Can you study efficiently about as much as you can work efficiently?

Can you study efficiently about as much as you can work efficiently?



This poll will run forever.

Posts1663Likes1103Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Learning Italian
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Ok, I realize the answer is “it depends”, but I didn’t offer that option because I think “about” takes care of that. I ask this question because many learners seem to believe that language learning, hour per hour, is more taxing than work, and you cannot put in the same number of hours without a drastic decline in performance.

I believe the main reason for this is that people do it as a secondary activity, after work or school, where time is limited, and they are already tired from the primary activity. Putting in an hour or two under those conditions is really hard, so when they are asked “what if you had all day free?”, they still think an hour or two is the “limit”.

Another possibility is that they only consider it a hobby; their lives/careers don’t depend on it, so unlike work, they cannot fathom it being done intensively for long periods of time.

I’m retired, motivated, and I have enough resources to learn a language. Once did a 1 year spurt in Korean, averaging about 7 hrs per day. I’m sure there was some drop off in productivity from time to time, but keep in mind that, just like work, activities often change, breaks get taken, etc. My 7th hour was not necessarily less effective than any other hour of the day.

During my 25 year career, I worked many one or more year spurts of 60 hrs/week. My productivity was not lower on the last day of the week, or the last hour of the day. I was not less productive per hour when I worked 60 hrs/week than when I worked 40 hrs/week. Through trial and error, I found out that I wouldn’t want to do any more than 60 though. Based on this, I think I could put in 60 hours per week studying languages and still be plenty efficient.

Even if you have all the time in the world, how many hours you can study without a drop in performance is an individual thing. But if it’s significantly less than how much you can work, imo you are probably doing something quite differently.

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My thoughts are that language learning is so demanding, that it's normal that most people can't hold long periods of it, except for those that language learning it's a daily/weekly routine.

I compare fore example with doing sport. Whey you never did sport before, even 5 minutes of running can get you so exhausted, but when you're a runner, you can stand 1 hour of running very well. I think that the brain it's not that diferent in that regard. Maybe language learning involves some areas that are not used on non language learning persons.

So, saying that language learning routine it's like going to mind's gym, it's not a metaphor, it's almost literal.

Work it's also demanding of course. But people work everyday, so comparing language learning (special scenario) with work (standard scenario of most people's life), I don't know if it's a fair comparison. It's fair compare plain walking (on supermarket etc) with any sport activities? humans are always training on walking, we walk everytime. But, go visit to a person hospitalized for months, or recovering from an injury and see if is able to, even when the injury is gone, the muscles need to get used to the new activity that is walking.

So the answer to this poll, maybe it's a trick question. Maybe for a person who is doing language learning for years, there is no difference with work. But maybe it's not the case of new students, even in their second year studing the language, maybe are not completely used to it.


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