From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:24 am

SUNDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2021
Starting to see a pattern forming: one day deep, then one day shallow. Today, DL and SRS in the evening. A bit later, right before bed, a quick look at Assimil Lesson 10. Will need to go back to this lesson tomorrow and practice it some more. (≈35 min)

MONDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2021
Spoke too soon, as today was another low effort day. The usual Duolingo (DL) and Spaced Repetition Software (SRS) exercises. Then, some more practice using Assimil Lesson 10. (≈35 min)

– A tavola, il pranzo è pronto!
– (Come) to (the) table, lunch is ready!

– i tuoi vini sono sempre eccellenti!
– your wines are always excellent!

TUESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2021
Finally finished Assimil Lesson 10, + some quick DL and SRS reps. (≈35 min)

Carlo e Isabella aspettano i loro amici a cena.
Carlo and Isabella are expecting (waiting for) their friends for dinner.

La mattina Davide prepara la colazione per i suoi bambini.
In the morning Davide prepares breakfast for his children.

– Qual è il pranzo di oggi?
– Lasagne

– What’s (what is there) for lunch today?
– Lasagna

Image
– I am very pleased to see you
– Me too

Any and all corrections welcome!
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:55 pm

WEDNESDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2021
Today I’ve decided to give DL more of a fair shake and spent over half an hour with it (rather than the usual 5-10 min). Surprisingly enough, it’s beginning to grow on me – while using the computer, mind you – the app, with its vast assortment of annoying pop-ups and gimmicks, remains an absolute disaster. Anyway, the short lessons, easygoing grammar tutorials, and little stories make it a nice break from more demanding kinds of book learn'in. One could justifiably call DL language learning lite, but that’s still better than skipping a day. In addition, I’ve reviewed the introductory notes for the Assimil program. I went over these a long time ago… but wanted a quick refresher, both to evaluate my current approach and gather some additional inspiration/motivation. Finished up with SRS in the evening. (≈60 min)

lui taglia il pane
he cuts the bread

l’acqua bolle
the water boils
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:12 am

THURSDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2021
Tłusty czwartek, Fat Thursday, is a wonderful excuse to pig out on some heavenly pączki (Doughnuts? What an inadequate translation!). Supposedly Poles consume over 100 million of these guys every tłusty czwartek – about 3 per capita. I am happy to report I did my duty to uphold this tasty statistic.

Image



Language learning wise, I had a strange urge to return to Colloquial Italian: The Complete Course for Beginners (C) by Sylvia Lymbery, which I didn’t really gel with all that much last year. I looked over my notes and did some Unit 3. Also a quick rep or two with SRS and DL.

I got started pretty late with Italian today, and had to stay up to reach my 365 challenge objective. I like that this challenge motivates me to do something, whereas I would probably just take a day off otherwise. (≈40 min)
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:58 pm

FRIDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2021
Wrapping up the workweek, I continued with C Unit 3, followed by a few minutes of SRS and DL. (≈40 min)

La sera la gente viene qui a fare la passeggiata.
In the evening people come here to take (do) a walk.

Giorgio abita a Firenze?
// Abita a Firenze, Giorgio?

Does Giorgio live in Florence?

Lavori in un ospedale, vero?
You work at a hospital, right?

Come si chiama il medico?
What’s the doctor’s name?
(lit. ‘How does the doctor call himself?’)

SATURDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2021
Very basic day, had to stay up late to make sure I clock in my 30 minutes, which I’ve spent with DL (story, scriptorium and a few new lessons) and SRS. Need to start getting to language learning earlier in the day! I keep telling myself that… (≈30 min)

SUNDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2021
DL and SRS only. (≈31 min)
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:35 am

MONDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2021
Another “hardly working” day, with only ≈30 min of effort towards Italiano, using the Assimil method. Working on Lesson 11. Aiming to push myself a bit more, in order to see some noticeable progress in the upcoming weeks and months. Health hasn’t been very good, which sort of gets in the way.

TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2021
Duolingo (DL) and spaced repetition (SRS) only. (≈40 min)

Gli uccelli mangiano frutta.
The birds eat fruit.

Tu bevi il tè.
You drink [the] tea.

Non vuole venire in California con me.
(She) doesn’t want to come to [in] California with me.

Sono un po' triste.
(I) am a little sad.

WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2021
Picked up Colloquial Italian (C), continuing with Unit 3, along with some DL. Another late night, so cutting the update short. (≈40 min)

La risposta è sì.
The answer is yes.
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:10 am

THURSDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2021
Just DL today, but still keeping my head above the water, if only just barely! (≈30 min)

Quanta acqua bevi?
How much water do (you) drink?

Giovanna è in un museo con suo nonno.
Giovanna is in a museum with her grandfather.

Sono studenti della facoltà di medicina.
They are medical students.
(lit. They are students of the Faculty of Medicine.)

FRIDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2021
Allowed myself a less-than-structured day, watched some Nuovo Espresso videos on YouTube to see if my comprehension has improved. The first three videos were a breeze, while the fourth still proved slightly too demanding – I got the general meaning tho, and even picked out some new vocab from the context. Also SRS and DL in the late, late evening. Time for sleep. (≈30 min)
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:05 pm

SATURDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2021
DL, SRS, and a new C dialogue from Unit 3 → scriptorium, pronunciation, vocab, etc. Nothing fancy.

Ellie è il mio cane.
Ellie is my dog.
(Can you say “il mio cane” for a female dog?)

SUNDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2021
Tonight, tried something new – Speakly. I’m doing a 7-day trial, and will be focusing on it for the next week or so (if I like it). So far so good, it’s a very straightforward app, and yet seems to be packing more of a punch than most well-known competitors, like Duolingo. Dare I say… a more “serious” language learning app? TBD.

