Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about…
Peter: Should You Cram when Learning a Language?
Chigusa: You’ll Learn…
Peter: One, Is Cramming Effective?
Chigusa: Two, Peter’s Cram Schedule Before Traveling
Peter: And Three, How to Cram with Our Learning Program.
Chigusa: All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned all about the power of a teacher...
Chigusa: ...and how a good teacher can do more than just teach you words and phrases...
Peter: …they can motivate you to work harder and improve faster.
Chigusa: And last time, Peter, you promised us 13 minutes of Korean conversation. Did you hit it?
Peter: I did but…
Chigusa: But…?
Peter: I remembered that I’m flying to South Korea in 7 days.
Chigusa: Yeah, so? You speak enough Korean….13 minutes. Right?
Peter: Well, Chigusa, conversations are an even exchange, right? I don’t do ALL of the talking.
Chigusa: You don’t? You should!
Peter: Well, as much as I try. But 13 minutes, I take up 6 or 7 minutes and we also plan these conversations, right?
Chigusa: So, what are you saying Peter? You’re not ready for South Korea?
Peter: I can try, Chigusa! But so far, I’ve not studied the language for travel… like how to get a hotel or reservations. Or whatever, asking about WiFi. With my teacher, we do daily stuff: like how are you, what have you been doing last week...
Chigusa: Ah, I see your point. Well, you don’t have much time, Peter!
Peter: I don’t! So this is where today’s Inner Circle topic comes in.
Chigusa: Should You Cram when Learning a Language?
Peter: So, let’s jump into the first part:
Chigusa: Part One: Is Cramming Effective?
Peter: Chigusa, what do you think? And there is a right answer, Chigusa.
Chigusa: Cramming? Hmm, well it worked for me in school, so I guess, yes?
Peter: Now, I think most people would agree with you. But… how much do you still remember, of what you crammed?
Chigusa: Well, I don't think I remember anything now.
Peter: And I bet you, Chigusa, that you did forget it all. And probably right after the test, that you crammed for.
Chigusa: I did! So, cramming CAN work IF you have a test tomorrow...
Peter: ...and IF your goal is to pass the test, or kind of accomplish a goal when it’s in a very short time period.
Chigusa: But, it doesn’t work if you want to remember in the long run.
Peter: Exactly.
Chigusa: I wonder why though, Peter.
Peter: Well, do you know about spaced repetition learning, Chigusa? Like, the best example are the flashcards on our site.
Chigusa: Is it where you review something over a spaced period of time?
Peter: Exactly. So, the spacing. That’s what helps you learn best. You learn something today. You come back in 2 days and review it. Then you come back in 4 days and review it some more.
Chigusa: When you cram, it’s a one time thing, right? You take the test and done.
Peter: But when you do review…here’s a little science lesson: you’re strengthening the synapses in your brain. Synapses are like little roads that connect the neurons in your brain. So, the more you review, the stronger the connection, and the better the recall.
Chigusa: Ah, I see. So, it’s a lot like working out.
Peter: It’s a lot like doing anything over a long period of time
Chigusa: Okay, Peter, but what if you need to learn, and FAST!
Peter: Well, that’s kind of my case, I’m traveling very soon. 7 days.
Chigusa: And you need to learn travel Korean… so what do you do?
Peter: That’s a great question, Chigusa… so, let’s get into the 2nd part.
Chigusa: Part Two: Peter’s Cram Schedule Before Traveling
Peter: So, Chigusa, I’m traveling in 7 days and I don’t know enough survival phrases…
Chigusa: Yeah, time is not on your side.
Peter: Is it ever? There’s not enough time. So, what do you do when you need the info fast?
Chigusa: You cram?
Peter: You cram! The good news is - I’m not flying tomorrow.
Chigusa: Yeah, you have a little bit of time. So what are you doing so far?
Peter: So, I only started this past week but, here’s what I’m doing. One: I’m taking the Korean survival phrases lessons before bed. There are 60 Korean survival phrases lessons I have to finish. There’s also the “Traveling to Korea” learning pathway that I didn’t start yet. So, that’s 64 lessons. So, not sure I’ll finish that.
Chigusa: And you do this before bed? That’s cutting into your sleep time.
Peter: It is… but that’s what happens when you cram.
So, I also upped my weekly skype lesson to 2 skype lessons a week. Where I practice what I’ve learned on KoreanClass101
And I went from 1 hour in the class to 3 hours a week.
Chigusa: Yeah, that sounds like a cram schedule.
Peter: Now, we tend to forget what we cram, right?
Chigusa: Yeah…?
Peter: And that’s because cramming does not involve reviewing.
Chigusa: Yeah, it’s a one shot thing.
Peter: So, here’s what I want to do: After my trip, I’ll make sure to review everything… just so that I remember it.
