Do you want to learn a foreign language but haven’t got time? We’ve all heard or made this excuse before. Don’t worry – there’s a solution. Read on!
The miracle language learning morning
I’ve recently read an interesting book by Hal Elrod called The Miracle Morning.
It’s a short and practical book about how to structure your morning routine to be less stressed, more successful and have more energy throughout the day.
I’ve implemented the miracle morning into my daily routine and have been following it for the last four weeks. And I can tell you – it’s changed the way I function for the better.
The purpose of this post, however, is not to talk to you about meditation, exercise and writing, which is what a typical miracle morning involves, but to talk to you about how you can use this principle for language learning. You can successfully implement the tips from this article (and the book) to learn any language.
What is the miracle language morning?
Here are the main principles of the miracle language morning:
- Get up 15 minutes earlier than usual.
- Wake up your brain and your body.
- Do some language learning for 15 minutes.
Below, I explain each of the three steps in more detail.
Get up 15 minutes earlier than usual
This is where you find the time to do your language learning even if you ‘don’t have time’.
As Hal Elrod says in his book, you should not be thinking about what you’re like based on what you’ve been so far. Are you thinking ‘I’m not a morning person?’. Maybe you haven’t been so far, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a morning person now.
Getting things done in the morning is satisfying and it gives you extra energy for the day. If language learning is something you enjoy but ‘haven’t had time to do’, the miracle language morning will give you a reason to look forward to it.
Wake up your brain and your body
You can wake up your brain by counting backwards from 5 and getting up at the same time. Carrying out a physical activity and having a focus on a mental task at the same time will make you forget how nice and warm your bed is. You will instantly feel more alert and ready to absorb some language.
To wake up your body, splash some cold water over your face right after you get out of bed. Sounds simple but it works! Then, have a glass of water and you’re ready!
Do some language learning for 15 minutes
Try and have a mini-activity ready for each morning session the day before. You can, for example, use the last two minutes of each 15-minute session to decide what you’re going to learn the following day. Here are some examples of what you can do:
- Learn vocabulary. Try to memorise 10 new words. Put them on flashcards – that way, you can practise writing them out as well. Read them out to practise pronunciation. Say each of them in a sentence and you’re done for the day! You can use one of your miracle language mornings the following week to revise the 10 words.
- Read. Find a news story in your target language. Read it with the intention to then summarise it in your own words. Don’t get stuck on words you don’t understand – treat it as a reading comprehension exercise.
- Write. Write your to-do-list for that day in your target language. Look up words that you don’t know yet and try and memorise them.
- Listen and speak. Watch a video or listen to a podcast and repeat some of the key phrases you hear.
- Learn a grammar point. Focus on a tense or a grammatical structure. Just read the rules – you can put it into practice tomorrow!
Fill out your Motivation Journal
The Motivation Journal is a simple tool I’ve created for you guys to help you keep motivated, stay on track with your goals and celebrate your language learning achievements.
Keeping a journal is a great way to stay focused on your goals, and filling out the Motivation Journal can be part of your miracle language morning routine. Make sure you check it out!
An extended miracle language morning
If you get up 20 minutes earlier than usual, you can also add on a 5-minute visualisation/affirmation bit at the end of your miracle language morning. Here’s what you will do.
Language learning and visualisation
A lot of successful people swear by the benefits of visualisation. It is a very simple technique whereby you imagine yourself in a situation that you want to find yourself in at the end of your learning process.
What is your language learning goal? Let’s say it is to get onto a language course at your chosen university. Your visualisation will therefore involve picturing yourself as a student of language at that university.
Make it as detailed as you can. What exactly are you studying? Picture yourself speaking the language fluently to your foreign-language tutor. Picture yourself visiting the country whose language you’re learning and speaking to people on the streets. Picture yourself doing a written language exam where you’re writing in fluent [insert language].
Another element of visualisation is imagining the feelings that you would feel being in that situation. Visualise yourself feeling proud, confident and accomplished.
Language learning and affirmation
This is another process that may help you feel more confident about achieving your language learning goals. Affirmation is essentially telling yourself that you can do it. This gives you the confidence and energy to carry on and work towards your aims.
You could either have a set affirmation that you repeat every day or change it depending on what you want to affirm on a given day. The affirmations I use are usually around confidence in my ability and gratitude for what I already have. You could write it out if you want – examples below:
- I’m surrounded by people who want me to succeed. My teacher believes in my ability to learn this new set of vocabulary and so should I. My foreign friends are impressed with the language skills I’ve achieved so far. I’m grateful to be surrounded with people who recognise my efforts and this will help me continue with my language work.
- I am a confident language learner. I’m not worried about making mistakes because I can use them as learnings. I’m going to succeed because I learn from my mistakes.
You can try saying these out loud to make your goal more ‘real’.
Try the miracle language learning morning
Do you still think you haven’t got time to learn a language? Well, if you do, then go ahead and change your alarm clock settings!
Have a go at the miracle language morning routine and let me know how you get on in the comments below! Good luck 🙂
And if you’d like to read Hal Elrod’s book in full, you can get it here: The Miracle Morning.
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