Sometimes, we come across public advertisements with messages like: “Learn English effortlessly”, or “Don’t study anymore. Learn English without having to study”, or any other phrase among those lines. At the base of these ads, lays the idea that there is no need in making an effort, strive, study, or work in order to achieve the purposes of a language or a science. The advertising technique of these ads is not being put into questioning, however, from a pedagogic point of view, the content of these messages are erroneous and false, which create misleading expectations when naively perceiving those messages.
Among the same lines, we can also bump into messages that propose learning by playing. Studying and playing are totally different concepts that must not be confused. Studying requires effort and at the same time provides satisfaction and joy, while playing mainly looks for fun as its priority. There is a time for studying and another for playing and having fun.
According to courses of study techniques, four elements are needed in order to achieve good academic performance: to be able to, to want, to know, and to dedicate time.
a) To be able to study, it is necessary to have the intellectual capacities, such as intelligence, memory, and attention.
b) To know how to study, it is necessary to dominate the basic study techniques: reading comprehension, underlining and marking, making note schemes, and reviewing.
c) To want to study, it is necessary to be personally motivated in order to learn new knowledge and be willing to overcome difficulties that will most likely be encountered while studying. Motivations must be personal, in other words, they must derive from the student. External pressures, whether coming from the student’s parents, teachers or society are usually not effective when it comes to improving academic performance.
d) The last element is to dedicate the necessary amount of time to do homework, review the lessons, and solve problems and other exercises. The time dedicated to studying increases as school levels themselves increase and get closer to secondary and higher education.
Out of these four elements, the most important one is to want to study, in other words, to have positive motivations and be convinced about putting the effort and the necessary endeavor in order to achieve the desired objectives. Saint Theresa would say that she had a “determined determination” to strive until the very end.
Studying is not an easy path. Usually, various difficulties are encountered, such as: vocabulary that cannot be comprehended, and hence the use of a dictionary cannot be avoided; having to read a paragraph twice or more in order to understand its meaning; discover what the main ideas are; underline and mark; make summary schemes of the lessons; memorize fundamental concepts; dedicate the necessary amount of time to study when the urges to go out and play or watch the television surge, etc.
It takes effort and dedication in order to overcome difficulties. A good student would always keep the following aspects in mind:
1. To not put off work for tomorrow.
2. To learn to say “no” to other opportunities and offers that will not bring us educational value.
3. To develop one’s own will power in order to have the right amount of energy each day to do what must be done.
4. To strive with determination to not remain is what is easy, but instead enhance in other subject matters.
5. To know that the professional job of a student is to study a lot and well.
6. To not be discouraged when a goal that seemed to be easy and simple is not reached.
7. To make the effort like that athlete who, running on the track, is able to reach the finish line in first place.
8. To understand the need to rest, that in many occasions could lead to changing professions. However, resting is not synonym to recreation in the sense of not doing anything.
The lack of effort can lead to school failure in the life of a student; however, it could be more serious if the student ends up having an unsuccessful professional life (Translated by Gianna Sanchez Moretti).