Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about why flying on a plane could be the single most motivating experience for your language learning...
Peter: Or... the 3 effective language learning habits you’ll learn on a plane.
Becky: You’ll learn why you must adjust to your environment...
Peter: ...how to take advantage of limited time that you’d otherwise waste...
Becky: ...And the importance of developing an on-and-off mindset....
Peter: All so that you can master your target language and reach your goals.
Becky: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned just how important preparation is to becoming a better speaker...
Becky: ..how it helped Peter surpass his monthly goal...
Peter: ...And how you can take advantage of our lessons to prepare for conversations.
Becky: So, you had a bit of failure. Then, you crushed your Spanish goal for March.
Peter: And completely by surprise, Becky. I wasn’t expecting to hit 3 minutes.
Becky: Alright, what about April’s goal?
Peter: Right, so I promised to reach 5 minutes of Spanish conversation.
Becky: Any surprises this time? Or maybe surprising failures?
Peter: Ah, so focused on the positive, aren’t we, Becky. Well Becky, last time I was definitely surprised to crush my goal. This time, I crushed it with confidence. I reached 7 minutes!
Becky: Confidence? How did you crush your April goal with... confidence?
Peter: Well, hear me out. This is actually very interesting.
Becky: Okay, I’m listening.
Peter: This past month, I got to be in a unique environment that made me extremely motivated to crush my goal for the month.
Becky: Interesting. So, what was this environment and how did it help?
Peter: Believe it or not, Becky, it was on a plane. So, let’s get into today’s Inner Circle – the 3 effective language learning habits you’ll learn on a plane.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, you’re going to learn:
Peter: number 1 - why you must adjust to your environment.
Becky: number 2 - how to take advantage of limited time that you’d otherwise waste...
Peter: And number 3 - the importance of developing an on-and-off mindset....
Becky: I’m guessing you were on a plane recently then, Peter.
Peter: Very observant, Becky. It’s the last place you’d expect to be motivated.
Becky: Yeah, what made your flight so... motivational?
Peter: Let me tell you, Becky! So, first of all, I really like flying. And I like it because I get a snapshot of what the average person does at any given time.
Becky: What do you mean?
Peter: Becky, Imagine being on a flight right now.
Becky: Alright.
Peter: You’ve taken off. You’ve ascended. You’re now up in the air. You’re sitting...and the seat-belt light comes off. You get up and you look around. What do you see?
Becky: Hmmm. I’d see a lot of people around me!
Peter: And... what what are they doing?
Becky: Probably watching the TV or sleeping.
Peter: Anything else?
Becky: Hmm, eating? They usually start coming out with those food carts when the seat-belt light goes off.
Peter: Anything else?
Becky: I don’t know. Stretching? Going to the bathroom?
Peter: Exactly. Becky, this is what the majority of people all over the world are doing at any given time. They’re eating, sleeping , watching TV or sitting in the bathroom. And when you’re on an airplane, the airplane gives me a random sample of what the typical person is doing right now.
Becky: That makes sense.
Peter: Becky, this is great for adult learners and self learners that need motivation.
Becky: But when you’re on a plane and you look around, no one is doing anything.
Peter: I’m going to tell you why that’s motivational. Think about it like this: remember when you were in school, you were in a class and you look around...
Becky: ...yeah, you can see who’s doing well, who’s falling behind, who you can copy off of.
Peter: Exactly. But as an adult language learner, you don’t have that luxury. You’re mostly studying on your own. So the plane is actually nice...
Becky: ...because you’re surrounded by a bunch of people that aren’t doing anything?
Peter: You’re almost there, Becky. Yes, 98% are eating, sleeping, or watching TV. But there’s always that 2%. There’s always that one guy with the light on that’s working hard.
Becky: Ah, right. When you get up to go to the bathroom, you’ll see a person like that.
Peter: And when you get up again 2 hours later, he or she. they’re still at it. It’s that 2% among the 98% that do nothing. That one person that’s working...
Becky: ...while everyone else is just watching TV...
Peter: ...that is incredibly motivating to me.
Becky: Alright. But what’s so special about this person exactly?
Peter: Let’s get to the first point:
Becky: Why you must adjust to your environment.
Peter: Becky, I love seeing that. These are the types of hyperproductive people that can get work done anywhere, anytime. At home. On the plane. On the train.
Becky: And on the plane, the factors really are against you. It’s cramped. Dark. There’s turbulence.
Peter: Exactly. So seeing person, that really motivates me to get to work. If they can do it. I can do it. The fact that they can do it...
