Motivation and Discipline: Spanish and Japanese Log

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (Intermediate)
Japanese (N5)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=14194
x 340

Motivation and Discipline: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby kelvin921019 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:31 pm

I have been told that keeping a log of my learning progress would be helpful in keeping my motivation. I hope that by doing so I can accomplished my goals this year.

A brief introduction of myself, I come from Hong Kong, where most people there were trilingual - native in Cantonese, with compulsory English and Mandarin education. (But frankly not most of us can speak English and Mandarin well.) I consider myself fluent in Mandarin (can communicate with Mainland Chinese if they're not speaking with heavy accent) and got a C1 to C2 level in English (tested in public exams and IELTS).

I consider myself a hardworking person (if I'm really into that matter) but rather impatient. I often want to achieve a lot within short period of time and clearly this poses a challenge for me in learning new languages, which ought to be a slow process.

Language learning experience
I have tried to learn 2 different languages, namely french and german, at university for 1 semester each but both attempts failed horribly. I have basically forgotten all I have learnt. I must admit that I only study in 2 1-hour classes every week and although I pass the tests in flying colour. They were taught in the traditional manner, grammar and vocab drill, which is a good thing for me as I have an okay memory. But I don't feel like "getting hold of the language" at all even after a year. Then I was distracted by life and other things and eventually forgotten everything.

It was until February this year I have decided to start learning new languages. I have a full time (and often needs to work overtime) job (You might have heard that working hour in Hong Kong is rather long comparing to other places), but I started to work at home due to the epidemic. Having nothing else to do, I decided to learn new languages.

Main language: Spanish (Aim: start preparing for B1 exam by September)
I decided to learn Spanish for 2 reasons. (1) La Casa de papel (and other Spanish shows in netflix) (2) For work (not really useful in my work, but it's the third most widely used language in the world). I know nothing about Spanish at the start.

Being a person who focus a lot on the right methods, I have started with conventional grammatical approach (using an app call Lingodeer) together with Duolingo. After a few days, I feel like learning programming instead of language. I glued pieces together but not really "using" the language at all.

- Stage 1 (First 2 months): Pimsleur + Lingodeer + Frequency List
Then, I came across a few polyglots on youtube, including Luca. I have spent hours (of time which I should be working) researching on the methods and Eventually I decided to use a mixture of methods.

I followed the recommendation by a youtube guy named ikenna and tried Pimsleur (Castillian Spanish one, because I want to go to Spain for travel). I used it in tandem with Lingodeer as I think that in the end I still need a good introduction to the grammar items and vocabularies. I also used some frequency list to memorize new words. Pimsleur gave me a solid introduction of the pattern and structure of the language without much introduction of grammar. Lingodeer and Duolingo and Anki list, on the otherhand, taught me a lot of basic vocabularies.

I did 1 lesson (or 2 lessons) twice every day (usually on my way to work and at lunch) for Pimsleur. Lingodeer and Duolingo if I have extra time in the weekend. Anki List also (on my way to work). I tried a DELE A1 sample paper last week and can easily deal with the Reading and Listening parts. Also, as I know that immersion is importan or essential, I also watch tonnes of youtube videos, Netflix shows and listen to tonnes of music. All of these allow me to memorize a bunch of sentence patterns and vocabularies.

However, In hindsight, I would have done these instead:
- although the vocabularies I learned from doing frequency list and Lingodeer and Duolingo help me achieved an early A1, the process was too time consuming (spent 4-5 hours learning every day, and completely soak myself in Spanish).
- Instead, I might only do Pimsleur + a frequency list only and read up some simple grammar items on web such as basic conjugation rules or how many tense are there).
- I think 1 Pimsleur lesson 2 times a day + writing down sentences I've learnt is too much for me. I might be too perfectionist in doing a Pimsleur lesson and aim to score perfect in a lesson. I will aim doing 1 - 2 Pimsleur lessons once for me only and leave the vocab drill later.

- Stage 2: Assimil all the way (Currently)
Then, I have decided to use Assimil. I use Assimil the conventional way (following the dutch instruction) and prepared a timetable for doing bidirectional translation method (as recommended by Luca). Thanks to the solid foundation laid by Pimsleur, I can go 2 lessons a day at least now (it's day 4 using Assimil and I'm now at lesson 8) and I am rather comfortable with the structure of the language right now.

