Grit and Deliberate Practice When Learning Greek (or any other language)

This was just a short announcement I sent out to my online Greek students this morning and thought I would share with you all:

In Angela Duckworth’s excellent book titled, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance she argues that all people can optimize their achievement in all areas of life. In general, this means that everyone can improve their skills and achievements through what she calls grit. This can be broken down into four categories:

  1. Interest – you must have an intrinsic interest in what you are doing. Thus, in order to succeed in learning a language you must have an interest to actually do so!
  2. Practice – practice must be deliberate and purposeful (see below)
  3. Purpose – you must know why you are doing what you ultimate goal is (for Greek students our ultimate goal is to be able to rightly divide the Word of God in the original language that he inspired the apostles to write in)
  4. Hope – the mindset that you can do it and keep it all in perspective

With regards to practice I want to highlight what practice should look like from the book Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool.

Practice must be…

  • Well-defined and have specific goals – this means that each time you are studying Greek set a specific goal that you want to accomplish during that session and strive to reach that goal. Don’t make your goals too big but remember slow, steady, and simple wins the race
  • Focused – you must remove all distractions and focus during your session (see Cal Newport’s Deep Work for strategies for focus or my post, “Focus is Hard Work” or “Deliberate Practice”)
  • Feedback – this is why I do the videos for you all. You need feedback on what you are doing. You have to review to understand your mistakes. This is of utmost importance in Greek. If you don’t learn from your mistakes you will not be making progress
  • Get out of your comfort zone – learning and developing a skill is hard. Push yourself…they say “If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve.”

The more you learn the more you brain will be putting together connections and your “mental representation will grow and you will get better at assimilating new information.” This means for you Greek students that learning Greek is like a snowball. The more you learn continues to grow and grow and you will be understanding the language more fully and in a wholistic manner.

So, as you study this week and through the semester engage in deliberate and focused practice. You can do it, learning a language is not for the faint of heart but anyone can do it. You just have to put in the time.

Study hard, stay focused, and have a good week.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s