Checklist for Language Learning

A coworker had the habit that when she got in, she would make a checklist of items to accomplish that day.  Then she would work with dogged determination on those things and nothing else would distract her.

My teacher is trying to work with me to create language learning tasks for the day.

FLYLady has her daily Flight Plan, which is a checklist for what gets accomplished that day.  To convert that to language learning, it might look like this:

flightplanpencil1Today is Saturday:  Day이에요.  It’s Day.  오늘은 이천십사 년, month 월, day일 일이에요. Today is month day, 2014.

This week we are : studying class 14 – “o” verbs

This month’s habit is: establish a routine

Morning routine:  review Memrise flashcards, clean desk, check calendar & email

Afternoon routine: read out loud for pronunciation practice, watch 1 hour of Korean drama for listening, practice writing sentences in Korean in chat and emails, write blog post

Bedtime routine: review Memrise flashcards, review KDA vocabulary, check calendar, set alarm, review what I accomplished today, determine next days mission, go to sleep at a reasonable time

Mission:  (Whatever Rob assigned me for the day, or one of my own devising. Something that can be accomplished in 1 day and isn’t biting off too much.)

Why do you need a checklist?

I rather hate being pinned down to checklists.  I want to just float on the wind with no plan following whatever whim or shiny thing that attracts my attention.  To be organized and schedule things feels wrong for my hobby that I am doing for fun.  Yet being disorganized is no picnic.

FLYLady describes herself as calendar challenged in one of her musings. These things that come naturally to born organized people, she has to practice and develop into habits. FLYLady says, “It took me 30 years to learn how to use a calendar. As I started adding one habit at a time to my daily routines, the calendar became an integral part of my planning for the next day.”

But why do I have to organize my play time?  I’m just having fun learning a language. Committing to a schedule and tasks does not come easily for me.  That all feels suspiciously like hard work.

Here is why.  Being disorganized is stressful.  Trying to juggle in my brain all the different things I can do, and be sure that I have done enough of them in the right proportions to result in progress with language learning is hard.  I go to sleep at night, and I forget things.  I wake up the next day and I don’t know where to start.  The long list of things to do overwhelms me.

I feel lost a lot of the time.

I have spent a lot of time on the computer, but at the end of the day, what do I have to show for it?  Did I get the tasks done so that by next class or tutor session, I will be ready?

My Korean class teacher and my tutor both give me work assignments for the week.  I have the best of intentions to get them done.  I TRY.  But I am not always choosing the kind of tasks that are efficient at teaching me how to speak and write Korean.

swiss_cheese_brainWith my swiss cheese brain, Korean I am trying to learn seems to escape faster than I pour it in.

Time seems to be my great enemy.  If I watch the KDA video 5 days before the class, by the time class comes, I have forgotten it already.  Without daily repetition, even words I thought I knew well are not “at the ready” to be used in speech.  All this repetition takes time.  If I am disorganized about the learning, then it takes more time and more gets lost.

My desperation to write things down is driven by the fact that I feel like I am constantly forgetting.  I fear if I sleep, the thought will escape me.  I lay awake at night in bed thinking, and trying hard to hold on to those thoughts long enough to get them down in blog posts. A blog post started but not finished in a day will probably never get finished, because I will simply forget I what I was writing.


I fear sleep.  It is the reset button.

reset reset2

I take a break from writing the blog post to draw a reset button and try to figure out how one says reset in Korean.  That’s how my brain works.  Haha

Ask yourself today: Why do I want this?

Planning ahead can give you results and bring joy.  Eliminate the stress of last minute scrambling.

I only recently realized that I am stressing out both my tutor and my teacher because of my disorganization.  Remember to share successes with those who are helping you, not just the frustration!

This entry was posted in Korean, Learning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s