Reasons why you’re not fluent in Polish yet (and how to fix that). Part I
You’ve been learning Polish for some time, but the effects are smaller than you would expect. You’re wondering what went wrong, how to change it, what would help? If you need a bit of help, read my today’s post – I describe the reason most often mentioned by my students: lack of time to study. The article also includes some helpful tips to make learning easier and hopefully less painful.
Lack of time to learn and no learning routine are one of the most common reasons, especially among working people. I understand this very well, I often see how tired my students are. Sometimes, after the evening lesson, they go home just to carry on with their work!
Unfortunately, despite all my compassion, learning a language requires regularity and even ten minutes while traveling by tram can be used to read a piece of text in Polish instead of scrolling Instagram – unless you browse my profile, where there are the materials for learning Polish 😉 )
What do you have to do?
- Decide that learning Polish is your priority
- Use these 5 minutes when you’re not doing anything in particular, to read and remember something. If you don’t have time to repeat grammar structures, you’ll always find a few minutes a day to look at some Polish memes, graphics, flashcards. Often, the funny form of the message makes the word more memorable
- Listen to Polish songs, podcasts, series when you’re doing something. Regardless of whether you are cleaning, driving a car or waiting in line to the doctor, it is worth turning on something in the background. Even if you don’t understand many words, don’t worry about it. It’s mainly about listening to the language, pronunciation, maybe even remembering some grammatical constructions/variations
- Put post-it notes with Polish words wherever you can – on the fridge, in the bathroom, in the corridor. In this way, wherever you are – whether in the bathroom or lacing shoes – you involuntarily read and review words
- Create certain routines that you will repeat every day and which after a while will begin to be automatic for you, like brushing your teeth. For example: whenever you eat dinner, watch an episode of a Polish tv series. Or install an application where you can enter words, e.g. AnkiApp, and browse them every morning on the bus to work.
- Remember what you are learning for. I don’t believe in a motivational speech, but I do believe in hard work and remembering that for some reason you are learning Polish. Want to talk to your girlfriend’s family? Get Polish citizenship? A better job? Then clench your teeth and remember it every time you groan at the genitive 😉
- Speak Polish to yourself. Try to think and speak Polish to yourself. They do not have to be any complicated debates on the meaning of life and global warming. To start with, just try to tell yourself what you need to buy for dinner.
Sometimes “I don’t have time” is just an excuse for fear. Some are afraid of failing, others are putting their efforts into something that they think can take a long time and not pay off. Think about what inhibits you and whether sometimes there is something else behind the “I don’t have time” excuse. Maybe you have a problem with an organization of time, not the lack of it? Or you don’t want to study at all but a certain someone is forcing you? You can tell me about it in the comment 🙂