(Photo credit Parker Knight)
When you plan to learn English everyone is different. At our Language Centre we find a lot of students like to study in the morning, but then there are the ones who like to sleep in, and prefer the afternoon. However, not only is everyone different, every discipline of English requires different kinds of concentration, e.g. grammar, speaking etc.
So what I plan to show you today are the advantages of different times of day, and what kind of studying technique works best at those.
Studying in the morning:
- You have just woken up and your mind is calm and refreshed, so you have the energy to consolidate what you learned yesterday
Before you go to sleep
- Research has shown that whatever was learned before you went to sleep is most likely to remain untouched by other thoughts until the morning. This is a good time therefore for ‘cramming’ information. (cramming means storing a lot of facts and information in your mind all at once) This means that you can quickly retrieve this information when you wake up in the morning and continue your learning.
However, you may feel tired and run down if you have a late night cramming, and so you won’t feel refreshed to continue studying the next morning and if you fail to revise in the morning, the effort made in the evening will possibly be wasted.
During the day
- Any other time of the day is good for a quick revision of grammar or vocabulary. These quick revision exercises should be no longer than 15 minutes, then take a break and come back to another 15 minutes revision. Anything more or less is unlikely to be of advantage because during any daytime activity there are likely to be many different interruptions that will make you lose your concentration.
- If you are writing an essay or having to read a long comprehension passage, 45 minutes in a secluded place is the best option. After 45 minutes, take a break again and come back to it for a further 45 minutes. But the most important part of this action is that it must be in a place where you know you won’t be interrupted.