Latin Reading Challenge – Week 1

Image courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales

Initium est dimidium facti.

Incipiamus! If you haven’t already, check out last week’s post to learn more about the Latin Reading Challenge. This week we’re going to start out very simply, establishing our reading habit:

Read for 5 minutes every day.

That’s it! Does it seem too easy? That’s exactly the idea. There’s no excuse not to do your daily reading; even the busiest of us can fit five minutes into our schedule. Later on we’ll talk about reading strategies to increase your proficiency, but for now, we’re just trying to establish a consistent habit.

Here are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Read at the same time every day. By setting a consistent schedule, you eliminate the “When will I read?” decision. Decision making always involves will-power, something we want to avoid when building routine. Use your phone to set a daily reminder.
  • Set a timer for 5 minutes, and avoid the urge to read more than that. If you set too high an expectation for yourself on the first day, you’ll feel pressure to meet that expectation the next day. (Read about “Limiting your language learning – on purpose” at IndwellingLanguage.)
  • Keep a log of your reading. For now, you just need to note the day of the week and the date (you might also include what you are reading, and for how long). Over the next few weeks, you’ll get a streak going, of daily reading. Keeping the streak alive will help strengthen your resolve.
  • Finally, pay attention to your thinking while you read. Are you visualizing what you read in Latin, or are you translating as you go. If you experience the latter, it probably means you’ve picked something too difficult (I would guess that the types of selections you “read” in college are probably too hard for many people, for this type of reading).

Resist the temptation to do too much during this first week. Just like with exercise, setting a simple, basic foundation is going to be important for long-term success. When you finish your reading each day, let your friends know, to help motivate them, and follow #LatinReadingChallenge to see how others are doing.

Image courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *