A New Rule to learn languages better – The Rule of the Three


A New Rule to Learn Languages Better

-The Rule of the Three-

Everyday life might sometimes be very hectic, not to say busy, thus dedicating enough time to the different languages we daily learn might not be that easy. The lack of sufficient work can easily create frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction. Although it is rare that I personally cannot provide some work at all and at least, I nevertheless and often struggle with unfulfilled expectations. Given that I am by nature too demanding to myself, I try my best to let go of these kinds of negative feelings and besides, still and also try my best to find ways to optimize the learning process. I thought a lot about ways to reduce the feeling of and the discontent, as well as to increase the work effectivity/efficiency and the number of learning tasks performed within a day, along with improving their quality & quantity and reducing the pressure put on myself.

As a matter of fact, I decided to establish a new rule – the Rule of the Three – which helps to:

– keep being satisfied and happy with and of oneself of the work managed to be performed in foreign languages learning.

– guarantee that enough work is done to keep up on one’s level in and improve the knowledge of & in the foreign languages one learns.

– be and remain flexible with both: languages learning, being productive and living a normal fulfilling life with enough time for everything else one considers fulfilling and important (family, hobbies, sport, music, work, etc).


This new rule, I do call “the rule of the three”

The “rule of the three” consists of:

1. Doing at least and surely three tasks/actions/ or (and during) learning sessions* in relation to the foreign languages one learns (if one doesn’t manage to do more than three tasks, one at least can’t do less than three of them. *If there must be minimum one learning session per day (of 15 min), the number of actions during this session and/or during the whole day must of 3.

2. Spread these three sessions along the day whenever suitable in order to reduce the working session workload and divide it into smaller amounts of working time. Something which should increase the possibility to fulfil the requirement of the new rule.

3. To decrease the stress of “not having done enough work/learning” or “not having managed to do the work one had planned and should have” and thus reduce the feeling of insatisfaction (pressure) triggered by an undone or unfinished task.

4. State that the minimum number of languages one should learn within his/her life should be 3, if one wants to change our world to a better. If we can not learn more than 3, we should at least learn three of them.


The rule implies certain principles:

– each of the three tasks/sessions must work on different skills (listening, reading, speaking, newspaper reading, singing, book reading, etc.). Instead of focusing only on the same skills or type of skills.

– it is more effective to disperse the three sessions at different times of the day. Like early in the morning, after lunch and at the evening, for example. When one has a good time to work and be focused.

– the rule is meant to enhance the practicality of the work/learning sessions & method and of the overall everyday organisation. It has also as the main goal to create dynamism into the learning session. Sessions might be shorter, but they are more effective.

– in order to make the learning process most effective, I advice to do at least 2 active learning sessions (tasks) like reading the newspaper for example, while 1 of these sessions, but only one, can be passive (listening to the radio). This is mostly, because even if a passive session such as listening to the radio in the background, is also effective and most unconscious of a process, doing at least 2 active sessions out of 3 strengthens your intention, your awareness and your personal choice of learning (thus your perseverance): 3 principles that are judicious to reinforce in the course of the learning process and which reinforce the learning process themselves (they make the entire learning experience highly interactive and thus enjoyable and effective). Also, because an active session trains your mind and brain to focus on the moment and on the process much more than a passive one does. Both intention and focus are two highly important tools when learning and help you also in life in general.

These three things/sessions can be seen as a reward after other hardworking hours. Like watching a movie can constitute one, two or three sessions and be a reward after a long working day.

Therefore, and to increase the efficiency of the rule, one must keep the three things/sessions as pleasant as possible. Positive feelings and emotions are highly beneficial for your learning (c.f. please read this article of Research – Dewaele, Jean-Marc and Chen, X. and Padilla, A. and Lake, J. (2019) The flowering of positive psychology in Foreign Language Teaching and Acquisition research.https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/29059/1/DewaeleChenPadillaLake2019.pdf). Joining the pleasant to the hard work, makes one’s memory work better and more effectively and change completely one’s subjective experience of the language.

The main idea with the new “rule of the three” is to suppress the pressure felt or put on ourselves to achieve a certain amount of work, to make the learning process more simple and more pleasant. And, above all, to make us enjoy the languages learning process. Also last but not least, the new rule is meant to help us adapt foreign languages learning best to everyone’s normal everyday life.

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