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Introducing Study Reminders: 3 Tips to Bust the 'Too Busy' Myth

Blog-StudyReminders-02bMany of us can relate to how easily we let our busy brains distract us from what isn’t already baked into our existing habits and schedules — that daily grind. Imagine if your language lessons helped wake you up in the morning, let you know it’s lunchtime, or kept you on your feet while you whip up dinner.

Now you can take control of your language learning with our newest personalization feature, built to remind you when — and how often — you learn best.

 

Introducing: Study Reminders

This latest, and highly requested, product update adjusts (on your command) to coordinate with your weekly, daily, and hourly routines.

 

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Now, learn how to maximize the effectiveness of your language learning using Study Reminders. We left some tips below based on what science, polyglots, and the language-learning community have to say about the development of ideal learning behaviors.  

 

C’est possible! Language learning can be habit-forming

In fact, it’s recommended you make language learning a habit in order to unlock your language-mastery potential. 


The more studies we find, polyglots we talk to, and language-learning best practices we source, one message echoes: consistency is critical to the language-learning process. Scheduling regular study sessions builds language skills more efficiently. We all fall back on habits in our routine. So how can you hack your existing habits to pair well with language study? We got you.

 

Let’s break it down: 

A study[1] done by the European Journal of Social Psychology observed:  

“As behaviours are repeated in consistent settings they then begin to proceed more efficiently and with less thought as control of the behaviour transfers to cues in the environment that activate an automatic response: a habit.” [1]

Regularly repeated behaviors are more likely to elicit an automated response over time — like learning a language. We look for patterns so that we can repeat them or change them, based on our surroundings — like learning a culture. Eventually patterns become automated; we learned without even realizing it. Here's how to use your Study Reminders to automate your learning: 

 

Tip 1: Set your Study Reminders for any date or time — during, preceding, or after — an existing routine. 

An inc.com article referencing research findings in the field of chronobiology, cites that: 

“learning is most effective when the brain is in acquisition mode, generally between 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.”

So, for instance, sync your Study Reminders with a timeframe or activity that is already ritual — like your evening routine. (Bonus: Set Mango to auto play and follow along hands-free as you’re getting ready for bed.) Plus, research[2] has confirmed that sleep following a learning session will double down on your language retention. Dulces sueños! 

 

Tip 2: Set your reminders to correspond with the triggers in your life that relate to your language-learning motivations. 

Disrupting any lifestyle with another requires regularity (and repetition) and begins with defining the motivations that fuel your momentum for the long-haul. 

Referring back to the study by the European Journal of Social Psychology on how cues in your environment can automate your behavior, these cues can also be considered a form of trigger. According to a post from Lifehack.com, (that gives more great advice on the importance of reminders), a trigger can be: 

“...anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something...But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger.”

The same article on Lifehack.com also states that "effective triggers relate to the behavior you want to produce." What was it that sparked your craving to learn a new language? Whether you’re planning a trip to Iceland, eager to decorate your diploma with the Seal of Biliteracy, or need to speak confidently on business matters in Korean, keep your language-learning goals in mind when identifying the cues and triggers in your life that motivated you to set those goals. 

 

Tip 3: Set your Study Reminders, but maintain realistic expectations. 

Even if you don’t have a specific amount of time dedicated to study, consistency should echo throughout your language-learning efforts. As polyglot Olly Richards suggests, 30 seconds of learning can flow into minutes and then hours, enticing you deeper into a devoted study session. You don’t need to study the same amount every time, just schedule any length of study at regular intervals; customize a study schedule completely centered around you.   

Also, remember that like learning a new language, forming new habits takes time, patience, and consistency; taking off at warp speed and rearranging your entire life is a recipe for demotivation and burnout. The tips above should alleviate this potential roadblock, while still keeping you motivated to stay on schedule and make language learning routine. Excelsior! 

 

Have any tips of your own on how you automate your learning sessions?

Drop them in a comment below!

 


Further Reading: 

[1] (Lally et. al); How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world; 2009

[2] (Mazza et. al); Relearn Faster and Retain Longer: Along With Practice, Sleep Makes Perfect; 2016

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Mallory Lapanowski

Advocate for the Oxford comma, Mallory is the Communications Strategist at Mango Languages. When she’s not creating content for the language-learning masses, you can find her on the water, in the garden, or keeping up with her French.

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