Back to the roots and water them with coffee

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luke
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby luke » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:00 pm

Cavesa wrote:Looking at my post and some of the terminology, I realize one thing. I am really not a typically "positive" or "optimistic" or even "nice" person, I don't hesitate to use strong words, etc.

Just let people hate some subjects and succeed in spite of that. Life is about that too. Turn the struggle into an epic fight against the dragon, don't force people to perceive the dragon as a cute fluffy puppy. In their eyes, it still has scales and breaths fire.

Congratulations on the successes with your sister!

I enjoy your posts very much.

On the bits I quoted, I think the contrary is colossal f-tardism. Unfortunately, "leaders" are selected for their ignorance so they can call the stuff that can be used to make plants grow "fertilizer" and they don't know what it is, where it comes from or the downsides of dealing with it.
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Cavesa
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:35 pm

The third post in a row, I got further info from my sister. About the details of the exam and her feelings. There was no written test this time, there will be one in a few days and it will be a huge advantage for her. Subjectively she felt she was doing horribly. But she kept going. Even if there were many mistakes (how many are "many"? no clue. The teacher said it was ok)

Some things were a bit of a misunderstanding, such as the teacher asking closed questions and expecting open and rich answers (my sister has a point, that some teachers would consider it a mistake, if she started a long and complex presentation after a question "Wie ist dein Vorname?"). There was again the stupidity of demanding a list of prepositions with a case. Nope, I will not train my sister for this nonsense, and it was not really supposed to be the form of examination. And a list of connection words, and she wanted to hear a list of approximately five of them. My sister has been learning the approximately dozen that TA has presented, and with main focus on using them in sentences and with the correct word order. We followed the instructions, preparing for talking in compound sentences, we were not told to memorize dumb lists.

When it comes to grammar, X didn't really get a chance to show off a lot of the cool verb features (or horrible verb torture instruments, whichever you prefer). When she used correctly the praeteritum (as TA insists that in case of the verbs sein and haben, praeteritum is used even in spoken language more commonly than perfectum), the teacher corrected it on perfectum. Only one passive, and she made a mistake in that (well, one question rarely shows mastery of something, either a good or a bad answer can depend on luck)

And the teacher keeps coming back to the "but you've been learning for such short time" point. Fortunately, she is not stupid enough to make her fail for that, as my sister clearly has the average level of her class now. There would be trouble, trying to justify such a decision. My sister worded it nicely: "she can't let me fail just because I wasn't born German". :-D On the day of the exam, she needs to perform at least as well as today. That's the only thing that should matter. Not stupid opinions like "fast language learning is impossible".

As to our preparation: we clearly need to practice more, and try to make my sister get faster correct reactions. She puts together good sentences, but often needs a moment to think or to logically arrive to the answer. I find it better than the "methods" that make people parrot stuff but without the logic, it will pay off. But we should try to get at least a bit of the needed speed into this decision making process. Or perhaps we'll try to learn a more obvious "wait, I'm thinking" face :-D

It's normal that people around A2 don't speak too fluidly. As this is a school exam, I decided to train her more for accuracy than fluidity or speed. In some other situations, the opposite would be preferable, I know. But I think it is a winning strategy, even though it may feel a bit weird.
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sfuqua
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby sfuqua » Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:49 am

It's probably of no use to your sister, but I once faked having been bitten by a centipede during an oral exam in Samoan back in the last century. :D
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Cavesa
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:24 pm

We are continuing rather badly. Yesterday, it was ok. We put in like 3 hours and did a lot of exercises on the prepositions. Today, we just argued after a few exercises. She takes it badly, when I lose my patience (and yes, I even shouted). I lose it, when she refuses to think. When she suddenly struggles to apply a rule she is familiar with (and has used a hundred times before), when she suddenly refuses to finish reading the whole sentence, or to say the pronouns with the verbs, or she just insists she doesn't know something trivial. Perhaps I am detestable, no idea. I am also a bit exhausted by her refusal to do stuff independently.

I'll try with her again later in the evening. We'll see. Sometimes, the last meters of a race are the hardest ones.
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Carmody
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Carmody » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:12 pm

Cavesa
She takes it badly, when I lose my patience (and yes, I even shouted). I lose it, when she refuses to think.
I have never been able to learn when a person is shouting at me. My mind goes totally blank.

