Many people say that giving yourself a New Year’s resolution is a waste of time, but it is not so. Just the other week I was listening to NPR and they said "And believe it or not - believe it or not - a large percentage of people who make resolutions actually do stick to them.”
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Hopefully one of them is to learn Russian. Whether you are a complete beginner and are just starting your journey with the Russian language or have been at it for a while, a new year is always a good time to regroup and invest into your studies.
Make sure you cover all aspects of the language: read, write, speak and listen. If you go to the gym, you need to do cardio and strength exercises, as well as exercises on different muscle groups (arms, legs, abs, etc). The same applies to studying a language: vary your study patterns but cover all of the aspects every week. For example: one day spend on reading and listening to a text/dialogue and the next day do the written exercises and record yourself answering questions or even reading aloud ( if you are a beginner). Do not try to do everything at the same time, let yourself absorb different parts of the language but repeat your studies regularly.
Our recommendations are for studying every day, even if it is a little bit, instead of studying once a week for hours at an end. You are going to remember and understand a lot more with frequent classes or self-study.
Make it a routine! Like brushing your teeth every morning and evening, make the studying an everyday part of your life:
- when you are driving, have an audio for your Russian course, Russian songs or the radio in Russian turned on;
- before going to bed – open your textbook and spend 15 minutes going over the new vocabulary or grammar, review what you covered recently or look at what is coming up next;
- write sticky notes with the hard to remember words or rules and put them around the house ( kitchen, bathroom, remote control, etc) – just by writing them down you will already be remembering them better;
- when you exercise or walk a dog –take your Russian audios with you, listen not only to the most recent class, but listen 4 – 5 older lessons again ( that allows you to remember the previously covered words and rules);
- think what other daily things can incorporate your Russian studies – and go for it!
This blog post is by Anna Watt
Remember: it takes about three weeks to make something part of a "normal routine” – so if you stick with it for just three weeks, you are much more likely to continue on with it.
Beware of doing it all: start with one thing and if it is going well – add more gradually, if you try to do all of those things right away, it is very likely it will become a burden and you will stop studying.
We hope that this year studying Russian will be one of the resolutions that you will stick to! Удачи!