What’s the hardest part about learning Arabic? Is it Arabic grammar? Perhaps it’s learning how to write Arabic letters. Or maybe it’s even learning Arabic pronunciation.
Actually, all Arabic language learners have struggled with these issues at one time or another, but with a little practice, all of these things aren’t really that difficult at all. In fact, the hardest part about learning Arabic isn’t about the language itself; rather, it’s about learning to stay focused.
Today we live under a constants barrage of distractions from technology. The rings and tweets of mobiles, the dings of email notifications, and the voices of video hucksters blaring out their ads at full volume can all distract you from learning Arabic to your full potential. So, the best way to learn Arabic language skills has little to do with learning grammar, pronunciation, and Arabic dialects, but more to do with staying focused on the tasks at hand and away from all of the distractions you face.
So how do you do that exactly? Well, here are five good ways to start minimizing your distractions and maximizing your focus when it comes to learning Arabic:
1. Peace and Quiet
Find a place that is quiet, clean, clean and comfortable and make sure it’s far enough away from the people whom you know will bother you. Make sure it’s a place you can use every day as your brain will become accustomed to that location and learn to tune out the distractions, thus allowing you to focus more on learning Arabic.
Since everyone has their own ways of studying, your perfect study area will be a place that suits your unique study habits. Start with your room (unless you have roommates or siblings that are a constant distraction). If your room doesn’t work, try a quiet public space like a local cafe or library. Some places near universities even rent out “study rooms” by the hour.
2. Don’t Keep Checking Your Mobile but Keep Your Mobile in Check
So now you’ve found the perfect place to study, but that doesn’t mean there are no longer any distractions. Chances are you carry your smartphone around with you just about everywhere you go, and this can be one of the biggest distractions in your life today. As we mentioned before, there are the constant beeps, rings, whistles, and vibrations from the plethora of email, messaging and social media apps you’ve downloaded to your phone. Asking you to leave them home is not realistic, so we suggest you put it on silent mode in your purse or pocket where it’s not tempting to check every five minutes. If you’re studying at home, leave it in another room and close the door to the room the mobile is in. “Out of sight, out of mind” is sage advice regarding mobiles.
“But I downloaded my study material on my phone,” you might be lamenting now. Okay, then put your phone in airplane mode or disable your wifi. This will stop incoming calls, messages, and notifications from popping up in the middle of your lesson.
And try to buy the real book. They’re not only portable too, but they don’t need recharging after every two hours of study. However, you do need recharging, which brings us to our next step.
3. Give Yourself a Break
Alright, let’s be realistic here. We don’t expect you to loom over your books digesting every word like a zombie eating brains. It’s natural for your mind to wander and think about other things. Maybe your favorite football team is playing and you start thinking about the score of the game. Maybe you’re thinking, “I wonder if Mom needs anything from the store on the way home.”
“I’m getting hungry.”
“What was the name of Ross and Rachel’s baby?”
“I want to learn Arabic alphabet writing but is it really an alphabet or is it an abjad?”
“Did Pennywise have a last name?”
All of this wondering and wandering will surely become a distraction, so give yourself a break.
You can use this time to search for all of these things you’re wondering about or even use this time to call your mom and ask her if she needs anything from the store on your way home.
This will help ease your worried mind and as a result, help keep your mind focused when it’s time to get back to studying.
4. Breaking Up Isn’t Hard to Do
When scheduling your breaks you may ask yourself, “How long should I study before I take a break.” This is a good question for which there is no one set answer because it depends on you and your own
unique optimal attention span. The good news is, if you’ve already scheduled your breaks, then your attention span lasts a little longer. If you have an average attention span, for example, make your focus periods about 25 minutes long and then take a five-minute break. As the days go on, try extending it until you can focus for 45 minutes and take a 15-minute break. Breaking up your study time into blocks of focusing and blocks of breaks will allow you to focus longer when you’re hitting the books, and the breaks will give you the mental recharge you need to learn Arabic better and faster.
5. Know Your Goal
Before you sit down to schedule your breaks and your blocks of focusing, Give your study material a quick glance and set your goals for that particular study session. For example, you can make the first 25 minutes about how you will learn to read Arabic followed by a break of five minutes. Next, you can learn about Arabic pronunciation followed by another five-minute break. And don’t forget to diversify your learning techniques. You don’t always have to have your nose in a book to learn. You can watch a 15-minute instructional video on Arabic pronunciation, for example, or listen to Arab music, especially some of the classics byUm Khartoum or Fayrouz as many of their songs are slow, making it easier for those learning Arabic for beginners to understand. You can even download one of the many Arabic language learning apps like the one offered by Kaleela and have a little fun while you’re learning Arabic.
So, there are five easy steps that will help you get focused on learning Arabic. Try them out today and see what works for you.
If you are interested in learning more about how to learn Arabic online or if you want to download the aforementioned Kaleela Arabic language learning app to your IOS or Android device, visit us at kaleela.com for more information. You’re always a welcome distraction to us!