Grow Your English in Six Minutes a Day?
Is it possible to improve your English by studying for six minutes a day? Slim chance. I doubt anything significant could be achieved linguistically in six minutes. How about physically? A NYT article from 2009 claims that science suggests that humans can get fit in six minutes a week.
six minutes or so a week of hard exercise (plus the time spent warming up, cooling down, and resting between the bouts of intense work) had proven to be as good as multiple hours of working out for achieving fitness
This raises an interesting idea about intensive vs prolonged periods of language study. What’s better for our short and long term second language acquisition? What about short and long term memory? Communicative language teaching and learning is premised on the notion that learners need massive exposure to English and repeated practice to seat new concepts in the brain.
Short, regular periods of study may appeal to some types of learners: those who distract easily come to mind. But the real application for intensive study bursts is with those extrinsically motivated language learners who have lower than normal interests in identifying with the culture of English speakers and higher than normal interests in achieving comprehension or fluency results for the purposes of high test scores or job interviews. This is not the maximal way to gain proficiency for the long term, but short, intensive sessions with a trained instructor is time well spent for the test-taker who has an evaluation looming in the near future.
I talk about time management and learning strategies in length in my TOEFL prep course, Clear Strategies & Tactics. You can check that out here.
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