I invite learners of English to read this ONLY if you're serious about making deep, lasting, perceptible progress. And I invite Verbling teachers to read this and either (I think this is highly likely) to confirm that they have noticed the same phenomenon that I'm going to outline here, or (I doubt this will happen) tell me that my own experience is anecdotal and doesn't justify any generally applicable recommendation.
Ok, so here it is, folks.
In the two and a half decades of my life that I've dedicated to helping people learn English, I've noticed a clear distinction between (a) learners who make rapid, massive, impressive, perceptible progress during a relatively short period of months or a few years; and (b) learners who make slow, incremental progress, over many years, never quite seeing the full benefit of their efforts.
The difference? Well, HOMEWORK, of course.
Sure, the learners who do "a lot of" homework make somewhat faster, somewhat more meaningful progress than those learners who do "a little" homework. But that's kind of irrelevant, because the difference between the learners who do "a little" homework, as compared to those who do ZERO homework is as though the former are sprinting, while the latter are crawling on all fours through treacle.
It really IS that simple: A LITTLE homework makes an exponentially massive difference to your learning.
Why should this be so? I've got a few hypotheses. It could be that spending (ONLY!) 10 or 15 minutes between one lesson and the next keeps English fresh in the learner's mind so that when she/he begins the next lesson, she/he hits the ground running, reading to take full advantage of the new information in that subsequent lesson, whereas the ZERO-homework learner spends a substantial part of that subsequent lesson blowing the dust off the English they already know, struggling to remind herself/himself of what English even is, unable even to begin any "new" learning. I have other hypotheses, other possible explanations for the phenomenon which I have observed many thousands of times with many thousands of learners, but I'll keep them to myself for the moment.
The immediate matter for consideration is not explanations for what I've noticed, but more fundamentally, whether my own experience reflects some generalizable "truth". Teachers and learners: AM i describing some generalizable "truth" which you, too, have found to exist? And, if so, what are your reflections on this fact?