It is suggested that with a little willpower, it takes roughly 30 days for a person to form a new habit. So are you ready to take the challenge?
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 behavior 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. 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. If you want to find out more, go to:
Consider the following suggestions for a 30-day English language challenge for the summer:
- 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 www.warsawvoice.pl for news about Poland and www.cnn.com or 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 you don’t have a lot of time, just look around and find one thing the English name of which you don’t know. Find it in a dictionary and write down for 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and the school will give you feedback on the language.
In any case, an easily accessible dictionary will be very useful – we recommend the Merriam Webster dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.com/ 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…