Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Make the Time to Learn Languages

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That gets me going.

That's that first step, that well begun is the job half

done.Hi there, Steve Kaufmann.

Today I want to talk about how to find the time to learn languages, or should I say

how to make the time to learn languages.

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So one of the most common excuses I hear from people, uh, who profess

want to learn languages, uh, is that they simply don't have the time.

That's right up there with, you know, you have a talent for, talking to

me, you have a talent for languages.

I don't, I can't learn languages, which normally refers back to their experience

at school where in fact, they didn't learn like most kids, at least in Canada, but

the other one is I don't have the time.

People say that I don't have the time.

So people seem to have time for lots of activities, perfectly valid,

like meeting with their friends and watching TV or going hiking or

bicycling or whatever they like to do.

But for whatever reason, they can't find the time to learn languages.

Typically, what that means is I have other activities that I prefer to do.

I have other activities that are more valuable to me than

learning languages, which is fine.

Not everybody has to learn languages, but how then, because we have busy lives,

our professional or working lives are other activities are social activities,

so how do you create time, find time, make time for learning language?

To me, the secret for me is listening.

Listening is the easiest thing to do.

I can listen first thing in the morning.

I can listen in the car.

I can listen wherever I am.

And the listening is the trigger.

And um, in many languages and I think it goes back to Aristotle, uh, many

languages sort of say, you know, the first step is the most important step.

The beginning is the job...

well begun is the job half done.

Uh, Chairman Mao said the 10,000 Long March began with, with one step.

The main thing is to get started and it's so easy to just listen.

And then that triggers the rest of it, but you have to know how to do it.

So first of all, make sure you equip yourself.


So in my case, I listen from a number of devices.

I can listen on my iPad.

So this is normally where I work, you know, on LingQ, but

I can put it on my stepper.

Not, not everyone has a stepper at home, obviously, but I can have

this open in the background in the morning when I do my exercise.

Using this, um, program that I'm on, which is on my iPhone.

I have my iPad open and I'm listening to my, whatever it is,

Persian, Arabic and so froth.

So I use my iPad, but at the other end of the spectrum, if I go running,

jogging in the park, I take my, um, iPod.

I should have brought this little device I have that attaches to my

arm so that I just have my iPod here.

It's light.

This is why I use it.

It's lighter.

I could take my phone, which I'm using to record this video, but of

course it's much bigger and heavier.

So this is ideal for that.


And this, you know, I have to load up ahead of time.

So I have to make sure I use the wifi at home to get whatever content

I want to listen to onto my iPod.

So listening devices.

Uh, also with both the, um, iPod and, uh, well on all three of

them, I can subscribe to podcasts.

Um, I can import, uh, audio and put it into my, uh, Apple Music, it used

to be called iTunes, so that I can accumulate all this stuff to listen to.

Now in so far as listening, of course I have AirPods, which are

in many ways the best, because they seem to be better at syncing and

connecting to these various devices.

However, if I'm, let's say I'm a cross-country skiing, I certainly

don't want to drop an iPod in the snow.

Uh, if I go down to the park and I run and then I might do some, you know,

burpees or other things where my head's moving around, I could again drop my iPod.

So whenever I'm doing something that's more active, I've also invested

into these, I think they're called "power bumps" or something like that.

Uh well here, you know, it's kinda, it's like that little kid with

his mittens tied to his sleeves.

I'm not going to lose these.

So I use these "power beats", maybe they're called and more recently I

discovered that there's these guys, because sometimes I get tired of

having something stuck in my ear.

So these are called open ear.

And uh, so I also use these and it's a relief not to have something

stuck in your ear the whole time.

So I have invested a little money in these listening devices because I

spend so much of my time listening.

Listening triggers it.

Listening triggers it because I listen and I don't understand, so then I

have to go through it on LingQ, okay.

And read it.

And so that gets me going, that's that first step that

well begun is the job have done.

It's so easy for me.

I get up in the morning, I just put the audio on and I do my morning

exercises, which is also a good thing to get into the habit of doing.

And then uh little parts that I didn't quite understand, I can go

back in and, and look up the words.

So the first step is to get used to listening.

And if I'm in the car, for example, typically I'll have my iPhone.

And it'll be coming through the Bluetooth speaker in my car.

So I use different...

so between the iPad, I don't take my iPad in the car and I

don't take the iPod in the car.

I take my iPhone in the car.

So you develop these habits, the ways in which that you can

always have your listening handy.

Now, the other part of listening is to find things to listen to.

And there I do a lot of listening to the mini stories.

I've mentioned them before.

There's a lot of repetition.

I find it's good exercise.

I can listen to them now for the 30th or 40th time.

It doesn't matter.

I always notice something.

That's kind of my, my training.

That's the equivalent of my exercise in the morning, but I also

need to find interesting things.

You know, I spend a lot of time looking for them, the content,

especially in Arabic and Persian.

Um, we are trying in LingQ to make it easier for people to find

things of interest at their level.

But sometimes you have to ask.

I saw a tweet the other day, someone said, does anyone know of any good

intermediate level French podcasts?

So I immediately replied.

I said, there's Franais Authentique and there's innerFrench that I

am, that immediately come to mind.

So I answered.

So right away, this person can go there and find these podcasts, which

can be imported into LingQ by the way.

But there's a whole community of people who can help each

other find content of interest.

So, you know, and this, the great thing about listening and why listening, it

kind of helps you find the time, is I, it's more difficult to find the time to

sit in front of a, of a screen and, and read or to watch movies or to look or

to do LingQ, that that's dedicated time.

You have to, that's more difficult to find, but the listening time you make

that, and that triggers the whole a range of activities around language learning.

And that can be done first thing in the morning while doing the dishes.

Um, you know, while in the car and I'll find that, uh, certain

activities that lend themselves to certain types of content.

If I have to concentrate a little bit on what I'm doing, then I prefer to hear

the mini stories, because even if I don't concentrate the whole time, there's always

something that I become aware of, that I notice that I hadn't noticed before.

Uh, on the other hand, if I'm in the car, actually I find it easier

to listen to something of interest.

So it's a bit like if you're listening to the radio and they're giving you the

traffic report or something, you can actually listen to something where they,

there is some significance to what you're listening to and at the same time drive

a little more difficult to do that.

If I'm say working out in the morning, for example, and I'm concentrating on

whatever I'm doing, then I prefer to have the mini stories going in the background.

So I think everyone needs to develop a program for themselves.

But I just wanted to point out that, that to find the time to make the time to

learn languages, listening is the easy...

is the easiest activity.

And you need to build a range of sort of, uh, circumstances around what devices you

use to play whatever you're listening to, where you find the stuff you're going to

listen to varying the sort of repetitive, simple stuff, more interesting new stuff,

uh, different, you know, ear phones that you can use for different circumstances.

And, you know, put yourself in a situation where you can easily listen, anytime you

want to, or feel the urge, or even if you don't feel the urge so that you make

that first step that eventually will lead you to putting in the time necessary to

achieve success in language learning.

So with that, I'll leave you with a few videos that kind of relate to this theme.

Thank you for listening.

Bye for now.

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