The humble tomato is in fact a great asset to language learners, hard though it may be to believe but it really is true. In fact not just for students of language but also any academic study can be improved simply by using tomatoes.
At this stage you could be forgiven for thinking that I have completely lost my marbles as there surely cannot be any way that a juicy red tomato can boost learning ability, right? Well the secret is in the type of tomato – the ones that work are a special type of tomato and they are not actually juicy at all.
In fact I am talking about the Pomodoro Technique (from the Italian word for tomato) which is actually a time management system. The general idea is to break up tasks into 25 minute tasks or ‘pomodoros’ followed by short breaks and to ensure there are no interruptions during a pomodoro. This apparently helps to focus on the job at hand and improves productivity while also staving off boredom.
In my case, I have been reading through yet another language learning book recently and as you can imagine it is not exactly gripping stuff – all sorts of verbs, nouns, prepositions and infinitives and lots of confusing grammar rules that generally just fly over my head. However by implementing the Pomodoro technique I can limit the tedious aspects of learning from a book to easily manageable 25 minute chunks which allows me to absorb a decent amount of data before ADD kicks in. It makes even just the thought of going back to the book for another session, considerably less odious and so I find myself making progress though the book at a much greater rate and it barely feels like I’ve had to do anything.
So if you’re having trouble staying focused or lacking motivation – have a try with pomodoros and you may find yourself making much more progress with seemingly less effort. That’s tasty!