However, I feel rather insecure and do not have a strong feel of learning and absorbing the material (because it's very different from Pimsleur). Sometimes I just skim through the comment and probably would have forgotten 80% of the grammar notes the next day. I always have a strong urge to memorize everything and sometimes felt burnout and frustration when I can't really any word I've learnt. I also examine the sentences available but don't dwell too much into the grammar item if it's not mentioned in the note. Hope I'm doing it right.

Furthermore, I feel like I have much more free time available (1 Pimsleur lesson takes me 1 hour or so per day and usually I may spend extra 30 mins more doing vocab list and writing down the sentences I've learnt).

My current method is a mixture of the conventional method (with some shadowing) + Luca's bidirectional translation + Anki method by Pau, trying to get the most out of the book.
- I will do two lessons (may down to 1 lesson if the material start to get difficult or long) the conventional way + shadowing (at least it's feasible within the lunch time), usually at lunch time
- I also do anki card for new sentences (like I will some too basic setences such as "Gracias", "Buenos Días", or sentences repeated from previous lessons) with front being the audio mp3 + Spanish, back being English (but with some twists to show the structure of the language). So the cards are only "passive" and the sentences I learned on day 1 will be the "new cards" I'll be learning on day 2. Usually I'll get about 15 cards per 2 lessons
- I will do anki card every morning on my way to work (just listen to / shadow the sentences few times and see if I understand what it means + review the book, usually it takes 15 mins or so)
- Sometimes I just take out some random lessons when I'm strolling and listen to it, just to get the feel of the language
- I will do a L2 --> L1 translation 4 days after the lesson and a L1 --> L2 4 days thereafter
- I also put vocabs introduced in the note on another deck (usually 2-3 words at most every lesson)
- My plan is after doing a L1 --> L2, I will change all passive cards to a two-way card so as to introduce an early active phase card (on this point, do you think I should instead create an "active phase" deck instead of shuffling the "active phase" cards with passive phase card?)

Future Study Plan
I will have completed the Assimil session by the end of July (assuming I'll slow down to do 1 lesson per day) and my plan is to absorb tonnes of Spanish media and (probably not sure if it is working) do 1 month of Glossika. Hope I can get to the "clicking" point by September. Then I'll proceed with Speaking and Writing exercise using italki.

Am I worrying too much or doing too much? I don't want another year wasted for not using the appropriate method

On the otherhand, before "clicking" in spanish I will spend less time on my second language Japanese (which I adopted a completely different method for reasons I'll mention in my next post).
Last edited by kelvin921019 on Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:58 pm, edited 5 times in total.
10 x

User avatar
Bex
Blue Belt
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:10 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 77#p157977
x 1512

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby Bex » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:51 pm

Welcome

I would try and stick to 1 or 2 good resources and follow them through to completion. Make sure they are resources you enjoy using, you've got to stick with them for a while :D

Good luck
1 x
Kwiziq
A0: 100 / 100
A1: 100 / 100
A2: 100 / 100
B1: 91 / 100
B2: 53 / 100

kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (Intermediate)
Japanese (N5)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=14194
x 340

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby kelvin921019 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:55 pm

Second language:Japanese (Aim: N5 exam in July and N4 exam in December)

There are some reasons why Japanese is the best choice for me to be the second language to be learnt (which often take about 30 mins every day for learning and without any immersion)
- My sense of Japanese is, I guess, ok. This is due to the fact that I binge watched Japanese anime, dramas and variety show for some 10+ years (that’s common for many Hong Konger of my age). We have been soaked in Japanese culture for many years. Therefore, I am accustomed to the sound of Japanese and some phrases or words. In fact, I travelled to Japan many times and can convey simple messages using words (like, "this, one", "3 people", "how much is it?")
- Written Traditional Chinese have many cognates with Japanese (although there’s false friends, some Kanji, but can be “corrected” using my understanding of some words and phrases heard from shows) can even sometimes sound similarly with Japanese, some examples:
Traditional Chinese: 介紹 (introduce) (gaai3 siu6)
Japanese: 紹介 (introduce) (syō kai)

Traditional Chinese: 圖書館 (tou4 syu1 gun2)
Japanese: 図書館 (to syo kan)
They may even sound similar, either to Cantonese or Mandarin. On the other hand, Japanese (and Cantonese used in Hong Kong) have many foreign words borrowed from English, which is my second "native" language.

- I have already studied hiragana and katakana long time ago. I studied them so that I can briefly understand the gist of some Japanese webpage (say 20-30%) simply using cognates or identify the words I remembered.

