These days it’s common to binge-watch a TV series, streaming episode after online episode until you’re finished. It can be tempting to take the same approach with elearning modules. It’s certainly possible power through one after another until you complete the course. However, if your objective is to actually learn the material quickly rather than just complete a certification, “binge learning” isn’t the best method.
DayTranslations, a blog for translators and localization professionals, offers a variety of helpful tips to aid in language learning. In a recent post on common mistakes for language learners, the number one error is to set unrealistic goals.
“One of the most common language learning mistakes of most students is they expect to master a target language at breakneck speed,” writes the blogger. “The process of language learning reminds one of a marathon rather than a sprint. So be persistent, take a critical look at what you want to achieve, and compare it to how fast you can do it. Train every day by taking little steps closer to your goal.”
At the same time, it is important to set realistic goals and stick to them. Successful language students have daily study sessions and constantly review their lessons. But they also give themselves breaks to give their brains time to process new information, relax and breathe a little bit before plunging headlong into the next tranche of material.
“When you study too much, it’s likely you’ll have problems remembering rules and concepts the following day,” writes Denise Recalde in a different post on the blog. “The truth is constant binge studying leads to burnout. You may think you are working hard, and making progress, but the truth is you’re overworking your brain and not getting very good results. The best study tactic is to learn the material piecemeal in daily sessions, say half an hour to an hour a day.”
One of the biggest benefits of elearning in general and mobile learning in particular is the flexibility they afford for independent study. You don’t have to wait for classes to begin and end. If you are ambitious and motivated, you can keep working on exercises and modules for as long as you want. But after a while, you might see diminishing returns. A better strategy is to find ways to do exercises and practice several times a day for brief periods, reinforcing what you’ve learned and gradually applying it to new scenarios.