The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

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Atinkoriko
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The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:50 pm

Exactly as advertised. Bitten by the language bug a year ago and thus deciding to bite off considerably more than I can reasonably chew.
Somehow balancing this with a law degree. After lurking both here and the former HTLAL forum for quite a bit, I've decided to make my own account and a language log of my own. Just want to say that I hold you guys in the highest regard and find the success stories as inspiring as the forum posts are enlightening.

Now down to business. The goals for this year are simple:

-German to B2 [Will head down to the Goethe Institute in December]
- Spanish to B1 [Cognate discount is really nice]
- Prepare French for a B2 push early next year
- Continue to neglect Italian :( [Not really a goal but it's inevitable]

Wanderlust made me pick up a copy of Assimil Russian with Ease, but common sense made me put it back down. I really wish I had more than 24 hours in a day but alas, no Groundhog type day for me.

Will post here as often as possible, since I've been keeping my own private log for a year now and I'm used to daily updates.


Let's get this started!
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Xenops » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:37 pm

Welcome! I wish you much success as you are starting young. ;) Don't be afraid to ask questions!
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:57 pm

Okay, first of all a summary of the ongoing projects.


Spanish
Did the Michel Thomas Foundation Course and the first 1200 words on Memrise in the first 14 days. Immediately after, I was able to read a B1 graded reader, albeit with a dictionary. A few B1 graded readers, 7 days later and I tried to read Don Quixote on Lingq. Overly ambitious? Yes. I got past the first chapter but abandoned it shortly after.. Didn't expect to succeed but I'm surprised at how far I got in 21 days. Strangely, it seems that tangling with barely comprehensible material actually did make the B1 readers much easier to read.

Anyway, a cognate discount is a nice thing to have indeed.

However, I quickly dropped the readers and started Assimil Spanish without Toil [lesson 33 now]. As with German with Ease, I'm going the shadowing route. For German, I used a more rigorous Shadowing routine than recommended by the good Professor Arguelles but sadly didn't employ the Scriptorium technique, something I regret now as I think it'd have improved my writing skills in German. Anyway, I'm determined not to make the same mistake with Spanish though I've made the shadowing routine a little less rigorous.

The routine goes like this
1.Shadow with closed book 7 times. Standard M O ie walk briskly, fairly high voice etc. I do this indoors in my room though, as I have no interest in pacing outside.

2.Stop, sit in my chair and listen once or twice to the lesson.

3. Shadow 3-5 more times depending on the difficulty and length of lesson. By this time, I'd have a basic understanding of what the dialogue is about, as well as an awareness of strange/unknown words or 'grey areas' - sounds which I simply can't pronounce or have a hard time parsing. By this time I'm rather eager to fill the gaps in my understanding.

4. Now I open the book and listen to the lesson as I read the book, searching for the grey areas and the unknown vocab which I didn't catch. I read L1 and L2.

5. Then I shadow while reading L2. This is because I really want to get the grey areas all cleared up. I usually shadow twice until I'm sure I've gotten the pronunciation and flow down pat. If not, I focus on the offending sentence. One thing I find useful is to take a leaf out of Pimsleur's book and start with the last syllable, adding more syllables until I can say the sentence smoothly.

6. Then having gotten down all the sounds of L2 , I then shadow while reading L1. I do this twice.

7. Then I close the book and shadow the lesson 3 times ie brisk pace

This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

When I'm done with the lesson for the day, I review the previous 6 lessons.

For the previous lessons, I do a sequence of 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1,1.

This means that the most recent lesson gets shadowed 3 times [first blind, then with book, then blind], the next lesson gets shadowed 2 times [blind once and then with book], and the rest get shadowed completely blind.

Thus, at the very least I should have shadowed a lesson 25 times before it passes out of my cycle.

This is similar to my former German with Ease setup, only that I shadowed a lesson 20 times on the first day instead of 15 times.


Scriptorium
This is only for lessons which have passed out of my 7 day cycle, working from the back.
For example, I added lesson 33 to the cycle today and did Scriptorium on lesson 16.

This usually goes quite breezily and usually takes 30 minutes in total. I suspect it'll be more time consuming the farther I progress into Spanish with Toil but I'm not really bothered as I do like the deliberate and careful nature of it. Sometimes I wonder if it's overkill due to the phonetic nature of Spanish as it might be better suited to languages with a non Latin script like Arabic, Chinese, Russian etc, but I do like it so I will continue with it.

I do this in a small leather notebook.

1. Play the audio sentence by sentence

2. Repeat each sentence once and then proceed to write down the sentence word by word, repeating the word once before writing it down and once after writing it before moving to the next word.