My aims are simple:
- N5 in July (enrolled)
- N4 in December
- N3 or N2 in the next July
I initially want to enroll N4 in July, but I don't want to rush things (which I eventually did) and don't want to compromise my Spanish progress and immersion. My plan is that I would start clicking spanish at around October and then I can start reading Spanish native materials, prepare for DELE and in the meantime start intensive study in Japanese.

I originally used Assimil as the primary source of study. But at around 20 lessons or so, the text become too overwhelming for me (too many grammatical items not covered by the and the sentences get too long) and I was using a wrong approach (immediate bilateral translation to english; two way anki cards, L2 <-> L1 being original English text) which makes the study too long and too overwhelming for me. I then decided to complete my foundation N5 and N4 stuff before moving into assimil.

Another reason is that my study of Japanese is rather exam oriented at this moment. I will focus on grammar and aim to finish JPLT first and start my assimil courses with solid foundation in Japanese. My plan is to start Assimil Japanese after I "click" in Spanish and then move to native Spanish materials. Before that, I would keep on doing some "boring" and foundation stuffs.

My study routine is like this:
- Lingodeer. I rushed a bit for the N5 materials and just completed the Lingodeer lessons earlier this week. I'll slow down my learning process in N4 materials (I used to complete 1 topic everyday which takes 30 to 45 mins, now I complete 1 15 mins session everyday)
- Work through core 2000 vocab list (passive only)
- occasionally work on N5 mock papers
- sometimes do bidirectional translation on short stories in Lingodeer app (which usually consists of 7-9 sentences and grammar focus)

In my adjusted approach of bidirectional translation, I use Cantonese as my L1 because In some sense spoken Cantonese is closer to Japanese.
- Both languages have word which has no meaning but to express stress (Cantonese: 呢, 咯, 架, 呵 (<= these are not the exact Chinese character) or emotion, which allow me to translate words such as は, でしょう, ね, に, で etc
- as mentioned above, Chinese characters and Kanji, sometimes the phrases are similar as well
e.g. Assimil sentence: 五月に交通事故にあいました (May/[time]/traffic-accident/[goal]/have met)
English: In May [he was] in an automobile accident
Cantonese (my attempt) 五月時[佢]遇到交通意外 (May/time/[he]/have met/traffic-accident)

My aim is to eventually get to conversational fluency and be able to consume Japanese media without subtitles (oftentime I saw an episode of drama / variety show I wish to watch but there's no subtitles) and can converse fluently in Japanese with native as in the foreseeable future I will visit Japan many times. JPLT is a surplus requirement (frankly out there in Hong Kong there're tonnes of people with N1 level and fluent in Japanese), I don't think I can get any edge from getting N1 or so.
3 x

kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (Intermediate)
Japanese (N5)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=14194
x 340

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby kelvin921019 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:51 am

Have been rather busy with work and can only use the commute time, lunch time and time before bed to study. I also have to slow down my Japanese process as I does not have much time to allocate to it. The time for studying one lesson have been increased from 20-30 mins each to 45 mins or more each as the material is getting harder. Surprisingly the result is pretty good, I can sometimes "hear" the lesson playing in my brain.

I have adopted a new methodology in my studying of each chapter (inspired by my experience using Pimsleur) which is quite effective for me. I may need a few more lessons to refine the method. For the time being, I wrote down my method in case I've forgotten how to do so. May share here once the method is set and "crystallized".

My daily routine is as follows:-
- on my way to work, I use anki to review all the assimil sentences and vocab that pops up that day. I usually shadow that sentence, try to identify the meanings of phrase and words, and the overall meaning. Then I'll review the lesson (incl notes) I've done the day before (30 mins);
- Study 1 Assimil Spanish lesson (45-50 mins) during lunch, prepare Anki Cards for the lesson;
- Do Japanese Anki card on my return trip (15 - 20 mins), using the rest of the travel time to watch Spanish native materials (w/ subtitles) for leisure
- Do a 15 - 20 mins Japanese session (Lingodeer / translation exercise / mock paper)
- Before sleep, insert the mp3s into Anki card and taking this opportunity to review the lesson (15 - 20 mins)
Turn out I spend almost 2 hours a day in learning...

As I'm still having strong interest in language learning, discipline is not a big problem for me. I can still keep studying everyday for both languages. If I get too tired, I spend less time on Japanese and using the time solely for reviewing previous materials or doing translation of previous lessons only.

My only concern remains that I won't be having much progress even after learning. Can anyone share with me your experience on Assimil and how well you understand native material after completing Assimil?
3 x

kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (Intermediate)
Japanese (N5)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=14194
x 340

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby kelvin921019 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:00 pm

Getting more busy in work, the result being:
- Less "sitting down" study time, I have to dedicate all these times to Spanish and need to switch to using mobile phone only to learn Japanese
- Getting less patient when going through tedious exercise

I'm enjoying the Assimil light grammar approach (which I will try to touch upon on my later updates). It gives me less "headache" when doing the exercise. On the other hand, the grammar and vocabulary focus drill in Lingodeer and memorizing vocab list using anki starts to give me "headache" when studying Japanese, especially it takes place after a full day of work. Given that I have the basics of N5 grammar and vocabulary, I'm considering switching to a "grammar lite" studying method (Assimil Japanese with ease is not "with ease" after all). At least I will pause the Anki vocab drill now.

I am thinking about using Glossika (which I have not yet subscribed but intend to do so) with occassion 5-mins soft grammer lessons instead (like using bunpo app). So that I can do some Japanese during my commute time or work out time. Anyone has experience using the new Glossika for S-O-V Asian Language?
0 x

User avatar
davidchoward
White Belt
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:38 pm
Languages: English (N), Mandarin (A2), French (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8963
x 54

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby davidchoward » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:48 pm

kelvin921019 wrote:My only concern remains that I won't be having much progress even after learning. Can anyone share with me your experience on Assimil and how well you understand native material after completing Assimil?


I completed Assimil for Spanish, and also did some of the intermediary course in Spanish as well. I got to a level so that when I went to Mexico this February I was able to communicate pretty well. I really enjoyed it, and I plan to use Assimil for other languages if I ever try and learn any new ones. However, I was also supplementing the lessons with listening to lots of Spanish music and reading simple Spanish texts.
1 x

kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (Intermediate)
Japanese (N5)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=14194
x 340

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby kelvin921019 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:10 am

One thing I would not wish to happen again and again is to overburden myself with anki reviews.
I am now thinking about 2 options in my "active wave" procedure, either:
(1) I do a translation backward on day 9 after I have learnt the language, and then leave the next translation exercise to day 50 (i.e. the active wave as prescribed by the book), whereas doing all anki review passively; or
(2) Do a translation backward on day 9, then use Anki as a schedule book of doing another translation exercise again. Basically there's no need to do active wave.

I suspended all core 2000 vocabulary exercise as I'm constantly doing 50 japanese words a day which start to make not much sense if I cannot form a sentence properly. While it is not the time to go into Assimil (as my main course is Spanish at the moment), I am struggling about paying for Glossika (given that there's a discount) and do 20-30 mins everyday plus a pure grammar drill using bunpro. The purpose is to keep all Japanese drill within 30-40 mins everyday while maintaining a 1.5 - 2 hours active learning of Spanish + passively listening to music or some causal reading of Spanish (without looking up dictionary).

In terms of Anki review of Assimil sentence, I adopted a "No Again" approach. I can repeat the audio as much as I can in order to comprehend / shadow it, but even for the worse sentence I will mark it as "Mark" instead of doing the SRS again. This should serve well as a safety net against stacking of cards.

Still, given that the materials are rather short and it is only lesson 11. I have no problem recalling the entire lesson after doing a 1 hour session.I can "with ease" recite all lessons I have so far learned (not smooth though) from my memory. I doubt that it would be the case in the future. Let's wait and see.

Comments and criticisms on my approach or mindset is indeed welcomed. I believe that advices and guidance from fellow experienced learner would have help me avoid struggling in a language and to avoid spending unnecessary money on resources which are not helpful at all. Muchas Gracias!
0 x

woshijiajun
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:02 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: N: Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian
C1~C2: Spanish, English
B1~B2: Taiwanese, Arabic, French
A1~A2: Japanese, Catalan, Korean
x 4

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby woshijiajun » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:21 am

kelvin921019 wrote:I am thinking about using Glossika (which I have not yet subscribed but intend to do so) with occassion 5-mins soft grammer lessons instead (like using bunpo app). So that I can do some Japanese during my commute time or work out time. Anyone has experience using the new Glossika for S-O-V Asian Language?


I have been using Glossika for Japanese for about 2 months now, as a supplement to my classes at university and I think it has really helped my accent and speaking fluency. I recommend it 100% even though it isn’t the cheapest program, it certainly is worth the money. Ever since I started using Glossika my teacher has definitely noticed an improvement in my speaking speed and has commented positively about it.

kelvin921019 wrote: My only concern remains that I won't be having much progress even after learning. Can anyone share with me your experience on Assimil and how well you understand native material after completing Assimil?


