One of my goals for the past several years has been to learn Spanish. I’ve tried many different methods to learn the language and hadn’t found a method or program worth sticking with. Stuff like Rosetta Stone is too tedious and boring, in spite of the crazy amounts of hype.
A few months back I started playing around with the Duolingo iPad app. Duolingo is a free program that uses spaced repetition to help users memorize words and better learn a foreign language. To my pleasant surprise, I got hooked using the app and really enjoyed their simple interface and didn’t find learning with their program boring at all.
Duolingo has a counter on the program so you can keep track of how many consecutive days you’ve used the program. At first I didn’t really pay much attention to my consecutive day streak. I would use the program for a little bit for two or three days and then take a day off. I didn’t really have much of a plan. Then one week two months ago my streak got to 8 days, then 10, and then I thought to myself, “Man, I can’t stop this streak now!” Soon enough I kept my streak going and now (as of yesterday) I hit the 50 consecutive day mark. Pretty friggin’ awesome if you ask me.
Imagine what you could accomplish if you did something for 10 straight days. Or twenty. Or fifty. Sure, you would probably completely suck (like me) when you’re starting out, but eventually you’d start to suck a little bit less. Each day you’d progressively be improving and learning a new skill. It doesn’t even need to be a new language, it could be cooking, computer programming, or even playing a musical instrument. The possibilities are endless.
The biggest thing to remember is a program like Duolingo can help you with your learning, but ultimately the motivation has to come from within yourself. The consecutive day streak means nothing without the desire to accomplish learning that new skill. The big picture is that after 50 consecutive days I’m now picking up more and more Spanish words in conversation and feel more confident that eventually I’ll know enough to be fluent. It’s not easy, but by doing a little bit of work every day I know I can get there.
BAM! Now get off your ass and get to work!