Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about….
Peter: The Radically Different Way to Break Your Routine...
Becky: And Master Language Along the Way.
Peter: You’ll learn...
Becky: One, The Importance of a Taking a Break
Peter: Two, A Radically Different Way to Break Your Routine
Becky: And Three, How to Make Language Progress While Having Fun
Peter: ...All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Becky: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned why an imperfect start to language learning...
Becky: ...can actually help you succeed in the long run.
Peter: You learned why you should focus on what you’re good at.
Becky: ...and how Peter applied all of this towards sharpening his Chinese listening skills
Peter: Ah, yes, listening....
Becky: How is that going by the way, Peter? Your goal... The test...?
Peter: Becky, I can always count on you to ask the hard hitting questions.
Becky: Well... hard hitting questions get hard hitting answers.
Peter: I’ll be honest. I spent ALL of last month drilling listening for the test that...
Becky: ...go on...
Peter: ...I got fed up with it. Well. Let me rephrase. I got tired of my routine.
Becky: Yeah, I can understand that. So, you didn’t hit your goal?
Peter: I did not. I took a break. And listeners, you might be shocked that I took a little time off but there’s a powerful lesson here.
Becky: And that’s what we’re going to be talking about in today’s Inner Circle.
Peter: A Radically Different Way to Break Your Routine...
Becky: And Master Language Along the Way.
Peter: You’ll learn...
Becky: One, The Importance of a Taking a Break
Peter: Two, A Radically Different Way to Break Your Routine
Becky: And Three, How to Make Language Progress While Having Fun
Becky: So, Peter. What exactly happened this past month?
Peter: Let’s jump into the first part.
Becky: One. The Importance of a Taking a Break
Peter: And Becky, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Becky: Okay.
Peter: There’s a reason why many cultures rest for one or two day of the week. Why people go off on vacation. Why we take days off...
Becky. People need time to recharge their batteries?
Peter: Exactly. And let’s be honest. Language learning, it’s
Becky: ...a lot of work. It really is!
Peter: It’s non-stop dedication to one goal... actually one of MANY goals, in our lives.
Becky: Yeah... We have other things in mind. Bills. Relationships. Careers.
Peter: ...Kids. So, first and foremost, it’s work So, you need to rest. Now, with that in mind, Becky, I was drilling all month long...
Becky: Just listening?
Peter: Just listening. Remember, my goal was to master 60 dialogues.
Becky: Okay, I can see how you would get tired...
Peter: ...and not just tired. I was a bit bored with the routine. And if you lose your motivation....
Becky: ...that’s pretty dangerous. That’s how you end up quitting.
Peter: That’s why you should take a break. So, here’s what I did recently. I had fun.
Becky: What do you mean? What did you do?
Peter: Let’s get into the second part.
Becky: Two. A Radically Different Way to Break Your Routine
Peter: I spent the last week watching shows. There’s one I really like called Rick and Morty.
Becky: Ah, yes the cartoon on Adult Swim.
Peter: It’s fun to watch. And it’s even more fun to watch in the target language. I watched it in Chinese. I watched in Japanese. It’s also fun watching it with a native speaker and kind of see how they react.
Becky: So you’re still kind of listening to Chinese... except you’re watching cartoons?
Peter: This is what I mean by a radically different approach. You do something completely different...
Becky: ...to break an old, tiring routine...
Peter: ...and make learning fun. Listeners, there are two ways you can go about this.
Becky: If you like reading and want to keep focusing on reading....
Peter: ...then put the textbook down and try a novel. Try a comic book.
Becky: So, you can still stay within that skill.
Peter: Or, you can completely change it up. If you’re focusing on grammar...
Becky: Jump over to speaking... or passively listening to audio lessons.
Peter: If you’re learning Japanese...
Becky: ...watch a drama or anime.
Peter: The big takeaway here is, you break away from your routine that you’re used to...
Becky: ... and relax with something more enjoyable...
Peter: ...so that you don’t burn out. I’ll give you another example.
Becky: Alright.
Peter: I spent all that time working on listening...but let’s be honest. I love speaking.... You don’t have to add anything, Becky.
Becky: Goes without saying, Peter!
Peter: So, I scheduled some lessons. Skype lessons. In-person lessons.
Becky: Just so you could talk MORE?
Peter: And enjoy listening to myself. So I went with my Chinese teacher to a Chinese restaurant...
Becky: You do like food.
Peter: That I do...and we spoke about the food. About the tastes. We talked about other restaurants. And I sent a 5 minute recording about my day to my Premium PLUS teacher. And Becky, it felt good. It was so fun.
Becky: Completely different from studying for a test, huh?
Peter: Exactly. You know, when you build your routine and focus on reaching goals, you can lose sight of what ACTUALLY brings you the most pleasure.
Becky: That’s very true. But, let me play devil’s advocate here. Can I?
Peter: Huh. You don’t have to play, Becky. You don’t have to play..
Becky: I’m going to. If you’re just doing what’s FUN, can you REALLY learn a language? I was in a language learning class in high school and my teacher said that FUN was an F word in her class and we were having too much of it. We needed to get back to learning. So how can you have fun and really learn your language?
Peter: Okay, I have a story, for you Becky. So..
Becky: Three, How to Make Language Progress While Having Fun
Peter: So, I knew this one guy who was learning Japanese. And he’d just started learning intensively so his Japanese wasn’t at the highest level. In fact, it was nowhere near the novel he started to carry around. My Japanese was at a very, very high level at that time and I couldn’t really understand what he was doing with the novel. To be honest, I had never read a novel in Japanese.
Becky: Yeah, I think that’s more trouble than it’s worth. There are easier ways to learn.
Peter: So, I asked him. “why are you carrying a novel around?” And he tells me, he’s reading it to learn Japanese. So, in my mind, I’m thinking....
Becky: There are much easier ways, dude. Is that what you were thinking?
Peter: And also, good luck! I flipped through it and it was a struggle for me. But, he said that he liked to read.
Becky: So, he was learning like that because he liked reading?
Peter: Exactly. In English, his native language, he liked to read. And he applied that to Japanese. Fast forward a half a year, and he understands every page of the book. I mean I was blown away. He wanted to read in Japanese. Instead of drilling flashcards, picking them up one by one, he just picked up a novel.
Becky: He just got straight to it. That’s actually really impressive.
Peter: So he took what he liked to do in his native language, and he went all-in in another language. His target language.
Becky: So, yes, you can learn BUT...
Peter: But first, you have to ask yourself... two things. First, what’s your goal or reason for really learning? And second, what brings you the most amount of pleasure?
Becky: And then work backward from there?
Peter: Exactly. Whatever your goal is, start applying some of your time to that goal right away.
Becky: If your goal is to speak with a significant other, try it today – speak. Don’t set a plan for someday.
Peter: If your goal is to watch TV, watch it. Even if you don’t understand all of it.
Becky: If you like books, read a book.
Peter: Take the purpose, that goal, that you’re studying for, and apply it right away.
Becky: Now, Peter, If I was one of our perceptive listeners, listening to the story about your friend, here’s what I would still think. If he’s a beginner or an intermediate level, I would imagine he would STILL struggle with defining a ton of words on every page. Now, that doesn’t sound too fun.
Peter: Uh, Becky for me, you’re right! It doesn’t sound fun to me. But, you know, if I learned one thing in my many years on this planet - everybody has things that they find fun that ... other people don’t. So I guess everyone has their own personal interests.
Becky: What’s your thing? Talking? Speaking?
Peter: My thing is talking at the restaurant about good food.
Becky: Okay, I can see that.
Peter: Simple conversations. Not complex novels. But here’s the difference. He enjoys reading. What’s your thing, Becky?
Becky: Singing. Love karaoke. I would stay in there all day, Peter. By myself.
Peter: So singing and I bet there are times you were singing a song and you may have not understood all the words but you were still singing it
Becky: 1AM is the best when everybody else falls asleep, you’re still in there together, then I can take the mic, take over, yeah!
Peter: Now compare that - his reading, my eating at a restaurant, using the target language, your singing, compare that with memorizing grammar out of a textbook.
Becky: Woah.
Peter: Let’s say you hate this. How often do you think you’ll jump out of bed, excited to do this?
Becky: How about never.
Peter: So, both methods technically work. And both require work...
Becky: ...but if you enjoy one more than the other...
Peter: ...you’ll be much more likely to stick with it. If you like reading grammar from a textbook, you’ll probably going to do really well focused on that. If you like singing karaoke, you’re probably going to excel at that.
Becky: ...you’ll make progress as long as you put the time in, I suppose. And you’ll get to actually enjoy the learning process.
Peter: And that’s important. Let’s be honest listeners, learning language is hard work.
Becky: Alright, Peter, enough fun. Let’s talk goals. You still have to take that test.
Peter: You’re right.
Becky: What’s your small, monthly, measurable goal?
Peter: Last time I promised to master 60 dialogues... and...
Becky: You burned out.
Peter: ...but I did reach 30. So, now that I’ve had a bit of rest, I want to stay on track towards my goal of taking that test. I’ll do the next 30.
Becky: Great! Deadline?
Peter: June 30th.
Becky: Great!
Peter: And listeners, let us know - how often do you take a break?
Becky: Do you ever switch up your learning to make it fun?
Peter: And let us know what your goals are for the month.
Becky: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Peter: And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


Becky: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.