Becky: ...and you’re about to watch a movie...
Peter: That makes me feel guilty, Becky! I have a language goal to achieve for the month!
Becky: So you could say they’re able to adjust to any environment... like the plane.
Peter: Right. And I always try and talk to these people if I get a chance. In fact, I actually spoke to the person on the plane two weeks ago. I asked the person how can they just sit down and do their tasks in this type of environment.
Becky: What’d she say?
Peter: She said something interesting. “There’s never a good time or place to do anything. So, you just do it anyway.”
Becky: Wow. I don’t hear answers like that often! Usually, people say “you should learn a language when you’re comfortable... and have free time.”
Peter: Yeah, I agree. But think about it. She’s right. There’s never a perfect time or a perfect place. You might have work or school. Then you have the kids. Responsibilities. Sometimes you just want to take it easy.
Becky: And if I was at home, I’d probably end up on YouTube. Not exactly a perfect place to learn either.
Peter: Exactly. In fact Becky, I’m in the mindset that as soon as I get on the plane, my vacation started. So the last thing I feel like doing is work.
Becky: I think a lot of people would think the same way.
Peter: So, again, I try to speak to these hyperproductive people for motivation. And all the people I’ve spoken to on flights, they have said the same thing.
Becky: So listeners, in terms of language learning - there’s never a good time or a good place...
Peter: But, if you have a smartphone, there’s no reason why you can’t open up a lesson and start learning,
Becky: Definitely. You need to internalize that fact: there won’t be the perfect time...
Peter: ...which is why, even if you just have a few minutes, don’t wait. Start anyway. But there’s actually more. Knowing that they adapt to whatever environment wasn’t really enough for me.
Becky: Yeah, we all know we can and should adapt.
Peter: Very true, Becky. But I wanted to know exactly how they could sit down and work.
Becky: So let’s get into that second point.
Peter: How to take advantage of limited time that you’d otherwise waste.
Becky: Limited time that you’d otherwise waste... That’s deep.
Peter: But for a good reason, Becky. My flight was 7 hours long. And since I like to segment my life and time, being on a plane to me means...
Becky: It’s time to watch movies! I think most people segment time like that.
Peter: Exactly! I asked myself “how many movies can I watch in 7 hours?” And the answer I came up with: 3 or if i really tried and hit fast forward a bit, maybe 4. For me, that’s how i calculate plane time.
Becky: Ah, I see.
Peter: Let me give you another example. When I finish work, say at 8PM, that’s it, work is done and I don’t think about it. Post-work time is now designated as family time.
Becky: Or, if I’m on a train, that’s just 30 minutes of me staring at my iPhone. I don’t really have anything else planned.
Peter: Exactly, Becky. So the 30 minutes you’re wasting is a limited time frame.
Becky: So, what do these people do differently?
Peter: While most people imagine watching a ton of movies, like myself, the person I spoke with on the last flight - their thinking for the 7 hours on the plane was “What can I cross off of my to-do list? What can I get done in the next 7 hours?”
Becky: Ah, I see. Yeah, that’s not a question I’d ask in my free time.
Peter: And that’s the point, Becky. The other 98% of the people on the plane. They don’t either. That’s why it’s only 1 or 2 people doing work on a plane.
Becky: And it’s the same thing with language learning. I think there’s plenty of time that we waste...
Peter: ...because we’re commuting... eating, watching TV and sleeping!
Becky: Right, like all those people on the plane. We don’t take advantage of it.
Peter: So, if I can ask yourself the question...
Becky: “How can I put these next 30 minutes ... or 7 hours... to use”
Peter: ...and if you can answer it; in my case, my answer would be: I’d need to study Spanish.
Becky: Then the next step is... to just dive in?
Peter: That’s it, Becky. Dive in. It’s like a mental on and off switch that you flip...
Becky: ...and that’s it, it’s time to do work.
Peter: Listeners, this is where we get into the 3rd point.
Becky: The importance of developing an on-and-off mindset.
Peter: Every person on the plane that I see working through the flight with the light constantly on. They always say the same thing: Don’t wait. Start.
Becky: So as soon as you ask yourself “alright, I’m on the train for 30 minutes, how can I put this time to use...”
Peter: And you know you need to do some language lessons or study some flashcards...
Becky: Flip that switch. Don’t think about it.
Peter: The common mentality, what a lot of people do is, they’ll think “I’ll take a 5-minute break and then start.”
Becky: Oh yeah. I use that one a lot. Then I end up on YouTube for one hour.
Peter: It’s a lot of time is wasted.
Becky: So, you have develop this kind of habit, an on and off switch...huh.
Peter: It’s incredibly effective, Becky. Nowadays, when I’m done with work...
Becky: ...normally, it’d be time to relax...
Peter: ...but now, I flip the switch. It’s time to study for the next 30 minutes. And I’ll start a SpanishPod101 lesson.
Becky: But what if something suddenly comes up. Like a friend calls you for dinner. Or a friend comes into town.
Peter: That’s the perfect question and that’s the beauty of the on-off switch. So many things we do in life - there’s the preparation, the actual doing, and the reflection period. And when the on-off switch is most effective is once something’s done, flipping the off switch to that, and then flipping the on switch to something else.
Becky: That makes sense.
Peter: So for example, some days I get home from work and that SpanishPod101 lesson I was speaking about - 15 minutes into it, my son comes in and he wants to do something. So that ability to hit stop, completely switch the focus from Spanish to my son, then when that time’s up, switch my focus back to SpanishPod101. That is a very difficult skill but one of the most powerful you need in a society like today where someone can contact you at moment through multiple channels.
Becky: Yeah, I agree, it’s a very important skill to develop. Alright listeners, so how can you apply these 3 habits to learning a language...
Peter: ...and actually achieve your language goals?
Becky: The first habit is that you must adjust to your environment.
Peter: Listeners, the fact is, there’s usually never a perfect time or place to learn.
Becky: If you can accept this fact, you’ll stop waiting for those “perfect” opportunities.
Peter: And you’ll make the best of your environment.
Becky: So if you’re commuting...
Peter: ...use the Innovative Language 101 App to study with the lessons.
Becky: And if you’re on a plane for 7 hours, Peter?
Peter: Becky, I studied for 4 hours on that plane. I had my SpanishPod101 lessons downloaded. I had wordlists to study on the Custom Lists App. And my Premium PLUS teacher gave me plenty of articles to read.
Becky: Wow, 4 hours! Pretty impressive, Peter.
Peter: That might’ve been the most time I’ve put into Spanish in one shot, ever.
Becky: You certainly adjusted to the environment.
Peter: Exactly, but seeing the other people being hyper productive on the plane got me motivated. And i couldn’t make it to full 7 hours but 4 out of 7 is not bad considering I had 7 hours allotted for movies.
Becky: Listeners, take a look at your own day and see where your time goes.
Peter: Is there any environment where you feel like you can’t learn?
Becky: See how you can adjust to it. If you’re commuting...
Peter: ...You probably can’t pull out a pen and notebook...
Becky: ...But, if you have a smartphone with Internet, you have no excuse not to learn on the go.
Peter: Okay, let’s get into the second habit.
Becky: Take advantage of limited time that you’d otherwise waste.
Peter: The number one reason why most people don’t learn a language...
Becky: ...is because of time. We’ve surveyed thousands of users over several years.
Peter: ...and every year, the answer is the same. Lack of time. So, how do you make the most of your time?
Becky: If you’re commuting for 30 minutes... ask yourself:
Peter: “How can I put these 30 minutes to use?”
Becky: If you finish work at 7PM and spend an hour doing nothing....
Peter: Ask yourself “what can I get done in this next hour that will help me with my goal?”
Becky: And finally, you’ll need the third habit:
Peter: Have an on-and-off mindset.
Becky: So as as soon as you know what to do in the next 30 minutes...
Peter: ...Flip the switch on. Dive into it. Don’t spend time thinking about it.
Becky: Don’t say “I’ll do it in 5 minutes.”
Peter: Don’t say “it’s 5:55, I’ll start at 6.” Stop thinking and get to work. This is how I was able to put in 4 hours of study time on the flight.
Becky: And you beat your promised goal again. But... you still didn’t answer my question. How’d you beat it with confidence?
Peter: Becky, last time, I wasn’t even sure if I’d meet my goal. This time, I was motivated. Seeing that 2% hard at work...
Becky: ...when the majority of people are just eating, sleeping, or watching TV.
Peter: ...That was incredibly motivating. So I put in the work. And I knew I’d reach my goal.
Becky: Huh. I guess motivation works! Alright, let’s talk about your next goal.
Peter: I’ve hit 7 minutes of Spanish conversation for April. I think I’ll shoot for 10 minutes in May.
Becky: Sounds good! Listeners, be sure to set your monthly goals as well.
Peter: And share them with us. Here’s a question for you, listeners: What habits have you found to be effective for language learning?
Becky: Do you have any of your own?
Peter: Shoot us an email at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Becky: And we’ll see you next month!


Becky: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.