Tips for learning a new language:
When is the best time to study?

best time to study

Whether at work, studying, reading or even on holiday everyone knows the ups and downs of a day: Parts of the day when you are tired and unable to concentrate.
In this blog we discuss when these highs and lows most often occur.
We also explain how you can use the knowledge of daily variations in concentration to plan your day and achieve your study objectives.

When can I best concentrate on studying?

The ability to concentrate is subject to certain daily rhythms.

Various studies have shown that most people, once they are properly awake, are at peak performance between 9 and 11 in the morning.
During the midday hours performance tends to decline, climbing again in the early afternoon.
In the time between 16 and 18 o'clock there is another peak, which is nonetheless under the early morning peak.
After about 21 hours most people will experience a further fall in performance.

Everyone learns differently

Of course everyone is different and can vary in their best times of day for learning.
Some people learn most effectively late in the evening and can only concentrate with difficulty in the mornings.
Other people however are at their most effective in the mornings.

everyone learns differently

How can I use this knowledge for planning my own studying?

To find out how you best learn, observe your own personal rhythm:

  • “I am like most people”
    You do particularly well between 9 and 11 o’clock in the morning?
    You tend to be tired around midday?
    Can you work especially well between 16 and 18 o'clock?
  • “My rhythm is a bit different to the average”
    Can you learn well particularly well late at night?
    You are especially alert and capable in the early morning?

Before beginning learning a demanding new skill, such as a foreign language, you should observe yourself for a few days.
Make notes about when you have felt particularly capable and able to concentrate.
When you exam your notes after this self-observation you should be able to identify when you are at your best and weakest.

Our Tip: Find YOUR best time to learn

find YOUR best time to learn

At the beginning of a new study, planning study periods so that you work at the peak of your concentration, will greatly help your chances of achieving success.
Those parts of the day when you are less able to concentrate can then be used either for revision of previously learnt material or for less demanding activities such as shopping or household chores.
You should also allow yourself short breaks in your study periods, in which for example you could stand up breath deep or do relaxation exercises.


Revision of previously learnt material in weak phases
If you wish to learn a new subject in a short time or have only a few days or weeks available, you can use your weakest parts of the day to revise already studied material.
In this way you can use your weakest parts of the day to maximum advantage.

Tips for home study language learners

People who try to learn new subjects on their own, i.e. without a prescribed course or lessons, often have the problem that they don’t know the best times to learn and how much material they should aim to study per day.
In this case it is strongly advisable to prepare a plan of weekly and daily objectives, inclusive of the steps needed to achieve them, ideally including a plan of objectives to be achieved during each day’s best learning phases.

At the beginning of a new study subject it will be difficult to define realistic objectives for each day.
It is therefore advantageous to start with perhaps too little per day and then increase the targets as you become better at planning study objectives for each day.
Objectives that are too demanding can have a negative influence on your motivation which is naturally detrimental to achieving success.

Would you like to try home study?

How about trying a language course from 17 Minute Languages?
Half a million people have already learnt a new language with our language courses.
We have worked for many years to optimise our home study language courses.

Would you like to find out how to learn a new language within 12 month?

  1. Learning a foreign language in 12 months- Part 1:
    Our tips and tricks for learning a foreign language fluently in 12 months
  2. Learning a foreign language in 12 months-Part 2:
    How to apply the new language in order to speak it fluently