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OLN News Week 5: The 20-minute rule

Welcome to this week’s OLNews, a (月) look forward at the week’s posts about learning English for SWU ELC students (and any others!)

Upcoming: Week of May 15-21
Tuesday (火) Xreading:  Note your speed
Wednesday (水) Newsela: Dig Deeper with Text Sets
Thursday (木) English Room: English Lunches a Success
Friday (金) Tool: Elsa Speaks, intelligent software for pronunciation

Last Week (May 8-14)
Tuesday (火) Xreading:  Use the 5-finger rule to find your level
Wednesday (水) Newsela: Making discussion groups
Thursday (木) English Room: English Room Now Open
Friday (金) ToolCopy and paste with a keyboard

Settling into the comfortable routine of classes from now until the end of July, with the only exception our 学寮, this is a great opportunity to get your study habits set. Timing is everything.

Do you know about the 20-minute rule? If you are at a dinner with friends, or at a party, the conversation flows on and on. But if you listen and watch carefully, there is a pause and a switch to a new topic every 20 minutes or so.

If you are at a presentation, or a lecture in class, have you noticed that after about 20 minutes, you start to think about your rumbling stomach or what you are going to eat for lunch, how your friend didn’t call you last night, or your plans for the evening?

The 20-minute limit to attention on one topic is universal, everybody has this limit. So it doesn’t make any sense to try to concentrate longer than that. Schedule your homework sessions in 20-minute sections. Stop for a minute, get up, walk around, focus your eyes on something far away. It only takes a minute, maybe 90 seconds, and you are reset, ready to focus again on your homework. Best to try a different subject, and come back to the first homework later if you need to. Mix it up. It really works.

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