Stickiness and language learning

Sup all,

I’m writing this to remind myself as to why stickiness is important. Hence the link from my language and goals.

One of my favourite exercises is the kettlebell swing, and one of the books by Pavel Tsatsouline (Kettlebell Simple & Sinister) is essentially written describing this one exercise (and one other). It’s a great book, and if you are into exercise, I’d  advise reading it.

One of the key insights of the book, is the importance of keeping things simple, and the book describes doing 100 kettlebell swings, day in, day out, rather like brushing your teeth.

There is no waviness. All you do is 100 kettlebell swings. You don’t need to wonder what type of exercise to do, how many swings, whether you should have a rest day, number of set, reps and so on.

In other words, it is easier to stick to, than a more complicated workout schedule.

I think it is brilliant.

But, it made me think about other areas of my life, and in particular languages, which as a hobby I rather neglected last year, partly due to lack of time and also organisation.

I thought that I would try the same approach with the learning of German as I use with kettlebells, and that I have set myself a very simple task with a high stickiness factor and low waviness.

I will use Lingq for thirty minutes a day (like brushing my teeth) to improve my reading and listening German comprehension.

I will let you know, my babbers, how it works out.

I’ve also decided that for the first three months of the year, all my leisure reading will be in Spanish, which in essence, is everything that I read on my kindle.




This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Stickiness and language learning

  1. Kevin Moore says:

    Using your wonderful site to try and learn Afrikaans – very helpful. It could be even more useful for a beginner like me if the English translations on occasions were more reflective of the words being used in Afrikaans:
    Ek nou al drie jaar ‘n onderwyser, which you translate as ‘I’ve been a teacher for three year’ this makes beginners like me miss ‘nou’. A better translation would be ‘I’ve been a teacher for three years now’ which is, after all, a perfectly good English sentence?

    • moonface says:

      I’m glad you are enjoying the site.

      I take your point regarding translations and there is always a balance to strike between a literal/word for word translation and a more natural rendition.

      I don’t always get it right, but in general tend to aim for the more natural sounding translation on the basis that over time, we tend to pick up the subtitles and smaller words.


  2. Luciano Fernández says:

    Hello MF, I discovered the afrikaans world recently, your site easyafrikaans is the best!

    I hope be able to write and speak a little soon, thanks.

    Luciano from Argentina

  3. Sandra Iliescu says:

    Hello. My name is Sandra Iliescu and I am from Rumania. This site is really effective considering the basic learning of a language all along with the audio registrations. There are lods of mobile applications and all kind of methods to learn a foreign language, but none of them is so simple. I think your magic key is the audio registrations which are very, very useful. You can learn all by ear, not by eye, not “by heart”… Still, I think something is missing. As you are an English native speaker, you simply did not think about including the English language on the list. It would be great and a lot of help to have it this way. Finally, congratulations and best regards!
    P.S. To learn German, French (and English), there is the Vaughan Method from Vaughan Systems, www grupovaughan com. They have a radio for Spanish people to learn English and many free books on scribd application. Take a look at the German method. It is really interesting.

    • moonface says:

      Fair point. There are so many brilliant free english resources that there never seemed any need to add any more to this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *