Learning a new skill can be a daunting task particularly if you are trying to learn something complicated.
There are different approaches to learning and different people learn in different ways. Recently, best selling author Tim Ferris, the writer of the 4 Hour Work Week wrote about a system he calls D.S.S.S (Deconstruction,Selection,Sequencing,Stakes) in his latest book The 4 Hour chef. You can read more about this in his blog.
However, this post focuses on a simple but time-tested strategy of learning something new,teaching. For thousands of years, people have known that the best way to understand a concept is to explain it to someone else. “While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca. Now scientists are bringing this ancient wisdom up to date, documenting exactly why teaching is such a fruitful way to learn. Recent studies show that student’s who approach learning with the aim of teaching others learnt it better.In a phenomenon that scientists have dubbed “the protégé effect,” student teachers score higher on tests than pupils who are learning only for their own sake.
So, if you have a new skill or language you want to learn, perhaps, approaching it with the mindset of teaching someone else after might help you learn faster.