3. After the sentence is fully transcribed, I repeat it aloud.

4. Then moving over to the other side of the book, I translate the transcribed sentence into English.

5. Repeat until I've finished the dialogue.

6. Then I open the Assimil book, and check if I've made any mistakes. I also check for unfamiliar grammar.

At this point, I can practically 'hear' the Spanish dialogue when I look at the English part of the lesson.

And that's it.

I only got to lesson 70 of German with Ease before quitting it and moving to native material, but I'm determined to finish Assimil this time around. And yes, including the active wave [which a fair number of people tend to skip for various reasons.]

I've stopped the graded readers and avoided any other form of input apart from Pimsleur [Lesson 16 Level II now] and Assimil. I'm interested in seeing where I stand by the time I finish both Assimil and Pimsleur.
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:58 pm

Xenops wrote:Welcome! I wish you much success as you are starting young. ;) Don't be afraid to ask questions!



Thank you very much :)

Glad to be here.
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Atinkoriko
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Italian

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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:42 pm

German

Lately, my German got to the point where my lack of vocab was absolutely crippling. After about 1300 words with Iversen's wordlists now ie mostly verbs and adjectives etc, things got comprehensible rather fast. Three weeks earlier I was struggling to understand normal speed German and now pretty much most of what I listen to is comprehensible. Wordlists are definitely recommended and I think I'll keep using them for a very long time indeed.

I'm rather quite comfortable now and starting to really enjoy the language. Sentences leap to mind, sometimes I find myself thinking in German without realising it. Rather encouraged, I must say.

However, my output needs work. After I complete the SCs, I think I'll do an Output Challenge. I'll also pick up from where I left off with FSI and Glossika. I may also complete With Ease's active waves one day.

Small question, if I started the Super Challenge a while ago but failed to register before starting, does it count? Do I have to register? I don't have a Twitter account?

Also, do Let's Plays count as 'films'? There's a lot of commentary from the Youtuber and usually subtitled in game dialogues in the target language. I've already sunk about 54 hours into this so I do hope it counts.

54 well spent hours , I'd say. I follow the rapid fire speech with ease now, especially compared to the first few hours where I was deeply frustrated because I could also understand about 40 percent of the video. I 'listened like a hawk' and paused the videos frequently to look up every single unknown word ie to go into a wordlist.


I'd say this SC [Or half SC] was a success :D


For the books SC, I'm using bilingual texts and counting the words on the TL side. After about 50 pages, I looked through the B2 sample materials from the Goethe Institute's website. I was a strange mixture of elation and disappointment. After struggling through native material, the sentences seem rather short and simple compared to the sentence-paragraphs of Kafka and other authors. Also, recognized almost all the vocab. I also listened to the audio tests and found them almost fully comprehensible. In contrast, the B1 audio was laughably slow and simple to understand.

I have about 3,700 more words to go with Iversen's wordlists. I mine some of these from a nice pocket dictionary and mostly from what I read. Also, due to Readlang's shenanigans with pricing, I've opted to go with the simple Instant Translate extension which also works on pdfs and keeps a history of my translations. Of course, I only translate single words which will then go into a wordlist.


I read a previously incomprehensible article on Der Spiegel yesterday and felt rather pleased with myself

Also, in keeping up with my overly ambitious nature, I tried to read a passage of Goethe's Faust. Needless to say, I was not successful.

In all, not bad German for 8 months work.


I'll just finish the half SCs and then see where I stand, before deciding how to proceed. Not entirely sure how to proceed with output with regards to passing the B2 exam in December. Can't afford a teacher and I think I'd like to do this one myself, since German is my first language.

Opinions and criticism welcome as usual :)
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:00 am

Italian

Atrophied and thus neglected. Language defeated me when I had tried to learn it at 15 with a much praised app at the time, which promised a lot and delivered little when used alone as a resource. The app was called Duolingo.

Now having learnt my lessons, I'm waiting for the right moment to launch a full frontal assault and have my long awaited revenge on this beautiful language.

Unfortunately, my plate's full at the moment and thus Italian must be neglected for now.



French
Rather great reading comprehension, a fair amount of passive vocab, solid grip on grammar due to having taken it throughout primary and high school. Main weakness - listening comprehension since we were forced to conjugate all day and never actually listened to the language. Thanks, teachers.

Fixed pronunciation and prosody with about 40 hours of shadowing and 90 hours of Pimsleur. Active skills are still mediocre. About to start Assimil Business French with the same set up for Spanish without Toil that I outlined above. By the end of this and my SC, I think things will be better.

Of course, my greatest resource is my time as I do have to do quite a bit of juggling to fit a 6 hour a day language routine with law school.

At least, if I fail law I can console myself with being able to watch Kaamelott without subtitles :D
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby blaurebell » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:39 am

Atinkoriko wrote:At least, if I fail law I can console myself with being able to watch Kaamelott without subtitles


:D And that's why I left most of my language learning for after finishing high workload degrees! With those kinds of degrees integrating language learning is really difficult, unless you're past the comprehension barrier.

One thing though, do you procrastinate? I actually figured out that I'm the most productive if I keep going from 8am-11pm on a 50-50 work leisure schedule. 45min work, 45min watching TV to relax the brain usually. On good days I got 8h of work done anyway, although I was procrastinating all the time. It's actually more productive than working 8h in one go or 4+4, since it's difficult to keep the concentration up for that long. Most people who work 8h a day only work 2-3h productively. Make those 8h of procrastination time target language TV and suddenly you've got an additional 8h of language learning time without any noticeable strain! Superb trick to get a full 16h productive time out of your day while watching non-sense and relaxing :lol: You need to eat too? Watch while cooking and eating, great practice for understanding your TLs with background noise! I find TL audiobooks and TL radio perfect for any kind of dead time walking around on campus or for the bus and train.

Of course during deadline and exam periods I also did 16h of actual productive work by replacing TV with the simplest and most enjoyable study task. Can't really keep that up for longer than 2 weeks, but it's good for emergencies. I'm a pro at procrastination. In fact I believe that procrastination got me my distinction in my master's degree :D
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:07 am

blaurebell wrote:
Atinkoriko wrote:At least, if I fail law I can console myself with being able to watch Kaamelott without subtitles


:D And that's why I left most of my language learning for after finishing high workload degrees! With those kinds of degrees integrating language learning is really difficult, unless you're past the comprehension barrier.




One thing though, do you procrastinate? I actually figured out that I'm the most productive if I keep going from 8am-11pm on a 50-50 work leisure schedule. 45min work, 45min watching TV to relax the brain usually. On good days I got 8h of work done anyway, although I was procrastinating all the time. It's actually more productive than working 8h in one go or 4+4, since it's difficult to keep the concentration up for that long. Most people who work 8h a day only work 2-3h productively. Make those 8h of procrastination time target language TV and suddenly you've got an additional 8h of language learning time without any noticeable strain! Superb trick to get a full 16h productive time out of your day while watching non-sense and relaxing :lol: You need to eat too? Watch while cooking and eating, great practice for understanding your TLs with background noise! I find TL audiobooks and TL radio perfect for any kind of dead time walking around on campus or for the bus and train.








Of course during deadline and exam periods I also did 16h of actual productive work by replacing TV with the simplest and most enjoyable study task. Can't really keep that up for longer than 2 weeks, but it's good for emergencies. I'm a pro at procrastination. In fact I believe that procrastination got me my distinction in my master's degree :D



I am past the comprehension barrier in my three active languages, only needing a fixed study schedule for Spanish so it's manageable :) When things heat up, I'll simply focus on my SCs instead. Made a bilingual edition of Ecce Homo thanks to the texts from Project Gutenberg. Not perfect but it'll do. If anyone wants it, I think I can post it here since it should be copyright free :D


I find it easy to procrastinate for other things but I do get quite absorbed in my routine sometimes. When I first began German last summer, I was putting in 10 hour days sometimes :? Benny had a massive influence on me at the time and I thought B2 in 3 months was really possible. I tried extremely valiantly but failed, but I'm glad I tried nevertheless.

Nowadays I usually do 6-9 and then 11-2 study blocks for intensive activity, then then rest of the day for much lighter stuff.


16h of productive work. Wow, that's a lot. Only managed about 14 h for 1 week and a half, and that was because I was trying to read an entire semester's worth of Equity Law in just 10 days. Was successful but it wasn't a pretty sight. Sadly, it seemed I'm destined for the same thing this year so I'll have to cut out the afternoon language dabbling and restrict study only to my 6-9 am/11-2 am block.




Ave Procrastinatori!



[Google says Cuntatrix, but Procrastinatori sounds cooler]
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby asterion » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:13 am

Another member of the procrastinators army:

Image
5 x

Atinkoriko
Orange Belt
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:31 pm
Location: England
Languages: English (N)
Ibibio (N)
West African Pidgin English/Guinea Coast Creole[N]

Actively learning
German (B1.2)
French (B1)
Spanish (A2)

Newly started:
Russian (Beginner)

Paused
Italian

Les Anciens
Latin
Ancient Greek


Dabble daba doo once upon a time:
Dutch
Portuguese
Esperanto
Afrikaans



WISH I HAD TIME: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5594
x 204

Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:48 am

asterion wrote:Another member of the procrastinators army:

Image




Absolutely love this!
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