A1-A2 level, I’d spend 30 minutes reading, 15 minutes listening to mini stories while reading the text and 15 minutes watching video in target language native speaker and target language sub titles (like “Easy German” for example)

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I think I’d have to “learn” what would work best for me with an hour a day. I’ve kind of figured out my 15-30 min a day…and if I have more time on a given day it probably mostly gets filled with listening and some extra reading.

I would probably start with a half hour of dedicated reading and the other half hour with listening, either alone and/or listening while reading.

I would probably change things up a bit though. I’d like to be doing some more writing than I’m doing currently, so I might dedicate some of the days or hours to that. Probably some speaking practice too.

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I’d do pretty much what I’m currently doing. I go through the text first, lingQing all new words. Then I reread the text while listening to the audio at the same time. I then reread the text while listening to the audio a second time. In total, this results in 3x reads and 2x listens. I very occassionally go back and read + listen to a previous lesson, which I listened to several days/weeks ago, just to mix it up. The pure listening (of the material I’ve already studied) is only done when I’m washing the dishes, cooking, driving, going for a walk, etc. You can really get in more than an hour of study each day this way. This strategy is only at my current level of 1,591 known words. When you become more proficient, I would do less repetition. Once you are C1, you would be doing predominately extensive reading/listening (so outside of LingQ). Or maybe you’re practising pronunciation or speaking or writing. So it really depends what level of the language you are up to and what exactly you’re focusing on at the time. It’s good to occassionally mix things up too, just so you don’t get bored. The start of the language journey can be a real drag, that is, require a lot of effort to do everyday and power through the repetitive task of always lingQing easy and sometimes not-so-interesting content.


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I enjoy listening to songs in the target language and translating the lyrics. I keep my headphones on at work - little do they know I’m using my time to learn a new language.

Sentence view using a macro keyboard or app to read lots in target language + own language + audio. 3300 words a day 10000 words in 3 days, about a million words a year. Mark only known words; LingQ grading of words can slow you down. I have about 7500 known words in my target language but overall am recognising rather than knowing what I’m reading if I don’t have LingQ help.

I don’t think it really matters all that much, so long as you’re in contact with the language. I think you’ll get more bang for your buck if you spent most of that dedicated time reading. Listening takes a LOT of time to improve, so perhaps try to find dead time to do lots of “passive” listening as well. Listen to what you’ve read.

You can do it whilst cleaning, doing exercise, driving, walking the dog (if you have one), standing in line, waiting rooms, showering, eating… You get the idea. If you’re already at a decent level, I’d also look at swapping out native language TV shows with target language ones.


That’s right! It depends a bit on what exactly you mean by having an hour per day. For me, it means that you can spend that hour with full concentration and therefore it would be wastful to spend it on any simple input activitiy, even on reading.
I’d spend that hour shadowing, learning sentences and texts by heart, speaking and writing.
And all the “free” time, such as when commuting or eating, I’d be listening podcasts and watching youtube and yes, reading.

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I agree with most of what said, with the exception: “I don’t think it really matters all that much, so long as you’re in contact with the language.”

I think it 100% matters on what you do. There is simply very inefficient and very bad language learning methods and techniques. Doing DuoLingo every day isn’t going to get you there. As a beginner, reading 1500s poetry is a horrendous way to study. Your study material and your method should be as efficient as possible (and mostly enjoyable - grammar study may not be enjoyable but is very useful for instance). It is much more preferable to become fluent in a language in three years than 10 years, simply because you may give up at year 4 or 6 or 9.

As an example, I’ve been watching a lot of Italian TV recently. It’s not a great study method, I must say, because I can’t look up words in the dictionary. From a B2 level, I could become fluent this way, but it would really take me more time to do so than having the ability to look up unknown words in a dictionary. Just watching TV from an A0 level would take you soooo long because pretty much completely incomprehensible input.

Its very interesting