40something Spanish Log

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:13 pm

Glossy wrote:When I was growing up in Moscow in the 1980s there was a Spanish language course on TV there. Every show started with an animated version of Picasso’s Don Quixote/Sancho Panza drawing that you set up as your profile pic. Here it is on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/BxXQO_cySiY

To this day I associate that drawing with Spanish language instruction.


That's great! I had not seen it before.

I did like both the novel and the drawing very much, but now I have a Russian cartoon to follow as well. It also seemed appropriate for a quest to learn the language. In the US, the cartoon I remember was a little less culturally sophisticated than Picasso:

https://youtu.be/iKj8qIvvkTo
2 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:54 pm

Most of my structured study this week was with my italki tutors, although there were a couple of important developments, I think. I reviewed futuro proxima, which was not a problem, along with some food vocabulary, but the next lesson was preterite, where I am not nearly as strong as I thought I was. I have a tendency to turn everything into a regular-ar verb in the past, and I don't know irregular verbs other than ir/ser very well at all. This is an area where I think I can improve a lot pretty quickly, so I'm actually kind of glad to have a focused area of study.

I also settled into a pretty good arrangement with one of my other tutors, I think. Our "study plan" is for me to watch an episode of La Casa de Flores between each session, once with subtitles and once without, and to be able to discuss in the lesson. The first episode was really enjoyable, and the first discussion of it was productive and fun. I think I will learn a lot from this exercise, and I think I will like it. The second time through the episode, I still didn't understand as much of the dialogue as I would have thought, but that's why I'm practicing, I guess. I thought the conversation about it went very well. I may try to put brief summaries of the episodes here for practice, but I've still got to take 15 minutes to figure out this international keyboard thing.

I am keeping up with reading news articles 5+ days per week. It's getting easier, and new vocab is becoming more scarce (there is a lot from La Casa de Flores, so I'm fine with that.)

I've only done a couple of active and a couple of passive exercises in Assimil. It's not my favorite thing to do anymore, the first few dialogues after 50 are long and not interesting, and in the active wave, I keep translating English into Spanish that I think is correct but is different than what is in the book. I will keep it around to do when the urge strikes, or to try scriptorum or echoing or transcription of audio, but it is definitely out of the everyday routine. That's a shame, as I think a structured course might still help me. I'm toying with the idea of Linguaphone Advanced.

I haven't done much in Grammatica de Uso, although it's probably going to get a preterite workout this weekend, and I haven't cracked my Gold List notebook in several days.
2 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:25 pm

A busy week left little time for much outside of skype lessons, of which I've had 4 (2 structured and two conversation practice.) I reviewed indicatives and reflexive verbs, and I did a lot of work reviewing and practicing the preterite tense. I also did exercises in Grammatica de Uso on preterite. It still isn't perfect, but I feel much better about it.

I also watched episode 2 of La Casa des Flores and discussed it with my tutor. This time, I watched twice with subtitles and once without, trying to identify certain phrases and constructions. It's good practice for listenting comprehension and a good topic for discussion, but the listening exercise sin subtitulos is challenging.

I have read articles in El Pais probably three days this week.

I have done a couple of Assimil exercises, but I'm still not loving it after lesson 50. I may try using it for bi-directional translation. There are a lot of bite-sized chunks of good Spanish in there, I just need to find out how to use them better.

I meant to look into Linguaphone advanced, but haven't. That might be tonight's project.
4 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:47 pm

Some hits and misses this week. It was a fairly busy schedule with italki tutors doing conversation and structured lessons. We did a lot of practice on demonstratives, and a lot more on reflexive verbs. Did a review of A1 & A2 vocabulary, and although there were a couple of specific holes (who knew there was such a thing as una polleria?) overall, it went really well. I watched La Casa des Flores capitula 3 but did not discuss it. This time, I watched intensively--pausing to try to understand each sentence--wtih subtitles, then less intensively for general meaning without stopping with subtitles, then a third time without stopping and no subs. I think I'm getting better at listening comp, but time will tell. I know that I am thinking more about what I'm going to say to my tutor, forming sentences and looking up specific words, and that has to be good.

I did not read much this week, maybe 1 or two articles. I will try to make that up over the weekend, but it may be time to try a novel again.

