Could you speak a foreign language — for example, English — for one year?
And NEVER speak your native language until the year ended?
That’s what Scott Young did.
He and a friend spent three months in four countries — Spain, Brazil, Korea, China — and only spoke the local languages.
Except for when he called home and spoke to his family, he avoided English for one year while he learned and practiced the local languages.
This is what he says In his book, Ultralearning, about a common mistake students make:
“We want to speak a language but try to learn mostly by playing on fun apps, rather than conversing with actual people. We want to work on collaborative, professional programs but mostly code scripts in isolation. We want to become great speakers, so we buy a book on communication, rather than practise presenting. In all these cases the problem is the same: directly learning the thing we want feels too uncomfortable, boring, or frustrating, so we settle for some book, lecture, or app, hoping it will eventually make us better at the real thing.”
“The real thing…”
I like that.
Yesterday I gave you a quiz.
To learn new words, which is more effective:
- study for 5 minutes then quiz yourself for one minute?
- study for 10 minutes?
The answer is “A.”
According to one research study, students who did this remembered 35% more after one week.
Studying is passive.
Quizzing is active.
It’s “the real thing.”