If you don’t give learning a space, you won’t learn. We live in a world that is full of distractions, constant multi-tasking between work, kids, chores, endless dishes and washing the list goes on. I admit I’m the biggest culprit. The thing is, if you don’t create a space for learning, you will never get around to do it. I often come across people who say, ‘I really want to learn Arabic, but work is crazy, I’ve got kids and I don’t have time now’. The fact is, you’ll never have time and you’ll be giving the same excuse in 10 years time. If you don’t prioritise learning time you won’t learn and you won’t grow. This not only applies to learning Arabic, but all types of learning. I don’t buy the excuse that you don’t have time, everyone has time, it’s the level of focus you have in that time. If you think of all the time we have to spend on social media, I think we can all spend 5-10 mins to learn a language of immense spiritual and global significance.
When you learn a new language, you’re unleashing new parts of your brain. Your brain is making new synapses which didn’t exist previously. In fact,Swedish scientists discovered that learning a foreign language can actually increase the size of your brain. And we also know in another UK study that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than monolinguals. This means you want to give your brain the best opportunity to get its creative juices flowing and for that to happen you need a space.
When I talk about creating a space, it doesn’t have to be a physical space like a room, although that would be awesome. It can be going out for a walk or spending 20 minutes speaking to a friend in Arabic, it can be teaching your spouse or partner some phrases or closing your eyes and imagining things in Arabic. Oddly for me it is when I commute to work in the morning. I have half an hour to learn Arabic every day, I find that this is my most productive time. I use that time to listen to talks in Arabic or read stories and I take notes. Outside of that time when I’m doing mundane things at work, I put on these massive “don’t bother me” head phones and again listen to Arabic talks or podcasts. This is obviously not as productive but it helps me immerse myself in the language and have it going on in the background.
Here are some language learning tips that have really helped me:
- Write down three spaces/times where you are most creative and really maximise those times
- Organise a physical space at home where you can be completely focused
- Allocate a particular time of the day where everything is in Arabic including your thought processes
- Organise regular catch ups with friends who have a similar interest in learning Arabic and only speak Arabic
I’d like to hear about where and how you study best, drop me a line and let me know!
To learn Arabic click HERE.