Apart from a hastily written new years 2015 blog post, my last full length blog post was about how my current language learning method has to change. I was using reading as an extremely unstable crutch to help me with listening to Danish. I got very upset that I had learned lots of Danish vocabulary, but I could only understand it in a written form. So I decided to take action… and then, nothing. No activity on this blog at all.
Well, what actually happened was that I moved home here in Denmark at the beginning of November, and was completely without internet for 5 weeks. The time spent that would usually be for learning Danish was instead used for painting and decorating my new home.
I learned a lot of things from having no internet. Probably the most striking thing was how much of a dependency I have on it when it comes to learning languages. My favourite language learning tools like Duolingo, Memrise and Italki all require an internet connection, and were therefore no longer available to me. I discovered that I had got into a routine of using them and it was a bit weird suddenly not having that.
Even stranger still, was that I really craved the experience of writing on this blog. This blog initially started in 2013, and had rather irregular frequency to the posts. Around April/May time on 2014, I decided to commit to posting once a week and I (mostly) did that all the way through to the end of October. I found it really difficult to keep up the consistency at first, and I’d often struggle to produce something in time. This is also why there was a massive gap in the blog posts from November onwards – I struggle with writing this blog so much that rarely draft and schedule future blog posts (something which I plan on changing this year!).
I also found that once I had broken the (hard earned) good habit of regular posting on this blog, I also found it harder to maintain my general momentum with language learning. Habits, when they are really formed, can help tremendously to help keep you going.
We first make our habits, and then our habits make us
– John Dryden
I started this blog shortly after reading the good advice in Benny Lewis’ Language Hacking Guide, and I really have to say it has been worth it. It helps you make the transition from someone who is a passive language learner to someone who is an active language learner, always looking for stories to write about and insightful ways to reflect on how you are learning. If you are learning a language at the moment, you should consider doing a language learning log (it doesn’t even have to be public, but letting more people know about what you are doing helps with accountability).
As always, thanks for reading this blog and following along with my updates. I’m really excited about reporting on my language learning progress and sharing tips and insights which I hope in time are as important to you as they have been to me.