Direct Learning

From Weekly I/O#54

First step of learning: Learn directly by doing it and ensure the learning is tied to the context in which it will be used. Learn to speak a language by speaking it.

Book: Ultralearning

When learning something new, we should focus on directly practicing the skills required to achieve our specific goal. For instance, if we want to learn French to converse with locals in France, practicing spelling or memorizing vocabulary is less effective than directly practicing speaking French and having simple conversations.

Once finishing direct learning, we identify the challenging parts and break them into smaller components. For example, if pronunciation is the biggest hurdle, focus on that first and ignore grammar until later. After conquering smaller parts, we jump back to direct learning and repeat this "direct learning" and then "divide and conquer" loop.

I'm rereading Ultralearning because I recently started learning French. This "directness" in learning strikes me again. It can be applied not only in language but also in other skills. For example, we should learn to make a podcast by making a podcast and learn to do a startup by doing a startup. Any other indirect way to learn those (taking online courses or watching YouTube videos) is suboptimal.

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