Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

General discussion about learning languages
User avatar
IronMike
Green Belt
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 6:13 am
Location: Moscow
Languages: English (N), Russian (C1), Esperanto (B2?). I am living in Moscow now, so currently studying Russian for 2-4 weeks, then Esperanto for 2. Lather, rinse, repeat. Throw in the occasional day or two of some obscure language.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5189
x 670
Contact:

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby IronMike » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:15 pm

Strategically, I attempt to use my languages weekly with the goal of slowly improving them (Esperanto) or at least maintaining them (Russian).
Tactically, in Russian I speak with Russians whenever possible, at the expense of everything else (e.g. if I am in my 2-week Esperanto phase, but I see a Russian co-worker on the metro, I turn off the iPod or put away the book and spend the rest of the trip speaking Russian). For Esperanto, lots of reading, both in actual book form and online, with some listening (pola retradio) thrown in a couple times a week. Speaking-wise, I try to attend the monthly Esperanto Speaking Club event here in Moscow.
3 x
Xenoglossomania is a serious condition, cured only by collecting more languages

SC Esperanto books : 13 / 50
SC E-o films : 16 / 50
SC Russian books : 16 / 50
SC Rus films : 21 / 50

User avatar
Voytek
Orange Belt
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 3:36 pm
Location: Cracovia
Languages: polski (N)
English-Non Regional (C2)
español-latino (C1)
svenska-standard (B1)
x 91

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby Voytek » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:00 pm

1. Prosody and pronunciation trainings.
2. Two or three basic courses putting in pieces (the most relevant ones) into Anki.
3. Putting words from the frequency list (with images, sounds and definitions) into Anki (the 4000-5000 most frequent) and at the same time using the L-R method to become familiar with the `melody` of the language and to hear the words I've already got to know "in action".
4. Using the L-R next step which is listening and reading in TL at the same time. Studying more advanced grammar of the language.
5. TV serials to hear words in the social context.
6. Lots of reading to add useful words to my vocabulary and see the grammar rules "in action".
7. Lots of writing (asking natives for help).
8. TXT communication with natives.
9. Speaking via the Internet (when I'm at least at C1 level with the passive skills and writing).
10. Go wild with the TL in real conversations. ;)
Last edited by Voytek on Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.
0 x

User avatar
rdearman
Site Admin
Posts: 2138
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
French (studies), Italian (studies), Mandarin (studies),
Esperanto TAC (Only god knows why), Finnish (only in it for the cookies)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1836
x 4135
Contact:

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby rdearman » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:10 pm

My preferred method:

  1. Flounder around switching between dozens of different methods without ever sticking to anything more than a week.
  2. Try various forum suggestions but quit before any real results happen.
  3. Watch a lot of TV you don't really understand.
  4. Read extensively a lot of books you don't really understand and underline words to lookup (promise yourself you'll go back and look up words and pretend to believe this lie).
  5. Promise yourself you'll speak to natives, but when the time for a language exchange happens, make some excuse and don't do it. Then never speak to that person again because you're embarrassed for ditching them.
  6. Try to speak to a native face-to-face, but freeze and allow all words in any language you ever knew, including your native language, to leave your head so you stand and sputter and never actually say anything.
  7. Keep repeating this until eventually all the books and TV start to make some sense, repeat until eventually you can understand, then hope you'll be able to output a coherent sentence next time you're presented with the opportunity to speak.

I don't recommend this method however. :oops:
22 x

User avatar
iguanamon
Blue Belt
Posts: 897
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
x 3430

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby iguanamon » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:58 pm

My log is The iguana's tale
My learning style is covered in the link in my signature which is a guest post on the main site.

1) Start with a a couple of courses (complimentary ones) and gradually add in native content.
2) No goals along the way except for learning the language.
3) Make languages a part of my life- read, listen every day, speak when I can, write from time to time.
4) The above leads to making it a habit- I can't stop.
5) Make friends and travel using the language.
6) Enjoy what I can do with a language when I'm not traveling by reading, watching, listening and learning about the cultures of those who speak the language. One thing I've learned is that I will never stop learning.
9 x

User avatar
emk
Brown Belt
Posts: 1079
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:07 pm
Location: Vermont, USA
Languages: English (N), French (B2+)
Just for fun (beginner): Middle Egyptian, Spanish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=723
x 3155
Contact:

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby emk » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:36 pm

In exactly 50 words, counting hyphenated words as a single word:

Do something daily. Assimil works. Learn the sounds. Listen to full-speed native media. Cheat to understand. Develop ear-worms; use context to make them "click." Easy Anki cards with context work. Write 50 words regularly; get corrections. Speak, fail, repeat. Read 10,000 pages. Lots of easy, fun media makes comprehension automatic.
12 x

User avatar
Voytek
Orange Belt
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 3:36 pm
Location: Cracovia
Languages: polski (N)
English-Non Regional (C2)
español-latino (C1)
svenska-standard (B1)
x 91

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby Voytek » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:51 pm

tarvos wrote:My language study is a circus of different languages which get rotated by desire and passion. Most of my study is less focused on the grammatical details and more on consistent practice in both written and spoken form, as well as a healthy dose of reading. I don't use that many textbooks and when I do I use them in the beginning stages.

