Step 3: passive listening
What would happen if you put the lesson away for a while, not listening to it at all. Your memory would fade slowly over time, right?
What would happen if you would pick up the lesson after a while? Chances are, you would get it much faster than the first time, you agree?
If you'd continue with this pause-and-repeat cycles for some time, you would soon reach that point where the whole phrase is easily available to you as soon as you have heard a single word out of it.
So pauses are an important part of learning. Do not think of this time as useless. It is an important period of integration. Look at our great masters in learning, our children. One moment they are fully involved in their game or activity. They play it with all their heard and mind, fully focused and all of their senses aligned. After some time they loose interest and simply let it go. This is not always funny for us as parents, because who is cleaning up all that stuff? But this is the way it works. Children do not pick up their games until they feel drawn to it. But once back, they are fully present and open for a new experience.
As mentioned above you will soon discover that you only need a view words to instantly recall the whole sequence. If you live in an environment where your new language is spoken, this happens all the time. You are continuously exposed to the sounds of the words in the background. You do not even listen to them consciously. But your subconscious mind picks them up and little by little these words and sentences sink into your long-term memory.
Now, if you currently live outside an area where Telugu is spoken in your environment, you still can use this effect. This is what is called passive listening: you simply play these lessons you have learned before in the background, very softly. Set the the volume low enough that you can NOT understand the words and do what ever you want to do: routine work, sports, watching TV, reading newspaper, even learning another lesson is OK. From time to time in a silent moment you will pick up a word and remember the sound. It is like meeting an old friend and greeting him. Your subconscious mind will remember all the good things you have experienced with that friend and with that good feeling you go on doing what ever you are doing. That is all.
The key point here is that during this time of unconscious listening the words and sounds slowly move over from your short-term memory to the long-term memory. No hard work. No mindless repeating of long lists of vocabulary. No boring endless loops of the same lessons. Nothing like that.
It is very important that you keep playing with the material. As long as you feel good listening to the lessons, do so. As long as you feel drawn playing them in the background with very low volume, do so. Never force yourself into listening if you feel repelled. Take a break. Put it away for a while. Come back later. You will develop a strong confidence in your learning skills very soon as you see more and more results, and this will boost your learning activities even more.
Let us summarize the major advantages once again:
Due to the constant exposure in the background we get a strong intuitive feeling of the language. Each hour of passive listening is like a mini vacation in Andhra Pradesh. The more we passively listen the sooner we gain mastery of Telugu.
There are many situations when we are out, waiting for the bus, standing in line or traveling with the car, that we can use for this step. This way we can use a lot of time for learning and still save the most creative time for other projects.
Even if we do NOT consciously listen we will every now and then catch some phrases in silent moments. These moments of recognizing a word or a phrase are like nuggets of success: “Ahh, I know this word...”. With all these confirmations you will soon develop a strong confidence in your new skill.
It will not take long until you become interested in talking or reading the alphabet.
This is the subject of Step 4...