Training: When to Check Off a Phrase

  • 03 m 09 s

After focusing on a phrase for one Practice Session, your family is now making a focused effort to use this phrase—even if you have to look at how to say the phrase or you have to listen to the phrase again in the TalkBox.Mom Companion App. (In fact, we recommend you do!) 

Because you’ll keep adding the phrase to your daily life and daily review, it should no longer be one of your one to five Focus Phrases. It’s time to check off the phrase in the app, meaning that you’re aware that you need to use it and can look it back up as needed. You’ll still review this phrase and keep using it, so it’s okay to check it off.

Practicing the same phrase for two, three, four and especially five Practice Sessions is excessive and can be really boring for your family—leading to little progress. Checking off a phrase is not about being the absolute best at saying the phrase or remembering it instantly. Practice Sessions also aren’t about saying or remembering the phrase perfectly. Rather, your goal is to have fun and connect as you work together to use the phrases—even if they don’t sound perfect.

After using the phrase for weeks while learning similar phrases, you’ll then find that you remember the phrase because you used it so much! You’re creating tiny immersion experiences that make a big impact. And as far as pronunciation, it takes a couple of weeks to a couple of months to hear the new sounds in the language—if you’re relaxed and having fun. As you’re having fun, your listening will improve, and you’ll be able to grow in your pronunciation because you weren’t trying to be perfect and rigid.

Focusing too hard to get a phrase just right will actually set you back and create bad habits. First, when you’re very rigid you get stuck in an incorrect pronunciation due to your limited ability to hear, causing you to learn the pronunciation of the word incorrectly. 

Second, instead of moving forward with more phrases and growing, you halt your progress until a few phrases are “perfect.” Without varied exposure to other phrases, it’s harder to develop your listening skills and make new connections to help you remember your phrases. 

And… it’s so boring! It will feel like a chore to your kids. Five days of the same phrases… again and again. 🙈 This will push you into rote memorization, which you want to avoid if your goal is fluency. Instead of memorizing a phrase first, you want to use the phrase so much that then you remember it. This means that your memory is pulling from experiences—not something written on a piece of paper or just the audio.

When it comes to checking off a phrase, your goal is to master using a phrase together—not master the phrase. This means that you know it’s a phrase you want to use, you know where to look to see the phrase again, and you know where to play the audio. It typically only takes one Practice Session for everyone to be on the same page and be ready to help each other. After that, your goal is to quickly review the phrase before Practice Sessions, giving everyone time for the phrase to settle.

When in doubt, check a phrase off before you’re ready, and add it to your review list.