Let’s get straight to the point:
There’s no ideal fixed amount of daily time you should spend on your language learning.
There is a right amount, though.
While it’s sometimes a good idea to schedule a fixed amount of daily language learning time, I now believe you won’t optimize your language learning time this way.
Not all days are created equal, and thus, the time you spend learning each day should take that into account.
Many language learners worry about translating in their heads.
And since many people agonize about it – experts rush to prescribe all kinds of methods to cure you from your translating-in-your-head disease.
I’m sure they have good intentions, but it’s a problem that doesn’t really exist.
If you’re a beginner or intermediate language learner, don’t sweat it:
It’s normal that you translate in your head. It will go away on its own with enough speaking practice and exposure.
As you might know:
When it comes to learning a new language, I’m not a fan of conversing from the get-go.
I think it’s a waste of time, and you set yourself up to have many fossilized errors that are tough to correct later on if almost everything you say to the bewildered natives speakers is incorrect.
…and although touted as a way to motivate yourself, it may actually shatter confidence to speak in your new language before you’ve even started.
An often used phrase that describes the time you have but don’t use:
Commuting to work, waiting in line, looking at stupid images on Facebook with even more stupid texts — that are always only partially true — or just watching recipe YouTube videos you never end up cooking anyway.
It’s all time you could use for language learning activities.
You probably recognize the following scenario:
You’re in an important conversation in your target language. Then suddenly, your vocabulary seems to shrink to: Yes, No and Thank You.
Call it stress or nerves, fact is it makes you feel as if all the studying you’ve done has been worthless.