Listen up!

You have already completed one language program.  

You spent the first few years of your life listening to your parents.  Whether you knew it or not, you were enrolled in a language immersion school.  

For the first few years of your life you slept – a lot.  You sleep as much as 16 hours out of every 24 hours.  This left with you with roughly 8 hours a day for language school.

Assuming you were awake for 8 hours out of every 24 hours, you were in language school almost 3,000 hours during your first year on the planet.  

You slept less in your second year of life. By the end of your second year of life, you had spent well over 6,000 hours in language school. 

 

Before your third year was complete, you had crossed the legendary 10,000 hour threshold.

At age one and a half, you began talking, much to the amusement of your parents.  

From age two to age five, you worked out many of the intricacies of your first language.  You continued to listen, and you practiced speaking.  By 6 years old, you had it.  You had succeeded in becoming a native speaker.

Remember, you spent most of your time in language school listening.  You did not drill with flash cards.  Your did not read grammar books.  You did not diagram sentences. You learned audibly.  You listened

Do it again.  

Whenever I begin a new language, I try to carve three hours out of my day.  For perhaps an hour a day, I sit and study.  I listen passively for two hours a day.  Three hours a day of study (mostly listening) ensures that by year’s end, I will have spent almost 1,000 hours in the language.  The bulk of my time is spent listening.  To learn Latin well (or any other language), you must do the same.

Listen to Latin while doing other things.  

Listen to Latin in the morning, as you are waking up. Listen in the morning as you make the bed, get dressed, and clean your room.  (Your parents will love you for this!)

If you have a long car ride to school or to work, listen while you ride.  

Listen while doing quiet jobs, like washing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, or sweeping the floor.

Listen while exercising, working out, walking, or running.

Listen while raking leaves, weeding the garden, or watering the plants.

Listen while walking the dog.  Listen while washing the cat.  On second thought… perhaps it’s best not to listen while washing the cat.

At night, turn on an audio recording of the language.  Fall asleep listening to Latin.  

Incidentally, this lesson applies to more than Latin.  You could use these techniques to learn anything.

Years ago, I would listen to dramatized Shakespeare plays while washing dishes.  One day my four year old walked thorough the kitchen, looked at the cassette player and said, “Daddy, those little people in your tape are funny!”

The dwarves were wrong.  Don’t whistle while you work.  Listen while you work…

This simple act will radically propel your knowledge.