I do a grammar clean-up once I've gotten comfortable with the spoken and written language and I can convey my thoughts sufficiently well. For those languages where more detail is required, I always end up finding ways to use these languages in real life. Travel and immersion form a big part of my learning as well.



Coud you tell us in short, what is your method of words aquisition?
0 x

Online
User avatar
luke
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:09 pm
Languages: English (N). Spanish (intermediate), Esperanto (intermediate), French (intermediate)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5462
x 97

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby luke » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:13 pm

Get a couple three Assimil courses. Do multiple waves using different approaches.
Get the text and audio for a book you know almost by heart. Listen to the audio and read the text, using L2/L1, or L1/L2, or L2/L2. Sometimes just read or just listen.
Drill with FSI.
Listen/read books that are over your head, but that you really want to enjoy in your target language. Repeat.
Supplement with Anki or vocab memorization.

If you quit for a few years, start by reviewing things you studied in depth before.
2 x

User avatar
tarvos
Brown Belt
Posts: 1126
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Hollandiában
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 1825
Contact:

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby tarvos » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:56 pm

Voytek wrote:
tarvos wrote:My language study is a circus of different languages which get rotated by desire and passion. Most of my study is less focused on the grammatical details and more on consistent practice in both written and spoken form, as well as a healthy dose of reading. I don't use that many textbooks and when I do I use them in the beginning stages.

I do a grammar clean-up once I've gotten comfortable with the spoken and written language and I can convey my thoughts sufficiently well. For those languages where more detail is required, I always end up finding ways to use these languages in real life. Travel and immersion form a big part of my learning as well.



Coud you tell us in short, what is your method of words aquisition?


That depends heavily on the language I'm studying, but in most cases for related languages reading and active usage will do the trick because I can just transform one language into another (and then I'll either get corrected or read the correct word somewhere). The tricky part in those cases is to use the correct word in the correct context, because languages diverge in their actual use of cognate vocabulary even though the word may be the same.

In most languages outside of Germanic and Romance (and perhaps Slavic), word acquisition is a much tougher job. In Russian I did use a bit of Anki at the beginning, but I soon quit - and most of my vocabulary has come through travel, reading, interaction, and loads of italki classes. In Mandarin, it's similar, and my skills were boosted by the six months I spent abroad. My vocabulary is quite heavily dependent on my active use of certain languages and you'll notice I have huge vocabulary gaps in some of them - because I simply don't talk about certain things as much as others.

But in general it is loads of input, listening and reading, combined with output to get corrections. And for me, that has always worked well. I'm not a vocabulary list or flashcard person.
7 x
To polyglotism and beyond.
Preferred pronouns: feminine.

User avatar
Voytek
Orange Belt
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 3:36 pm
Location: Cracovia
Languages: polski (N)
English-Non Regional (C2)
español-latino (C1)
svenska-standard (B1)
x 91

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby Voytek » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:34 pm

Thanks. :)
Last edited by Voytek on Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
0 x

Komma
Orange Belt
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:00 pm
Location: Germany
Languages: German (N); learning actively: Japanese (beginner); learning passively: English (probably C1/2), French (false beginner); on halt: Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.org/vi ... =15&t=1067
x 141

Re: Your Language Learning Strategy...In 50 Words or so

Postby Komma » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:36 pm

I also often try out too many things and don't commit to it. I am also always searching for 'my' method..
So the following is in some way what I plan to do with Japanese as my first completely self-taught language. I might alter it on my way.

  1. Find a good hook. Best something that can only be done in that language. (eg. having friends who speak that language, having a tv series or book series that one want to stay up to date with..)
  2. learn the script if it's different from what I know
  3. Get one or two courses for some guideline and start working through them.
  4. Get much of input for my level.
  5. Only learn grammar that is essential for understanding what I read or listen to. (since it's mostly unnecessary to have a detailed knowledge of grammar for understanding. Mostly verb forms or tenses etc. Focusing on this essential understanding grammar gives me more time for more input which will build an implicit understanding and intuition for how grammar is used..)
  6. learn vocabulary in different ways: a) spaced repetition with anki using different card types (like those Gabe Wyner uses), cards also avoid the position effect (with word lists that are always in the same order one could probably remember where a word stood instead of what it meant) b) revising in different ways c) avoid learning words from the same category together (e.g. fruits: apple, strawberry, banana etc. -> one could probably remember the words one learned together, but not whether word x is apple or word y)

For production (writing, speaking) there are then probably some more grammar learning steps necessary, but I haven't got a strategy for that at the moment. (I actually do post this kind of stuff in my log as well ;) and like you @Xenops, I like reading other approaches :mrgreen: )
2 x


Japanese:
☐ learning how to introduce myself
☐ Genki I book read and understand dialogues only:
: 1 / 12 Conversation and Grammar
: 0 / 12 Reading and Writing
: 2 / 88 Tae Kims Japanese guide
French:
: 0 / 5 5 BDs


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: luke and 5 guests