The best state to be in order to maximise your learning potential is a relaxed, calm and happy one as your not stressed, with minimal distractions and demands on your time and resources. This is what makes the holiday period ideal but also any holiday period.
I find that I can remember and recall things best at these times as I bet most people will. I am sometimes amazed at how much my brain has processed and stored away that I am not even aware of. I have recently been attempting to improve my Greek knowledge by learning verbs and pronouns so quite difficult grammatical concepts and I have been presented with words that are at times quite random and I’m recognising them even written in the Greek language. If I don’t think too much about it I find I’m better than if I use my concious working memory so it just goes to show how phenomenal the unconscious brain is. I don’t even listen to tapes at night but when I get a feeling for language learning I do it. There is a lot to be said for using love, lust and desire to motivate you to learn a language but the catharsis that is present when your drinking/after sex is extremely useful too.
Learning how you learn best (metalearning) is crucial as it allows you to create an environment that is conducive to the task at hand and after all when you set your mind to anything, you want to achieve it as quickly as possible don’t you as then you can move onto the next item on the agenda.
The fact that we need to learn how to learn is odd as you would think that we would all have the innate ability to do this but it just goes to show how diverse the human race is by requiring so many different methods to arrive at the same goal.
I love learning, knowledge and words in general so I have studied this area in detail at various levels of my education and now just for fun as researching facts makes me happy. It helps me to make sense of the world as it is forever changing and when we think we understand it switches on us so we are forever playing catch up but that is part of the appeal, the fact we can never know everything in the entire world but we can attempt it. (Yes I’ve tried but not even Kim Peek does.)