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Timing

Watch “How to Keep Flowin” (15 min)

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After this video, you will start getting into the “Deliberate Practice” aspect of this program, which is the main aspect. I will give you a complex attentional, cognitive, and/or motor task to perform, you will focus all your attention on the performance of that task, keeping at it until you succeed. If the task is too challenging, you will experience the negative emotions of frustration, anxiety and potentially even shame. But if the task isn’t challenging enough, you will experience boredom. In either case, you will eventually give up and lose the opportunity to grow your skill. But if you find that sweet spot skills-challenge match, you will enter into Flow State and steadily grow your skills while having an extremely enjoyable time. I will help you calibrate your challenge by presenting materials of various difficulties. But ultimately its up to you to pay attention to your emotional state and do whatever you need to do to keep yourself in the Flow Channel. In the video below, I explain how to do this in more detail.

🐇 Rabbit Holes

Practice Sync your Attention with Syllable Timing

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The conventional approach teaches us to conceive of speech as a sequence of words. But in reality, speech is actually a sequence of syllables, with the words being post-hoc figments of our imagination. If you’ve trained yourself to listen for words that don’t exist, you will always struggle to comprehend fast speech. Your perceptions just won’t be well-fitted to reality. The purpose of this technique is to refit your perceptions to reality. By paying close attention to the start of each syllable, you are training your brain to synchronize with the natural cadence of speech. If you already know (propositionally) lots of words in your target language, but you’re not able to “catch” these words in the natural flow of conversation, this technique will dramatically improve your comprehension. Or, if you know few words, and speech just sounds like a big blur to you, this technique will “slow down” native speech so that you can get enough grip on it to notice reoccurring words, mimic them, and ask what they mean. Don’t let the seeming simplicity of the task deceive. It is very easy to do lazily and incorrectly, and very challenging to do precisely. Remember - process over product - the more effort you put into the task, the more benefit you will derive from it.

Practice Tips

  • Begin by just listening to whole thing once
  • Close your eyes to conserve cognitive resources
  • Start by catching each single syllable, then chunks, then the whole
  • Start with Slow, then do Full Speed
  • Don’t progress to next level until you’ve reached “boredom”
🇪🇸 Spanish
🇫🇷 French
🇩🇪 German
🇵🇹 Portuguese
🇧🇷 Brazilian

Practice Improve the Accuracy of your Echoic Memory

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The skill of mimicry has three steps to it - capture, store, reproduce. By syncing with a continuous loop, you’re not challenging the “store” step of the process, i.e. your Echoic Memory. For this exercise, you will work with recordings in which the audio is muted every two repetitions. During the silence, you are to continue echoing the sound in your mind as if you were listening to the continuous audio from earlier. When the audio resumes, your echo will either be perfectly in sync, or not. Most likely it will not be in sync, because you were either too fast or too slow. The “surprise” emotion will trigger you to pay more attention and calibrate. Don’t let the fact of getting it “wrong” trigger negative emotion in you. Remember, PROCESS OVER PRODUCT. The process we want here is this surprise, recalibrate, suprise, recalibrate... repeated cycle, as this is the mechanism that will reshape your habits of perception.

Practice Tips

  • Consciously reflect whether you are too slow (audio starts earlier than expected) or too fast (audio starts later than expected)
  • “Stretch” yourself with your body if you are too fast
  • “Rush” yourself with your body if you too slow
  • Don’t progress to next level until you’ve reached “boredom”
🇪🇸 Spanish
🇫🇷 French
🇩🇪 German
🇵🇹 Portuguese
🇧🇷 Brazilian
🐇 Rabbit Holes

Practice Sync your Body with Syllable Timing

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Now that you’ve practiced syncing your attention with the syllables, now it’s time to sync your body with it. First you will sync your hands with the syllables by tapping your fingers against your chest or palm of your hand. Then you will sync with your mouth by using either your tongue, your lips, or both. Remember: PROCESS OVER PRODUCT. The more energy you invest in really trying to capture each syllable perfectly, the more you fit your perceptions to the reality of natural speech.

Practice Tips

  • Start by catching each single syllable, then chunks, then the whole
  • Treat each syllable as unique, instead of part of whole
  • Treat each repetition as a novel occurrence
  • Keep your hands moving while waiting
  • Don’t progress to next level until you’ve reached “boredom”
🇪🇸 Spanish
🇫🇷 French
🇩🇪 German
🇵🇹 Portuguese
🇧🇷 Brazilian

Practice Improve the accuracy of your body syncing

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In this exercise you will be working with gapped audio again, attempting to reproduce a perfect echo with your body, and noticing whether you are coming in too late or too early. Remember, it’s the PROCESS of being surprised and making micro-adjustments that matters most.

🇪🇸 Spanish
🇫🇷 French
🇩🇪 German
🇵🇹 Portuguese
🇧🇷 Brazilian