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My 30 Day Thai Language Trial: Overview

New Years resolution

Overview of my 30 day Thai language trial…

Don't Break the ChainWell, that’s that. Finish. My 30 day Thai language trial is over.

And I now have a new habit. Studying Thai. Daily. Yeah! But please note: I will no longer upload the Don’t Break the Chain graphics from my iPhone to WLT’s sidebar.

(It was a tedious chore, and one I forgot. Often ;-)

I started this 30 day trial because my Thai learning had stagnated. Sure, I had oodles of Thai language courses and resources. But what I needed was a better method of studying, as well as new study habits. Daily study habits (as it turns out).

Some of you might be in a similar situation. You want to speak a language other than your own, but you don’t know how to go about it; you don’t know what works for you.

Because (as you might have discovered) there is more to learning languages than selecting a language course.

And that’s what the 30 day trial did for me. It jump-started a better way of learning.

A given, everyone has a different language learning style. The 30 day trial proved to me that Luca’s method suited me best. If you are coming across this series for a first time, be sure to either listen to Luca’s explanation of his method on YouTube at An Easy Way to Learn Foreign Languages, or read about it in two parts on WLT here: Part One and Part Two.

My biggest fear wasn’t about the method, but that I would not be able to acquire a regular study habit. Why? Well, the list went on and on, but it was top-heavy with insomnia and procrastination (which resulted in frustration).

But I now know that Steve, emk and Jerry are totally correct. That if you do something for around 30 days, non-stop, you will be the proud owner of a new habit. Again, if you are coming here all shiny new, please click on their names above or read my 30 Days to Successful Thai Language Habits post.

Along the way I discovered even more language learning resources of interest: The Mozart Effect, Shadowing, iReadFast and spreeder.com. Each one is a keeper so please check them out too.

The true test of this trial is not after a short 30 days run, but a year plus. And to put myself to the test, I have timestamped a post for next year.

Because even though the 30 day trial series is over, it’s not.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Thai lesson to prepare for…

My 30 day Thai language trial…

If you are reading about my 30 day trial for the first time, please visit these posts:

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

10 Comments

  1. Cat, that’s great to read that you have aquired a new habit through the 30 day program. Continually doing the same thing will definitely reinforce the habit and in this case it’s a great habit to have. I really want to adopt my own 30 day program but with my circumstances as they are at the moment it’s not something I can do.

    I hope by later this year I will be able to look back on this series of posts when I can start my own 30 day program. There have been many helpful tips throughout and I think this will become a valuable resource for anyone wanting to get a step up in their language learning.

  2. Thanks Talen. I do advise anyone who is stuck on their study habits to give it a try. I was surprised at how easy it was to pull off. Ok, I did fuss up a storm the first week, but it was down to being frustrated from a severe lack of sleep. But even with that going on, it was possible to hang on long enough to make that red X each day.

    Tip: For insomniacs, remixing your audio lessons with hypnotic music will get you through the tough times (I’ll post about this later).

  3. i am plateauing myself and have been using anki flashcard system. http://ichi2.net/anki/

    it’s not great for anything but vocabulary building which is where i seem to be stuck at.

    have you heard of tim ferriss? he has a unique way of learning languages. here’s a couple of posts:

    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/11/07/how-to-learn-but-not-master-any-language-in-1-hour-plus-a-favor/

    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/01/20/learning-language/

    sorry if you’ve already mentioned him in your blog. you’ve written a lot and i’m not that fast of a reader (yet?)!

  4. Welcome Lani :-) When I have the time, I use BYKI as it has goodies – games and activities – and as I’m such a kid, it works for me. Problem is, it all takes time to create from scratch (too bad we can’t get a Thai team together!)

    I have heard of Tim Ferris. Early on, I deconstructed Thai using his instructions. One day I’ll post the results here (it’s that ‘ole time thing again).

    For his second article, I started researching the top 300/500/1000 words one must know in Thai. Heh. I’m still working on it and will post them here as well.

    I realise that I’ve spent more time playing around with learning methods than I have with learning Thai, but I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been beneficial as I’m also interested in how people learn languages. How I learn languages.

    And learning how I procrastinate is interesting too ;-)

  5. Catherine well done on completing your thirty day trial and acquiring the habit (sounds awful, like you’re a junkie). The secret now is to keep feeding your habit which with your enthusiasm for the Thai language shouldn’t be a problem.

    I’m still very excited about Hugh’s weather post and I have now printed it off and it is the first entry into a Thai language folder I’m compiling. Most useful.

    naa naao ( Wi often talks about the weather )
    naa dtit sat ( the problems she had with our dogs last year )
    naa tai waan ( handy in a village )
    fon ja dtok yen nee ( useful for my September holiday)

    Thanks and keep snorting….. sorry I meant learning.

  6. Hi Martyn, thanks! I like being a junkie (of this sort). My next trick is to study before I do everything else. But I’m not too sure I can pull that off and I’m not fully awake before caffeine.

    A Thai language folder is a great idea. I have one for posts on WLT. It’s full of written notes that have been extracted from my Thai lessons. Lately, I’ve switched to a pocket sized Moleskin as it’s the perfect size to carry around on road trips around Thailand. I call it my Khun Phairo notebook.

    ‘keep snorting’ I am, I am… but in a different way. The man brought back a sore throat from London. Now, of ALL of the possible gifts, he brings that one? Sigh… I’m sick and tired of… yeah… well… it’s chicken time…

    Now off to see your January 2010 review post (I love your monthly wrap on everyone :-D

  7. Catherine there’s one hell of a lot of bugs going about my hometown right now, it seems everyone is coughing or sneezing, a sore throat is either a light let off or the start of something heavy (hopefully not).

    Even here in the UK I quite often slip my small notebook into my back pocket when I head out for a drink. Due to my work pattern I often socialize alone because mid week my friends are working and I’ll sit with a beer and scribble a few thoughts and notes. I really enjoy that.

  8. I hope not too. The man has had the same since Thursday, but he never gets sick so might be fighting it off. Me, on the other hand… (does not do sick well).

    I enjoy taking down notes too. But I can’t always figure out what they meant later. One day I’ll learn shorthand and it won’t be such a problem.

  9. It took me two days but I’ve just read every one of your posts and logged/read nearly every site you referenced in your 30-day trial. Whoa! It’s very inspirational.

    More to the point, this 30-day approach really appeals to me. I think you’ve got onto something, having utilized and modified Luca’s ideas. It makes great sense: develop a habit until it sticks. One can say the same thing about regular physical exercise. Once you develop the habit, you just fall into it every day or other day and voila!, you’re fit, or more fit than you were.

    I’m more interested in learning Thai and since I have 7 months before I return to LOS and that 7 months involves a lot of winter here in the Great White North, I think you’ve given me the answer on how to get off my language learning butt and do it.

    By the way, you’re building an incredible Thai language resource here and I like how you present balanced and fair reviews of things. Well done.

  10. Rick, Fantastic! I’m glad to hear that you’ve decided to do a language trial too. It has been very productive as I now have a great way to study daily. And making a concerted effort also forced me to find what worked for me (remixing the audio especially helps).

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