Are you challenging yourself enough?

“Ensuring CHALLENGE is calibrated to the particular needs of a learner is one of the most essential roles of the teacher and appears non-negotiable for student growth.”

– Carol Tomlinson

One of the most important components to language learning is finding the appropriate amount of CHALLENGE that will keep you engaged and learning in a sustainable way. 

For instance, if you only do things that come easily to you, it may not be long until you become bored and move on to something else. 

On the other hand, if you making learning too hard and difficult you may quickly become frustrated or overwhelmed and just want to give up. 

As you may have guessed, the secret to finding long-term success in learning a new language is finding the sweet spot in between these two extremes

The technical term for this relationship between pressure and performance is the Yerkes-Dodson Law, however, others have referred to it as “the Goldilocks zone”. (see image below)

Source: The Motivated Brain by Gayle Gregory

How can you find this Goldilocks zone for yourself?

First, take a moment and think if there are times when you either feel bored or frustrated when leaning ASL.

Then, try and think of ways you can shake things up. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little here. 

If you find flash cards to be too easy, what can you do to make it more challenging or interesting?

Does having a conversation with someone else in ASL too stressful or overwhelming? Can you start small by sharing what you are learning with a friend or relative?

Also, you can take a look at how often and how long your sessions are. Perhaps you might find it more beneficial to study little and often rather than a lot and occasionally

Whatever the case, know that you have control of the amount of challenge you personally experience while learning ASL and if you can get yourself into that “Goldilocks zone” you’ll be on the fast track to fluency

For more tips on how you can make learning ASL enjoyable and successful, be sure to check out some of these resources below. 

If you would like to check out some of the source material from today’s tip about challenge, here are some links to a few of the books on the subject. 

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