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March 13, 2010

How Do You Learn Best?

Do you have times of day when you think better and find it easier to learn new things? Do you have places where, for some unknown reason, things just sink into your mind...

...and stick better?

Some of us learn better with - or without - music. Some people work, and write, in public places like coffee shops or markets. Not me, I find it difficult to concentrate in even quiet public places like libraries.

Some people thrive in groups, others work best alone. Some people work - and think - better in the mornings, some are at their best in the evenings.

The more you have a clear sense of when, and where, you are at your best, the easier and more permanent your learning will be.

I have learned that I think best fairly early in the morning and fairly early in the evening - after dinner. I am usually at my slowest and most sluggish in the middle of the afternoon.

One of my observations is that the best thing I can do in the afternoon is to take a short nap. I run out of energy and inspiration in the mid-afternoon anyway, so if I get a quick 30-45 minute nap, I am at my best both parts of the day.

I highly recommend some kind of siesta or quiet time in the middle of the day.

I like having energy and focus - and I do my best to make sure that my inertia doesn't win.

Keep a firm grip on what helps you do your best.

I also learn best when I am listening to music. And I have noticed that my best thinking happens when I am standing or walking. I am generally not at my best when I am sitting.

In the morning I like to listen to music for inspiration, or to an NPR station for information. If I do that I either start my day inspired - or informed. Either way is good. It's just different, and each beginning prepares me for the unexpectedness of each new day.

My days never go as expected, and I find that the best preparation is a pile of random stories and news updates - especially if seasoned with some inspiring and evocative music.

Oh, and a good breakfast is essential...

Find your space. Do your best. Send me your suggestions.

We are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foreign foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at March 13, 2010 12:16 AM

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