Man sleeping in bed Zzz cartoon

Language learning routine

Have you ever wondered how those language-learning guys become so fluent in no time? Seriously, do they have a secret method or something? I hate to break it to you, but the answer is pretty simple – they show up (language learning routine)!

While teachers teach, taxi drivers drive, and pilots fly, these language enthusiasts learn languages. And not just once a week, nope. They seize every opportunity to immerse themselves in the language they’re trying to master. It’s their passion. And at times, it seems they won’t let themselves do anything else!

So, if you want to become the next language-learning prodigy, here’s a sample immersion schedule to get you started. And don’t worry, you can adapt these ideas to any language you want – even Klingon (although, good luck with that one).

Immersion Schedule

So, this schedule is James’ routine for learning languages. Before you complain: “Oh, great! Another unrealistic schedule that only a robot can stick to,” hold up. It involves a 9 to 5 job. Also, commuting and other time consumers we experience in daily life. So you can realistically tweak this schedule to fit your lifestyle!

On the other hand, the schedule represents a best-case scenario where you take advantage of every possible opportunity to immerse yourself in the language. I’m not expecting you to turn into a language-learning machine overnight. Just try to do as much as you can, most of the time, and you’ll be on the right track.

If you manage to do all this, you might be a superhero in disguise! So, let’s dive into James’ schedule and see what language-learning cards he’s got up his sleeve, shall we?

Young Man sleeping Zzz cartoon

6:30 am: Our boy starts his day by taking three deep, conscious breaths. Next, James kneels by his bed and prays. Starting the day with the right mindset is crucial.

6:45 am: It’s time for James’ shower routine! And, if the mood strikes him, he’s belting out lines from Italian children’s songs like an opera star.

7:00 am: James’ resources include multitasking! So, while he’s getting ready for the day ahead, he’s also tuning into a “Newbie” level episode from the ItalianPod101.com podcast.

7:15 am: It’s breakfast time for James! And he’s casually tuning into an Italian news broadcast.

There’s one broadcast in particular he likes because they speak Italian in a way that’s easy to understand. It’s a Swiss news broadcast from Ticino (the Swiss canton that speaks Italian).

So, while the rest of us are scarfing down cereal and scrolling through our phones, James is getting his daily dose of Italian news!

7:30 am: Now it’s time for James’ daily commute! And what can be done to make the most of his bumper-to-bumper traffic time? Oh, he casually listens to Italian with Michel Thomas or Pimsleur. But he’s not just passively listening. He’s speaking aloud when prompted. That’s right, he’s talking to himself in the car like a total language-learning maniac.

If he were on the bus or train, he might opt for a podcast instead.

So, while the rest of us are gritting our teeth and flipping off the other drivers on our commutes, James is improving his language skills one traffic jam at a time. Keep on speaking aloud, James!

Noon: It’s lunchtime for James, and he takes advantage of the opportunity to read the Bible in Italian.

One of his strategies is reading first for understanding and quickly highlighting unknown words or structures. After he’s given a page a once-through, he goes back and looks up any unknown words in the dictionary on his phone.

So when the rest of us mindlessly scroll through Instagram during lunch break, James is diving deep into the Epistle to the Romans in Italian.

12:30 pm: Now it’s time for James’ tutor session! And where is he having this session, you may ask? Oh, just in the comfort of his car via Skype. Why have a boring old stationary desk when you can have a mobile classroom on wheels?

During this 45-minute chat with his tutor on italki, James asks questions about particular words, phrases, and constructions that came up in his morning Italian studies. He finds this tutoring more effective than regular language classes. Why? Because the entire session is focused only on what he doesn’t yet understand.

1:20 pm: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the most thrilling part of James’ day: the Anki session! I know what you’re thinking, “Anki? Is that an ancient Roman torture device?” No, no, no. It’s a fancy flashcard app that helps James learn and retain new Italian vocabulary.

After scarfing down his lunch, James takes a 10-minute break to review his Anki cards. He’s happy to see some of those troublesome cards turn green.

5:10 pm: Ah, the commute. That magical time of day when you sit in traffic and question your life choices.

But not James. He’s got his trusty Pimsleur course to keep him company. And he’s not just passively listening. As we mentioned earlier, he’s speaking aloud when prompted.

6:00 pm: The gym is where you sweat and suffer for fitness. But James is not just working on his physical gains today. He’s multitasking again.

He warms up on the treadmill and re-listens to this morning’s ItalianPod101 episode.

And then, as he hits the weights, he switches to Italian music.

6:45 pm: It’s dinnertime! And what’s on the menu for James tonight? Italian YouTube videos!

That’s right, after a long day of language learning, James likes to unwind with some good old Italian content on the good old tube. He watches some Italian YouTubers talk about something that interests him or a documentary. Who knows? The options are endless.

7:30 pm: As James wraps up his day, he gathers with his local church. The Bible portions he read earlier in Italian are studied.

9:30 pm: As James gets ready for bed, he squeezes in one more Italian lesson before calling it a night. He fires up ItalianPod101.com and listens to an episode while brushing his teeth.

9:45 pm: James finishes his Italian learning marathon by kneeling by his bedside and praying. He gives thanks for another day and falls asleep, probably dreaming of his upcoming visit to Florence.

So there you have it! James’ routine with plenty of Italian. 

Wrapping Up!

Now, it’s time to throw the ball at you. Yes, you! Are you looking to learn a new language? Well, you’re in luck because I’ve got some simple steps for you to follow.

First, grab a pen and paper (or open a notepad on your laptop). Write down 5 points in your day where you could fit in some language work. Don’t overthink it. Jot down whatever comes to mind.

Now, gather your resources. And no, I don’t mean your dictionary from 5th grade. We’re talking about the apps, podcasts, and videos that will help you learn the language.

And start today! Yes, today. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week. Start small, but start now. You could listen to a podcast during your commute or watch Life Is Beautiful in Italian after dinner. Whatever it is, just do it!

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