Sometimes I take a break from language-learning because, well, life just gets in the way. Or because I’m tired.
I guess everyone’s the same. But the sad thing is that some people stop with their Italian, or other languages, and never restart.
There’s the fear that everything gained will have been lost. It’s too painful to have to contemplate.
And there’s the sheer inertia of no longer finding time for the learning activities you used to do.
But you know what happens when I take a break from, for example, reading and listening in French, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and so on?
Inevitably, when I start again, I haven’t forgotten everything at all!
And sometimes, having had a break has given my brain a chance to absorb what I’d learnt.
Which means, when I come back to it, I understand as much as before, and perhaps even more, or more easily, more naturally!
It’s very pleasing.
Before the pandemic, my wife and I were planning a trip to Spain. So I started Duolingo Spanish, which I soon got fed up with, so began listening to Spanish radio.
For a while, I did some online Spanish conversation with one of our native-speaker teachers.
And I paid for a year’s subscription to EL PAÍS (el periódico global), and read bits of it, rather irregularly, for a few months.
The pandemic started, our trip was cancelled, and we eventually got a refund on our flights.
Fortunately, some months later, my EL PAÍS (el periódico global!) subscription renewed automatically, which reminded me not to quit completely.
So sometimes I dip into it, or at least glance at the notifications it sends, on my smartphone.
I’m always surprised to find that, after the initial effort, reading Spanish isn’t that hard after all! Sure, I might be a bit out of it. The Spanish change their government every ten minutes, so it can be hard to keep up…
But do take a break from learning, by all means.
Just don’t assume that a few weeks or months away from it means that all the progress you’ve made is lost.
Give it another try, and you may well be pleasantly surprised!
N.b. If, following my advice, or on your own initiative, you have managed to establish real language-learning habits, such as listening to the radio each day as you exercise, or doing weekly conversation practice with a native speaker, well then it’s more than worth the effort trying to keep those going.
Just take a break from STUDYING, lower your expecations a little.
Even when my life is at its craziest, I still listen to the news headlines in Swedish each day while commuting.
And I still speak to one of our Swedish club members for thirty minutes each week.
The characteristic of a habit, after all, is that it’s easier to continue it than to drop it. Sort of like smoking, but in a positive way!
There’s a lesson there – focus on building language-learning habits that are both useful and easy to maintain.
You won’t regret it.
Here’s the usual Friday link to Thursday’s FREE bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news. Read/listen to it today!
If you’ve already made that a habit, you won’t need reminding.
If you haven’t, then you should!
P.P.S. Ebook offer ends Sunday
The 25% discount on this week’s new ebook, Colpa della terra, Libro 5, La mia gente, the final part of our five-part series about an Italian family that migrates to the USA, ends on Sunday night.
Get it for £5.99 rather than the usual ‘easy reader’ price of £7.99, but only for a few more days.
But what if you didn’t get around to buying Libri 1, 2, 3 and 4??
Those aren’t discounted now, but here are the links, for those who’d prefer to tackle the series in order:
And, of course, there are plenty of other ebook options, from beginner upwards, in our online Catalog, all with downloadable free sample chapters and FREE online audio!
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook (.mobi/Kindle-compatible, .epub) cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them.