academic vs self-learning

academic vs self-learning

Feb 10, 2022 08:48 AM
Evergreen note
Due date
Last edited time
Feb 10, 2022 08:52 AM
Dominic Zijlstra
Created by
Academic learning is formal and based on passing tests. Self-learning is messy, and the only test is real life.
1 min. video
Hide Page Cover
Hide Page Cover
Last edited by
Publish on
Feb 10, 2022
Ready to Publish
Ready to Publish
Published to
About learning how to learn
About learning how to learn
Related to Time (Blog)
Academic learning is formal and based on passing tests. Self-learning is messy, and the only test is real life. Clara tried both for language learning and sees a clear winner 😉
Connect with Clara at
Find out more about Superlearning at
Video preview
What is the academic approach? What is your own approach and how do they differ?
When I first started, of course, I don't know about other countries, but in Italy it's mostly reading, lots of reading, comprehension of texts.
So it was a type of learning that was more focused into kind of passing tests and not really actually being able to use the language with people.
A lot of my classmates at the time, they could understand the language, but when it came to comprehension or speaking, they would just get lost. After my academic type of learning, then I went on to learn languages by myself.
And I just got stuck because I was using that same method.
And so I started thinking, oh, what is that? It's different than I'm doing in English versus what I'm doing for the other languages. And the answer for me was that I was consuming a lot of content in English, both written content and audio video. And I wasn't doing that in other languages.
So that's what I went into. Then I started researching a little bit more. And then I started focusing, I changed my approach. So I focused a lot more on reading lots of content for natives , as well as listening watching lots of shows. And in a year and a half, I got to an intermediate level in Korean.
So from then on, I started just trusting input based methods . When it comes to an academic approach, it's much more formal and it's a really grammar based.
So you kind of get real drilled and tested, whereas a more self learning type of method or more input based method gives you a lot more freedom in the activities that you do. But it also, it's more focused on you actually comprehending what it's being said by natives so that you can then actually have meaningful conversations.
I think the goal is different in those two approaches. The first one is more pass a test and then the other is to be able to use a language with people in real life situations.

Sign up for our free email course and newsletter

Get high value superlearning tips, and stay up to date with our latest articles, podcasts and course offerings

Get Free Newsletter