We have got the thing for you if you want to improve the way you are learning. Let’s look at some top tips from KnowledgePond's expert teachers that can boost your progress and make you a more efficient learner.
How long does it take to learn something new?
Let's start with examining the common questions every learner have in mind:
"How long will my learning journey take and how difficult will it be?"
It doesn't matter whether we are talking about learning English or Science, gaining new knowledge that lasts doesn't happen overnight. It takes a considerable amount of time and, above all, dedication to learn a language or gain practical knowledge in science.
There's a great study carried out by the United States Foreign Service Institute about how long it took US diplomats to reach 'Professional Working Proficiency' in several different languages. They found that an English native speaker generally needs 600-750 class hours to learn a language similar to English, such as Spanish and French, but needs an estimated 2,200 class hours to master Japanese, as it is very different from English.
From this example you can see that how long and difficult your learning journey might be depends on many different factors:
what you are learning
your age - children generally learn quicker than adults. You can read how and why here.
your current level of the subject - you can master many of the basics in a much shorter time span than improving your knowledge on an advanced level. For example, English gets much more difficult after intermediate level simply because of the vocabulary getting more complex. You can find out about how to improve your vocabulary here.
your aims - it's obvious that it will take longer to prepare you for IGCSE if you want the best grade possible than when you would like to just pass it.
how decisive you are - many learners waste a lot of time trying to find out what they really want.
Thankfully, dividing your learning into smaller sections can help you feel the sense of achievement in just a short time. Many of our live language courses take only a few weeks to complete, giving you a quick boost you can use in real-life immediately. For example, you can understand how to use the English Verb Tenses properly in just ten hours!
How to improve your knowledge effectively
So now that you know what to expect when it comes to determining the length and difficulty of your learning, it's time to get into some of our top tips on how to learn better.
1. Find your learning style
There is no exact science to how YOU will learn best because everyone has their own learning style. This method has to be found early in your learning, otherwise you end up wasting a lot of your time. Finding the best method that works for you can speed up your learning process and also make it less painful! An expert teacher can teach you using the method that suits you best. You can talk to one at KnowledgePond Education right away.
2. Set your learning goals
When you are planning your learning, you need to set short-term goals. Focusing only on what you want to achieve as a final result is too daunting and demotivating. Let me give you an example. I would like to understand trigonometry. At first I should learn the different types of triangles, right? Once I learned how to identify the types of triangles and their properties, I shall celebrate my achievement and move forward to my final goal of mastering the subject step by step.
It is the same process when it comes to learning English. If your end goal is to be able to speak like a native speaker and you only focus on achieving that without celebrating how you managed to learn ten new expressions today, you won't be a happy learner. You will only feel like I'm still not speaking like a native speaker. But if you focus on the milestones of your journey, you will enjoy every step you take towards your end goal.
Setting and celebrating short-term achievements helps you build your knowledge systematically, keep you on track and motivated, which makes you a happy and efficient learner.
3. Learn smart not hard
What does this mean? For example, when it comes to improving your English vocabulary, you can do it the hard way or the smart way. The hard way is when you sit down and try to memorise thousands of words. Good luck with it! :) It's not only hard but it won't really work on the long-term.
The smart way is when you learn word families. Native speakers know about 20,000 word families - the root word and all its variants. For example, happy, unhappy, happiness, happily, happier and add happy with, happy about, happy to do something, etc. Following this method will give you a very comprehensive knowledge you can easily use and build on.
4. Learn from the right people
It is a common misbelief that all native speakers are great teachers. Just as not everyone who understands trigonometry will be able to make you master it, a native speaker who does not really understand how his/her language works and how to present it logically will not be much of a good teacher to you.
What is your mother tongue? Have you ever tried to teach it to someone? If yes, I'm sure you already know what I'm trying to point out. If no, please, give it a try. Teaching is more complex and complicated than one would think. Stop wasting your time and money with unprofessional and not qualified teachers.
5. Make learning part of your life
Don't just sit above the books! Actively seek opportunities to use your new knowledge in real-life situations. You have plenty of options: watch documentaries in your subject, read relevant articles and engage in conversations with others - either in live talks or chat forums. As a matter of fact, why not start now. Leave a comment below!
There's everything you need to know about how to improve your knowledge in the smart way and become a happy learner. Whatever your learning goals are, you can find one of our lessons or short courses that help you on your learning journey.