The Coffee Break Academy provides language-learning materials which fit your coffee breaks. Our lessons are organised in 15-20 minute sessions which, when reviewed regularly, will help you retain the information you learn.

Why “Coffee Break”?

We launched our first Coffee Break course back in 2006 with Coffee Break Spanish. The idea was that you can use your downtime for something useful, in this case learning Spanish. Since then, learners all around the world have used Coffee Break courses to acquire new skills during their coffee breaks (or at the gym, while walking the dog, or commuting to work)!

At the Coffee Break Academy we know that working in short periods works best for many people. As the name suggests, a coffee break can be long enough to learn little language throughout your week. We believe that if you learn when you are relaxed, comfortable and happy, the information you are trying to absorb will be retained better. We hope that our language resources fit with your life.

The magic 20-minute session

TED talks represent some of the most popular and compelling content on the internet. One of the main reasons for this is that they are no longer than 20 minutes.

Here’s the scientific bit: concentration can only be maintained for 15-20 minutes for truly effective studying. After that period, the brain needs to rest and digest the information you have learned. If people try to study for longer they can become bored and stressed. Trying to learn too much vocabulary at one time, for example, overloads the brain. We may remember a few words at the start of the list and a few from the end of the list. However, the dip in the middle is when the brain is trying to file the new words away. Our concentration is not as good when the brain is trying to learn new information and file at the same time!

The process

We recommend that you organise your learning in 20-minute sessions. If you can manage two or three sessions per week that’s great. If you are able to add further sessions to this then that’s great too. In your main session you can use our Coffee Break lessons to learn the content, and in any additional sessions we recommend that you review, review, review! Once you have studied some new information, don’t leave it too long to look over what you’ve learned. If you leave it too long to review your lesson, details may not be retained as successfully as the might be. This way your brain has the chance to file it away tidily in the correct place in your head, making it easier for you to recall the information when you want.

Top tips

  • Be protective of your learning time. You may find there is a time of day that works best for you to study. Safeguard it! Note it in your diary, so that all the other demands on your time don’t encroach on you language learning time. Try to clear you mind of all the other demands on your time. There are plenty other things you can multitask on later. Focus for your 20 minutes a few times a week and you’ll succeed more quickly.
  • Know your goal and keep that in mind as it can be very motivating. Whatever your reason for wanting to learn a language, it can help you retain what you are studying. Keep those goals realistic, just like learning in small, manageable chunks.
  • Finally, don’t worry too much! Everyone learns at different rates and some may find different parts of language learning easier than others. You will work out your pace, be patient and work at that. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude about your language learning and you will be more likely to succeed. Frustration is the enemy of successful learning!

Ready to learn with the Coffee Break Academy?

Find out what courses are available in our Course Library.