Chigusa: How is your routine going so far? Are you getting FAST results?
Peter: Define fast. I’m losing sleep fast. Again, one of the problems with cramming is that time has to come from somewhere, and that tends to come from sleep. So that’s not a good thing. But, I’ll let you know next month after my trip. So, we can’t gauge the results until I’m actually there.
Chigusa: Okay, fair point.
Peter: But, Chigusa, this whole situation got me thinking…
Chigusa: Yeah?
Peter: I don’t recommend cramming, but…. If you HAVE to cram, which we all do, how would you do it with our program? What’s the best way?
Chigusa: Ah, that’s a good point. So, IF our listeners needed to learn a bit of language fast… how would they do it?
Peter: Yeah, or a lot of language fast, here’s they would do it. Let’s jump into part 3.
Chigusa: Part 3: How to Cram with Our Learning Program.
Peter: Or... how to get the most results in the least amount of time.
Chigusa: First thing’s first listeners, if you want to learn the language and have it for life…
Peter: ..Cramming is a one-shot study session… and won’t really help you.
Chigusa: Yeah, you have to space out your learning and review what you learned.
Peter: But, if you absolutely must cram, here’s what you can do:
Chigusa: 1) Pick The Lessons that Align With Your Goal.
Peter: In other words, focus on just you need. If you’re learning for travel...
Chigusa: ...skip the other lessons and focus on our Survival Phrases Series.
Peter: If you want to learn basic conversations…
Chigusa: ...Do the “Top 25 Questions You Need to Know”
Peter: If you need special phrases for the bank or the post office..
Chigusa: We have lessons for that too.
Peter: And you can find lessons for all topics and scenarios in the Lesson Library.
Chigusa: 2) Skip the Hard Lessons
Peter: Now, If you’re working on a limited time, you’ll get a better bang for your buck by doing easy lessons...and lessons that are at your level…
Chigusa: ...instead of doing the hard ones. Those, you’ll need more time for.
Peter: 3) Use The Vocab Slideshow or Flashcards
Chigusa: Both of these features quiz you on vocab and help you learn fast.
Peter: 4) Focus on Mastering a Few Must-Know Lessons
Chigusa: It’s better to know the dialogue from 5 lessons inside out…
Peter: ...than to run through 60 lessons and not remember anything.
Chigusa: 5) Print Out the Lesson Notes
Peter: Now, with the lesson notes, you get the lesson dialog, the translations, the explanations, sample sentences and cultural insights.
Chigusa: It’s a quick summary of the lesson. So print it out..
Peter: And if you have the notes on hand, you can always take ‘em out and glance through them.
Chigusa: 6) Print out your Word Bank
Peter: The Word Bank is your personal collection of words and phrases…
Chigusa: ...and you can print it all out as well. Just visit your WordBank…
Peter: And click on the “Printer Friendly Version” and print that out. Now, you have a physical study sheet.
Chigusa: 7) Use PDF Conversation Cheat Sheets and Infographics.
Peter: Now, these teach you the must-know words and phrases for all kinds of topics: travel, basic conversations, talking about hobbies, airport vocab, and much more.
Chigusa: You can print these out or save them to your device.
Peter: With the infographics, you can save the images to your phone and just swipe through them for a quick review.
Chigusa: Listeners, we’ll leave the links to the PDFs and Infographics in the comment section of this Inner Circle.
Peter: 8) Do a Quick Quiz Session
Chigusa: Even if you’re low on time, a bit of reviewing can help.
Peter: So, after you’re done with a lesson...stop and ask yourself: what was the main grammar point of the lesson? Try and explain that rule to yourself in your head or say it out loud.
Chigusa: 9) Use as many senses as possible.
Peter: Shadow the conversation. Talk out loud. Walk around as you do so. Use your hands. It sounds strange but the more senses you involve, the better it sticks.
Chigusa: You can also explain grammar rules to yourself out loud.
Chigusa: Alright Peter, you’re at 13 minutes. But you have a trip coming up. What’s the goal here? This next month seems a little different.
Peter: Well, It’s definitely different from my usual routine. So, I’m aiming for something unusual. My goal is to talk with 10 people in Korean in Busan, where I’m going. So, it’s a bit of a different goal. And I have a bunch of can-do goals. My goal is to order at a restaurant in Korean, give the taxi driver directions to the hotel in Korean - although that’s kind of easy, then I have - talk to 2 hotel staff in Korean, and try to read as much as Korean as possible while I’m in Korea. So I have a bunch of Can-Do-centric goals rather than a time-centric goal this month, so if you’re interested, I’m happy to share my Can-Do goals with you while I’m in Korea.
Chigusa: Sounds good, Peter. And listeners, let us know what your small, measurable monthly goal is.
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com if you would like to see my Can-Do Goals. Alright, and stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


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