A year in the study of English of a typical Spanish student:
- January – resolve to really learn English this year – enrollment in English course
- Champions League games inconveniently take place on weekday nights making it difficult to study
- League games/weddings/ski-ing trips etc inconveniently take place on weekends making it difficult to study
- Easter holidays
- Longer days and warmer weather inconveniently mean that having a drink on a terraza makes it difficult to study
- Hot weather means visits to the beach and English books get wet and full of sand
- 23rd June – San Juan fiesta means that studying is over until after the summer holidays
- August – holidays in foreign country produce panic as student realises they can’t communicate
- September – enrollment in English course
- October – English course begins as does the football season
- 6th December – National holiday, begins holiday season which ends on January 7th – English course finishes until next year
Of course this is a slight exaggeration but it is one of the reasons why people studying English for 20 years is not that uncommon.
The only way to learn a language is to be consistent – it is far better to study only five minutes a day if that’s the only time you have, than to stop and start. Work out how much time you can dedicate to the goal that you have set yourself and stick to it by making a realistic plan. With the rise of internet based learning, mp3, dvd etc you should always be able to find some time and remember that learning a language is not a race, it’s an ongoing project that never stops.