Sometimes there is such a thing as wanting something too much.....
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Cavesa
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:15 am

Carmody wrote:
Cavesa
She takes it badly, when I lose my patience (and yes, I even shouted). I lose it, when she refuses to think.
I have never been able to learn when a person is shouting at me. My mind goes totally blank.

Sometimes there is such a thing as wanting something too much.....


Yes, sure. But it is hard to react otherwise, when she starts showing a lot of laziness to think and really wastes my time. I have given her a month, all I wanted was to make it efficient.

She has done so much progress in German! In communication, and so on. But one thing that she absolutely fails at: becoming more independent in learning. I hoped that getting over the initial hurdles would help her become more and more capable of just doing more exercises on her own, drilling stuff the same way we do together but on her own, rereading an explanation in case of need, etc.

But no. Either I sit with her and lead her to everything, or she refuses. She keeps just insisting not to understand very clear instructions, claims to be unable to even use the prepared paper flashcards on her own, doesn't even look up stuff in a dictionary. That's extremely exhausting for me, and it worsens the communication problem. A few exercises together, then alone, then together, then alone again, that would have been ideal in this phase.

I am getting burnt out. When she suddenly insists something is a problem, even though it isn't, stops thinking, then I even shout, because there is nothing logical left to do. Yesterday, she started acting like a brat just because she couldn't understand one answer in a longer exercise. I didn't know how else to explain it, so I wanted to move on after a few logical tries, in hopes that the one answer will get clearer in the light of the whole exercise drilling the same grammar feature. It works rather often, from my experience. It escalated, because she refused to move on.

Not sure how it will go today.
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sfuqua
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby sfuqua » Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:45 pm

In my days as a teacher, sometimes I would have to just walk outside for a minute. :D
Usually I would be dealing with students who had no excuse for being stubborn about learning their usual lesson.
You and your sister have a right to feel frustrated sometimes; you are doing something very hard. :D
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Cavesa
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:08 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, it was needed and helped a lot.

I has been going much better since. I can't expect any independence from her, at least now, but she accepted to be lead again (yes, dad stepped into the battlefield). So, the last few days were spent on rather efficient and intensive review again. (She'll have to learn more independence later, and lower stress levels may help with that).

With me, she's touched all the grammar points from TA again, we've mastered vast majority of our verb cards. There are like five or six problematic ones left, I can't even think of further memory tricks for those (we've alredy learnt some by remembering quotes like "wir shaffen das" and worse. However, she still fails to remember "wählen", in spite of my genious idea to try "Pikachu, ich wähle dich!" :-D ). At least the green monster exercise book has been encouraging us, with the funny example phrases that are perhaps even better than famous "s..t duolingo says". Stuff like "Es stank nach Feuer. Die Fabrik brannte." and then mysteries like the location of the island of Atlantis and so on. And we turned some TA exercise into funnier ones, like instead of plans to improve a life style, we planned to worsen it. Dumb details like this keep us going.

Btw she has accidentally, or perhaps on purpose (not sure)m remembered majority the preposition lists her teacher loves so much. I don't think it has affected her performance in the actually useful exercises for either speaking or the announced written exam format, but who knows. It might make an impression, if the teacher decides to dive her in past mistakes.

I think the written test should go well. My sister's main weaknesses are either the moments of loss of concentration while speaking (and therefore making stupid mistakes she had stopped making ages ago), or in weak knowledge of some of the less important points. We've done a good job in the main structures of the language. But who knows, how will the nerves work. And whether the teacher doesn't think of something annoying, like putting a whole exercise on "wofür" and "damit" in the test.

The other tutor has done all the conversation topics of the exams with her. We can't predict, whether it will go well, as the school teachers are simply unclear in the expectations in some ways. But she has done an overall good job, I believe, really doing what we agreed on, and using her experience with stuff I cannot do.

Tommorrow, it's showtime.
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:27 pm

Daumen drucken!!!
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Xenops
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Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Xenops » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:46 am

Cavesa wrote: However, she still fails to remember "wählen", in spite of my genious idea to try "Pikachu, ich wähle dich!" :-D ).


She must be a Digimon fan.
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