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This has been a crazy week! I have less than a month to get as good at Spanish as I can get, and yet this week went by with hardly any Spanish being learned. It started great and then next thing I know, I am looking at a week of very little Spanish. No progress was made and it’s possible I went a little backwards?
How could I let this happen? To be honest, at first I didn’t know. Sure, I have been busy, but that has never been an excuse to not do at least something to move my progress forward. It’s been bothering me all weekend. And then suddenly, I realized what happened. I broke one of my oldest rules!
What rule did I break?
The rule was find an opportunity to learn in everything I do! Continue reading
Sometimes you have to just “mail it in.”
When I started blogging it was originally to help me speak Spanish better. The world became my responsibility partner and my coach. After awhile I realized that some found it helpful to read about a boring full-time working language learning Dad and what he was doing to learn and improve the languages he knows. It because more about giving back than about getting help.
Not that I don’t think I still need help, but I feel there really is a lack of help for those who aren’t 20 something expatriates, migrating from hostel to hostel, teaching English to supplement what they don’t earn on their blogs. Not that these are not fun or inspiring, but for a married father of 4 children I would be happy to make it out of the state of Utah once in a while. (To prove my point, my youngest son came downstairs with a soiled diaper while writing that last line. You can’t tell me that those situations don’t make it difficult to learn another language!)
I feel very motivated to learn and improve my Spanish and Thai. I want to prove that it can be done! I want to show people how I’m doing it so that it might help them. In my very rare free time, I am trying to write a course to help others learn Thai and I am doing it for free.
So what happened this week?
This week was Independence day Continue reading
My kids living life
When was the last time you heard a word in your native language you didn’t know before? What did you do? Did you write it down, create a flash card, or something else like that. When you heard an expression, slang, or other colloquialism in your native language how did you start using it? I think the answer is pretty obvious. Your native language is just a part of you and so when you learn new things you just assimilate them! (No mentioning of the borg you trekkies!)
The point of this blog is not to tear down the use of flash cards or other such things to help you learn. What the point of this post is to emphasis the importance of making the language a part of you. I am going to admit, the idea for this post didn’t come from me. It came from the recent post over at thepolyglotdream.com. Susanna Zarysky recently guest posted a post about the secret to learning a foriegn language
What is the secret?
According to Susanna, Continue reading
Here is part 2 of how I organize my studying, or my system for lack of better words. In the last post, I explained why I divide my time between Input and Output. One thing I failed to mention was why I spend a week on input and the next on output. What I have found by experience is that using smaller time frame, such as a day, meant that you would cut the learning short just as you start getting on a role. Longer periods of time also make it so you get bored with learning just one part of the language. One week I have found was enough to keep you interested, yet not cut of your learning too early.
Step one is to gather as many resources, paid or free, into a big giant pile. These could be courses you found/purchased. Tutoring session or language exchanges. Talking to the wall, which is one of my favorites, or translating TV are examples of activities you can do to increase your language ability. If it is used to help you learn, then put it in the pile.
Once you have your pile you need to first divide them into input and output based activities/course. There is not a course out there that will say it is input or output based. You have to decide for yourself. Maybe go through the first lesson or two to figure this out. Here is my simple test. If the activity has you listen mostly, this includes those that show you how to speak and then have you repeat after them, than it is an input based course. If they course emphasises speaking, especially if it has you speak the word’s phrases first and then shows a correct version after, than it is an output based course.
Is that it?
Not quite, there is still a few more steps. Continue reading
Here is my Spanish Friday post for this week. Enjoy.
Tengo un proyecto nuevo. No quiero hablar mucho de eso, pero puedo decir qué es sobre una idioma que no es español. Por supuesto voy a seguir a aprender español. Me encanta español tanto que no puedo parar aprenderla. Sin embargo, Este proyecto me emociona. Espero que puedo decir más muy pronto.
(I have a new project. I’m not going to talk much about it, but I can say that it is on a language other than Spanish. Of course I will continue to learn Spanish. I love Spanish so much that I won’t be able to stop learning it. However, this project excites me. I hope I can say more soon.)