I acquired Linguaphone 2nd Stage Advanced to Expert, and on first take, I think I like it. I read the first lesson and reviewed the grammar notes, but I have not yet done the audio portion. One lesson certainly isn't a fair sample, but it felt like a better next step than Assimil, either 'active stage' or the lessons after 50. I will still try to find a good way to use Assimil, but as for following a structured lesson, I think I will try Linguaphone.

I also dusted off Madrigal's Magic Key for exercises on preterite, and I like it for practice in addition to Grammatica. I plan to use both to review reflexives (especially those involving emotion,) and demonstratives, where I keep reversing eso/ese.

I don't know where my Gold List notebook is. That probably tells me all I need to know about the method, but I will find it and review one more time. There is something compelling about the idea of passively learning something by making lists as a complement to main methods. The only two problems I see with it are 1) I don't do it, and 2) I don't think it works for me. Aside from that, it's great.
3 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:56 pm

Two more hours, or four 30 minute sessions, of skype tutoring this week, including a session scheduled for tomorrow. It seems like a pretty good rhythm, with two lessons of structured study and two of guided conversation. It's hard to always notice the progress from lesson to lesson, but I know it is there. I am saying more things, the words are coming easier, and I think they are more correct. Every time I get a bit frustrated at not being able to express myself like I want, I look at my italki time--which is something like 14 hours with a live teacher--and remind myself that really isn't much. When it's 500 hours, I'll give myself the right to complain.

Concentrated on prepositions in one of my sessions, especially prepositions that go with certain verbs (like quejarse de and quejarse con.) I also had a structured conversation on consumerism in society, which is a whole step up from topics like daily routine or physical characteristics in difficulty of conversation, IMO. One of my tutors recommended a couple of podcasts for me to try this weekend to help absorb the nuances of the language (like prepositions!) and improve listening comprehension.

I did another Linguaphone lesson, and I still like the course. I also went back to Assimil and did a few passive and active exercises (I think I'm on 65 now and whatever the corresponding active one is.) I think if I treat it as an interesting supplement rather than an actual course, I will get more use of it. Read it in Spanish, absorb the meaning of what I can, use the translation to check, read the notes, read it again, and don't worry too much about getting it perfect or "studying" the notes seems to be a better forumal. For active, I'm just trying to translate the English into Spanish, checking to see what is different, and noting, not concentrating on, the difference. It's a 15 minute less intensive exercise than what I did going through the first 50 lessons, but if I'm going to keep it part of my arsenal, I think this is the way to go.

I also returned to my Gold List notebook. I still am not sure the method really inserts the meaning into my brain, but it is a good way to list important vocab, to retain a list, and to remove from active study the words I already know, even if I learned them elsewhere.

Still reading El Pais, every day this week I believe.
4 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:59 pm

I had fun in my skype sessions this week. In the structured lessons, we spent time reviewing preterito perfecto and practiced when to use this past tense as opposed to preterite. I have another tomorrow. In one of the conversational sessions, we reviewed capitula 4 de La Casa de Flores, which I'm really starting to enjoy. Two points of focus for the next lesson are to pay attention to the use of "ya" to convey urgency and also to pronouns such as se, le, and les, even when they are not strictly needed and seem superfluous in English. In the other session, we discussed alanxelmundo, a travel vlog, which has clear spanish on familiar topics, appears to be the correct level for my ability, and seems like a good, likeable learning resource. I also just dabbled with News in Slow Spanish, another recommendation from my tutor, mainly because it is a resource I can use while driving. Anyway, it was a good week for me and the tutors.

I'm on lesson 4 of Linguaphone Adv. to Expert, and I do like the course, although I haven't gotten much out of the exercises. The dialogues are very good, the grammar explanations in Spanish are helpful, and the vocabulary lists contain a good mix of things I know and the novel. The exercises, to this point, are not to the standard of the rest of the course, which isn't, IMO, that different from Assimil. As for Assimil, I am on lesson 65/15, and since I've started doing the lessons less intensely, it is going better. For passive exercises, I read it once, checking translation when needed, read it again checking every grammar note, and then read it a 3rd time through without checking anything. I do this out loud, which confuses my children and scares my dog. For the active lessons, I'm just reading and translating out loud and referencing the dialogue to see where I've messed up. This seems to be as good of a way as any to use the course for now.

I've added a few new Gold Lists and distilled a few others.

I've read almost every day in El Pais.