I’m also using Assimil Japanese in addition to Glossika, and honestly the biggest benefit I am seeing from Assimil is a big improvement in being able to read native materials with more speed and accuracy, so it’s a nice complement to Glossika because you get listening/speaking practice from one and reading practice from the other. I’m not sure what to recommend for writing practice though as I rarely write anything in Japanese aside from the dictation reps in Glossika and the occasional report for university classes, but they are always really simple.

If you need any more advice or have any questions please let me know. 一齊努力啦!
2 x

kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (Intermediate)
Japanese (N5)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=14194
x 340

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby kelvin921019 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:32 pm

woshijiajun wrote:
kelvin921019 wrote:I am thinking about using Glossika (which I have not yet subscribed but intend to do so) with occassion 5-mins soft grammer lessons instead (like using bunpo app). So that I can do some Japanese during my commute time or work out time. Anyone has experience using the new Glossika for S-O-V Asian Language?


I have been using Glossika for Japanese for about 2 months now, as a supplement to my classes at university and I think it has really helped my accent and speaking fluency. I recommend it 100% even though it isn’t the cheapest program, it certainly is worth the money. Ever since I started using Glossika my teacher has definitely noticed an improvement in my speaking speed and has commented positively about it.

kelvin921019 wrote: My only concern remains that I won't be having much progress even after learning. Can anyone share with me your experience on Assimil and how well you understand native material after completing Assimil?


I’m also using Assimil Japanese in addition to Glossika, and honestly the biggest benefit I am seeing from Assimil is a big improvement in being able to read native materials with more speed and accuracy, so it’s a nice complement to Glossika because you get listening/speaking practice from one and reading practice from the other. I’m not sure what to recommend for writing practice though as I rarely write anything in Japanese aside from the dictation reps in Glossika and the occasional report for university classes, but they are always really simple.

If you need any more advice or have any questions please let me know. 一齊努力啦!

Great to see fellow Hong Konger here!
So you are not using Assimil Japanese with audio? Would you mind telling me how would you use the book for reading practice? Are you using it as a textbook or a graded reader? Thank you!

Assimil type inductive learning is not too effective in my opinion when it comes to Japanese, it’s grammatical structure differs so much from English and can't really dissect the structure unless I learn it through some grammar notes (which is unfortunately not enough in the book).

Regarding Glossika, I am going to do it the audio only way on transit. Do you think I should turn off the L1 part? feels like the translation isn't too accurate or even wrong sometime
0 x

woshijiajun
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:02 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: N: Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian
C1~C2: Spanish, English
B1~B2: Taiwanese, Arabic, French
A1~A2: Japanese, Catalan, Korean
x 4

Re: My first language learning attempt: Spanish and Japanese Log

Postby woshijiajun » Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:28 pm

kelvin921019 wrote:Great to see fellow Hong Konger here!
So you are not using Assimil Japanese with audio? Would you mind telling me how would you use the book for reading practice? Are you using it as a textbook or a graded reader? Thank you!


Same to you! We’re very few I think :lol: I do use the audio, but I find it so slow it’s almost annoying. You could speed it up using Audacity or something but then it feels unnatural. So yes I suppose you could say I’m primarily using it as a graded reader, using the audio just to make sure I am sounding things out properly. On a typical day I only listen to the audio once or twice for the day’s lesson then I will open the book and read it a few times, then practice the sentences in Anki. I have been finding it to be very effective. The graded reader we use for university seems so easy now in comparison.

kelvin921019 wrote: assimil type inductive learning for me is not too effective when it comes to Japanese, where it’s grammatical structure differs significantly from other SVO language.

Exactly why I recommend Glossika. It drills the structures i to your brain really effectively, and you eventually start to get a feeling for what sounds correct. I feel it fills in the gaps that Assimil leaves, especially for learners like us who can concentrate less on the writing system of Japanese and focus more effort on listening/speaking. It takes some getting used to but in time it all comes together.

One tip I will say is use it with English or Mandarin > Japanese. I started out with Cantonese > Japanese but realised there are way more sentences available for the other combinations even if it’s slightly less comfortable. There’s so much practical vocabulary in the Daily Life module sentences that I don’t think ever got developed in the end with their Cantonese recordings, which is a shame but I suppose there are less people demanding such materials.
1 x


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests