Are you ready to take the language challenge in the New Year? It is suggested that with a little willpower, it takes roughly 30 days for a person to form a new habit. Let’s begin!
The word habit often brings about negative associations – we tend to think about smoking, drinking, unhealthy food… But when you conscientiously brush your teeth every morning, regularly run or go to the gym, or always keep your paperwork in perfect order, that’s also a habit. In fact, all of us have so many habits that drive our behaviour that it would be difficult to count them all.
Aristotle once said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Good news – this also applies to language learning. You can improve your language skills by forming appropriate habits. Let’s start with Eklektika’s 30-day New Year’s Language Challenge! And we are not talking about waking up half an hour earlier every day to study (although that certainly wouldn’t hurt!). Start with something small and stick with it for just 30 days – the time that is said to be sufficient for the habit to get entrenched:
Consider the following suggestions for a 30-day English language challenge for the New Year:
Switch to English whenever you can:
- Instead of getting your daily news from onet.pl, interia.pl or gazeta.pl, go to thenews.pl or warsawvoice.pl for news about Poland and cnn.com www.bbc.co.uk/news for international news
- At a restaurant, ask for a menu in English
- Check if a website you are visiting has an English version – and switch to it
Daily English Alert: set up an alarm for a specific time of the day, or (even better), use an app that generates alarms at random times of the day (e.g. Mind Jogger or Randomly Remind Me). When the alarm sounds:
- If don’t have a lot of time, just look around and find one thing whose English name you don’t know. Find it in a dictionary and write down for a future review.
- If you have a little more time, write down what you have just done, what you are doing right now and what you are going to be doing soon. At the end of your challenge, you can send your ‘journals’ to email@example.com and we will give you free feedback on the language.
In any case, an easily accessible dictionary will be very useful – we recommend the Merriam Webster dictionary (or as an app). BTW – the dictionary has a “Word of the day” feature, so you can make another small habit of checking it daily…
We hope that this 30-day challenge will be just the beginning of a fruitful year of study!
The Eklektika Team