Everyone learns a language for different purposes. They could be for job, survival, heritage, romance, or even just a hobby. Regardless of the choice of language, it will certainly help you mentally and logically. Whether you learn a language by yourself or with a teacher, you have to understand that your skill will only improve as fast as how frequently you practice.
Learn more or less?
Compare these two situations of two language students. Let’s name them Tom and John, and they are learning Portuguese. Tom takes a class with a teacher; they meet twice a week for 2 hours each. John also takes a class with a teacher but they only meet once a week for 4 hours each. Who do you think will progress faster?
The answer depends on how much they use the language outside of the class. Besides doing the assignments, they can listen to the radio, watch videos, or find anyone to practice with. By analyzing the amount of time they put into the learning, both of them spend the same 4 hours each week. Tom has time to review the first lesson before he continues to the second lesson on the same week. On the other hand, John gets more lessons on the same day. It means that John needs to process more information within a shorter time than Tom.
As an experienced language learner, I would suggest you process little information at a time. You need to learn comfortably, don’t exhaust your brain because it will make the learning difficult and uninteresting. This is why frequently use the language you are learning is important.
Conscious and unconscious learning
You learn consciously when you are doing the assignments. That is because you need to put attention to the language you are learning. You learn unconsciously when you enjoy listening to songs or radio in the language you are learning. That is because you won’t put attention to the characteristics of the language, such as grammar or vocabulary. Instead, your brain learns how to say the phrases naturally from the context. Besides, your brain will also learn the accent, pitch, and talking manner.