The Study Time Calculator

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leosmith
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Re: The Study Time Calculator

Postby leosmith » Fri May 03, 2024 3:01 am

I do, however think that there is a certain "Goldylock-zone" where the amount of daily study time is just right. I'd say that this is between 45 minutes and 1½ hours per day.
Hard disagree with this. Maybe for a single, intense session. But he is saying that someone who studies 45 min to 1.5 hrs/day learns at a faster rate than someone who studies longer hours. Ok, if they've got a full time job and they are burnt/stressed out when they need to study, this might be true. But if they don't have time constraints, it isn't true. Imo, he should just drop that parameter entirely.

On the other hand, the program predicted I'd learn Italian from scratch to B2 in 2 months, so apparently other parameters are making up for it. :lol:
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Re: The Study Time Calculator

Postby jeffers » Fri May 03, 2024 8:21 am

leosmith wrote:
I do, however think that there is a certain "Goldylock-zone" where the amount of daily study time is just right. I'd say that this is between 45 minutes and 1½ hours per day.
Hard disagree with this. Maybe for a single, intense session. But he is saying that someone who studies 45 min to 1.5 hrs/day learns at a faster rate than someone who studies longer hours. Ok, if they've got a full time job and they are burnt/stressed out when they need to study, this might be true. But if they don't have time constraints, it isn't true. Imo, he should just drop that parameter entirely.

On the other hand, the program predicted I'd learn Italian from scratch to B2 in 2 months, so apparently other parameters are making up for it. :lol:


I don't know the full context of the quote, butI would suspect that by a Goldilocks zone of 45 to 90 minutes, the person is thinking of something like an S-curve. Longer hours would result in more progress, but there's a diminishing amount of extra progress from the extra time. In other words, it is arguing the person studying 45-90 minutes is learning at a faster rate in that window than they would after that time. I'm not necessariliy arguing this is 100% true, but just pointing out my understanding of the quote. It does ring true to me, but I wouldn't be adamant about that point.

I'm sure that there is probably a general limit to "how much you can learn" in a day. For example, I have seen studies where some schools in a district have extended their school year but others have kept the same calendar, and the extended year had no affect on student results on exams. The tentative conclusion is that students can only take on so much information in a year. Again, this rings true to me in terms of general information acquisition, but with languages we aren't just learning a set of facts but also practicing the skills, so even if you reach some sort of brain saturation for new information, doing more will still have some benefit in other areas.

EDIT: having looked at the page with the calculator, I now see where the quote comes from. I would say the sweet spot varies per person, but I think the point is valid. If the total hours needed for a level is generally 100 hours, a person who tries to do this by studying 10 hours per day for 10 days probably isn't going to actually achieve that target because of the S-curve factor. A person studying 10 hours per day will get there faster (in terms of the number of days spent) than a person studying 1 hour per day, but there is no way they are consistently learning 10x what the other person is learning every day. So therefore, you can get there faster in terms of days, but the total hours spent will be more, which is relevant when using a calculator which tracks hours.
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Re: The Study Time Calculator

Postby leosmith » Fri May 03, 2024 5:37 pm

jeffers wrote:A person studying 10 hours per day will get there faster (in terms of the number of days spent) than a person studying 1 hour per day, but there is no way they are consistently learning 10x what the other person is learning every day.
As you said, it varies per person. Someone who can be consistent over 10 hrs/day is pretty rare imo. When I was working, I worked six 10 hr days per week, and I got a lot more done than when I worked 40 hrs per week, but I felt a slight reduction in productivity due to burn-out. When I tried to work 70, there was a big reduction. And working less than 40 definitely didn't make me more productive.

45-90 minutes is ridiculously low. Like I said, maybe if it's a single, intense session or if they've got a full time job/school and they are burnt/stressed out when they need to study, this might be true. With 45 min, I'm just warming up; it's really hard to make progress with so little time on task. My sweet spot is probably like 3 to 7 hrs/day. I don't have any time constraints, and I break things up. To be clear, I'm saying that in that window I consistently learn more than 3 to 7 times as much as if I were to only study 1 hr per day.

So he should just delete the parameter, or make it adjustable imo.
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Re: The Study Time Calculator

Postby Le Baron » Fri May 03, 2024 9:18 pm

It reckons I can learn Polish from A0 to C1 in six months and 21 days. With only moderate motivation (I'm more motivated than that) and 6 hours split over 2-3 sessions per day. That's around how much I spend usually: 1.5 hours of general study, about 3 hours of listening/watching (usually while working) and 1.5 free reading. Sometimes more or the time divided differently.

I didn't put ideal conditions, but six months and 21 days? I doubt it. It seems to favour autodidactism (self-taught to fluency) over just 'knowledge of more than one language'.
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Re: The Study Time Calculator

Postby Severine » Fri May 03, 2024 11:53 pm

jeffers wrote:EDIT: having looked at the page with the calculator, I now see where the quote comes from. I would say the sweet spot varies per person, but I think the point is valid. If the total hours needed for a level is generally 100 hours, a person who tries to do this by studying 10 hours per day for 10 days probably isn't going to actually achieve that target because of the S-curve factor. A person studying 10 hours per day will get there faster (in terms of the number of days spent) than a person studying 1 hour per day, but there is no way they are consistently learning 10x what the other person is learning every day. So therefore, you can get there faster in terms of days, but the total hours spent will be more, which is relevant when using a calculator which tracks hours.


I agree with all of this, but I would add that part of why the 10-hours-daily-for-10-days person will experience diminishing returns is that long-term memorization and mastery require a longer time span in which to germinate. Memory consolidation benefits from partial forgetting and then reinforcement by recall, which is hard to achieve during a short and intense period of study. It's the same reason cramming isn't effective long-term - memories aren't durably encoded.
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