I don't think I've done any grammar exercises.
3 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:44 pm

4 x 30 minute lessons this week, including tomorrow, with 2 structured and 2 conversation practice. It'sa bit frustrating that on some days the language flows fairly smoothly and on others it seems to get so tangled up between my brain and my mouth, but I suppose that's just the way learning works. Discussed the alanxelmundo episode on Dubai and La Casa des Flores episode 5, and spent a lot of time trying to put objects antes de verbos, where they belong in Spanish, instead of behind them, where they go in English. I know very well where the te/se/les is supposed to go, but in speaking, I put it in the wrong place most of the time anyway.

My listening comprehension is still behind my reading. I have been watching the youtube vids and Casa with subtitles and then without, and I'm very much aware of how much I would miss if I didn't have all of those written words at the bottom. To address this, I have been playing with News in slow Spanish when I drive; time will tell how that works. I understand my tutors much better than the shows, but this is the area that I would like to improve the most in the short term.

I'm still using the gold list for vocab on an irregular basis. I think it is probably OK for acquiring passive vocabulary, but I don't think much of it has made it into active vocab. It's still an activity I can do when my brain just can't handle intensive study of Spanish, and it does give me good vocab lists.

I'm up to 72/22 in Assimil. I"ve stalled at lesson 5 on Linguaphone 2nd but will step back into that this week. I've read El Pais every day, I think. I might give El Viejo y El Mar another try. I never really realized the difference in language level between newspapers and novels before, but if that paper and this novel are any indication, it is significant.
4 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:11 pm

A mid-week update, but I think it is deserved. I posted earlier that I didn't like the exercises in Linguaphone,Adv and that needs some clarification. I went back through some stuff today and would like to change my story.

The end of unit exercises are still not very exciting; in fact, they seem to be tacked on just so the course can say it has a written exercise component. However, there are at least some entire units--starting with Unidad 3--that are completely devoted to FSI style audio lingual exercises, and I SKIPPED THIS UNIT the first time through. I shouldn't have, as they are pretty good. There is a bit of "repeat after me" and a whole bunch of responding to a prompt following an example. The audio is clear, it's fast, it's progressively difficult, and the exercises are, IMO, in smaller and more manageble doses than FSI. So I take back what I said about Linguaphone exercises--there is some good stuff in there, and I won't be skipping those chapters any more.
4 x

User avatar
SCMT
Yellow Belt
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:32 pm
Languages: Engilsh (N)
Spanish (Learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10551
x 229

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:06 pm

I've had some measurable progress since the last update. In my structured lessons, I finished the A2 material. Much, but not all, was review, but the practice was very much needed. I passed the test on it without much trouble, and although I did not understand as much of the listening comprehension portion as I would like (el orador hablo* muy rapido con un acento castilliano,) it was plenty for the exam. So it's onto the next course, and I think I have a pretty good head start on B1. We will see.

Conversation practice centered on Casa de las Flores episode 6, and I really like the show as a learning aid. I understood more without subtitles than before, but it's difficult to say whether that is marked improvement or if the lesson was just easier to understand. I tried to focus, in watching and in discussing, on indirect object pronouns and the different uses of "ya." I have to concentrate, but I think I'm making progress. Next week, the focus is on comparatives: menos...que..., mas...que..., tan...como..., etc.

I am on 78/27 Assimil (I don't know how I missed an active lesson, but it appears I did. Maybe I did an extra passive. No importa.) I've gone back through all of my Linguaphone lessons, especially the Audio-Lingual lesson 3, and feel I have a better grip on them, but I'm still on lesson 5. It probably would have been better to do Linguaphone and Assimil separately. You live, you learn.

I have read articles in El Pais every day. I have decided to abandon Hemingway for the moment. There is simply too much specialized vocabulary, and looking up la vela and anzuelo and arruga every sentence makes it a slog. I've got a couple of other books that hopefully will be closer to my level to try instead.

I'm still recording new vocab for Gold List headlists and still distilling when it occurs to me. I need to make a conscious effort to incorporate these words into my conversation practice.

*Still haven't figured out Spanish keyboard. I am also aware that I am not getting enough writing practice, and this is one of the results of that deficiency, but that's a challenge I will tackle sometime in the future.
2 x

User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1000
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: EN (N), ES (B2), others
x 1672

Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby eido » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:07 pm

The way I figured out the basics of the Spanish keyboard was trial and error, and lots of practice. It's pretty similar on Windows 10 to the English one. Now, Korean, that's another story... :P
1 x
"He's satisfied with himself. If you have a soul you can't be satisfied."
- Graham Greene (given to me by @reineke)


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests