Ten per day: testing my commitment

If you work in ELT and haven’t liked the British Council Teaching English page on Facebook yet, I have words for you: like it. Like it now. Rarely a day goes by without an intriguing post – be it a lesson plan, activity template, or professional development tip. I’m hooked!

One of the posts that caught my eye this month was a short video featuring Sandy Millin, Director of Studies at IH Bydgoszcz. In the clip, Sandy recommends studying English independently for ten minutes every day in order to learn and achieve more.

Ten minutes is a manageable goal. I’ve told many students the same thing – ‘just ten minutes! It will make so much difference!’ – but I’ve never stuck to the plan myself.

Well, the time has come to practise what I preach! My German tutor will be away for most of December and January and, without someone to set me homework and provide a focus for my learning, I know that I’ll struggle to motivate myself to study.

My lack of motivation isn’t just a problem when it comes to German. Although I attend a Russian conversation class once a week, I do nothing else to maintain my Russian language level – or build on it. And don’t get me started on my French…

In December I intend to work on all three languages – studying for ten minutes per day – and hopefully build up a routine that will take me into the New Year and beyond. I’ll start the day with ten minutes of reading in Russian over breakfast, spend ten minutes at lunchtime looking at the French news or playing on Memrise, and go to sleep after a quick burst of German vocabulary study or a few pages of Der Vorleser (current German novel of choice).

And of course, I’ll evaluate my progress here. Stay tuned!


4 thoughts on “Ten per day: testing my commitment

  1. Sandy Millin December 31, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    Hi Carrie,
    Great to see that that video is in circulation and is doing its job – I remember making it but have never seen it 🙂 How’s the ten minutes per day going? I make a note on a calendar if I’ve done my ten minutes each day, and if I haven’t I put a cross. i hate seeing crosses!
    Einen Guten Rutsch im Neuen Jahr and Bonne Année! …since I’ve already wished it to you in English several times, and you need the practice 😉


    • carrieljames January 1, 2016 / 11:03 am

      С Новым Годом! I didn’t do particularly well last month because I was so busy, but new year… new diary… let’s see how it goes. I’m going to review my progress at the end of this month. Hopefully by 31 January it will have become a habit!

      Liked by 1 person

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