Predictably I'm using it for Italian, starting from the beginner level. Some repetition here, sure, but it's actually a welcome reinforcement of the foundations (shaky, in my case). Besides, even the very first listening exercise introduced some words and phrases I haven't seen yet! Ouch. (≈30 min)

anche io la penso così
I think like that as well
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:27 am

MONDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2021
First full day using Speakly, got some great sentences. Mixing the app with some of my favorite approaches: speaking out lout, scriptorium, SRS, etc. One thing I’m finding inconvenient is that the lengthy texts are not divided in any way. Would be great to mark the spot where I'd like to resume next time, or at the very least have a paragraph number or whatever to reference later on. (≈50 min)

come vanno le cose?
how are things going?

sempre di più
more and more
(Lit. always of more)

questa non è la mia macchina
that’s not my car

non lo so
I don’t know

non lo so perché
I don’t know why

Io vivo in Italia. Vengo da Siena ma abito a Roma. Mi piace Roma ma mi piace anche Siena.
I live in Italy. I come from Siena but I live in Rome. I like Rome but I also like Siena.

La mia casa è piccola ma mi piace.
My home is small but I like it.
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:36 am

As I’ve been giving Speakly a proper test drive this week, I’ve decided to forego the daily updates (which would be a bit too tedious, both to read and to write!).

Here’s a mini review of Speakly, followed by the usual daily breakdowns. Compared to other apps I’ve used over the years, Speakly stands out. There’s a lot less handholding, especially when compared to the most well known alternatives: Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, etc. No, this is not your typical language learning edutainment app.

Speakly throws you into the deep end of the pool fairly quickly, and expects you to mostly figure things out for yourself. In other words, no high fives and "good jobs" given here every time you match an image of a girl with the word “girl” for what feels like the 75th time (if you ever used other apps, I'm sure you can relate). Instead, you are very quickly entrusted with a solid wall of text to read (and listen to) …and told that it’s okay not to understand. The idea is to keep listening, adding more words, and slowly figuring out how things work.

There’s also a rudimentary grammar section, which goes for a quick overview of the most relevant concepts. Perhaps some LLORG members will find this grammar section lacking, but I personally appreciated the straight to the point, no frills, approach. It's a good starting point.

The app’s main flaw, in my opinion, is that there isn’t enough variety in terms of what's on offer. I’d like to see more midsize listening pieces and conversational exchanges (let's say 8-12 sentences) thrown into the mix. It can get a bit monotonous at times – you’re mostly spending your time learning small word clusters while deciphering the latest “unlocked” wall of text. That being said, it seems that the app’s creators are passionate about the project, and actively improving it. So, I’m expecting it to improve over time.

In general, my recommendation would be to give it a shot, but expect to use it in combination with something else (maybe Assimil and a more serious grammar book?). That’s how I will try to get the most out of it.

In any case, I highly recommend it. It’s really worth taking a look, I got a chance to try it using the 7-day free trial currently available on their website. And now I’m upgrading to a 6-month paid membership.

For those who would like to try it for longer than 7 days, I can offer anyone my personal invite link for a 30 day free trial. Hope it doesn’t go against LLORG rules to share it (but if it does, mods feel free to remove it). Please note, I’m not affiliated with Speakly in any way, and do not get paid for promoting them. However, full disclosure, I believe there is currently some small perk (2 extra weeks towards my subscription?) should anyone use my link. If you do not want to use it, the regular 7 day trial is available without any special link directly on their website.

And with that out of the way, it’s time for the usual daily roundup (in brief):

TUESDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2021
Speakly (≈33 min)

WEDNESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2021
Speakly (≈30 min)

THURSDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2021
Speakly (≈32 min)

FRIDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2021
Speakly (≈40 min)

SATURDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2021
Speakly; SRS (≈32 min)

SUNDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2021
Speakly (≈31 min)

Che ne pensi?
What do you think?
why is it “ne”??

Queste non sono le mie cose
These are not my things

Questa è una cattiva idea.
This is a bad idea.

Ti piace il tuo lavoro?
Do you like your job?

Scusa, non ti sento bene
Sorry, I can’t hear you well

Quando vai a Roma?
When are you going to Rome?

Sei stato a Roma?
Have you ever been to Rome?

Lui ha troppi libri a casa sua
He has too many books in his house

Come si dice in italiano?
How do you say that in Italian?

Questi sono i miei amici
These are my friends

io sono in un bar in centro
I’m at a cafe downtown

io vengo con piacere
I’m glad to come
(Lit. I will come with pleasure)
Last edited by Raconteur on Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Postby Raconteur » Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:04 am

MONDAY, 1 MARCH 2021
Had big plans for today (and for the week and month ahead), but as often happens in life, little went as expected… including an emergency visit at the dentist’s office! At last, got a few minutes to study late in the evening, only a few. Continued with Speakly and reviewed some Assimil recordings from the early lessons. My comprehension of spoken Italian seems to be getting a bit better. A clear sense of progress is something I don’t experience very often – too bad, as it is a great motivation booster! (≈33 min)

TUESDAY, 2 MARCH 2021
Finally, the long awaited day of studying. Today Italian was the priority, with plenty of time devoted to Speakly and Paul Noble (PN), along with a new addition, Schaum's Outline of Italian Grammar, Third Edition (Sch). I remember using Sch all the way back in high school. I didn’t take full advantage of it then, but it still was enough to ace Spanish and French (too bad that passing had/has little to do with speaking or understanding :roll: ). I don’t know why I haven’t thought of hunting down a copy for Italian earlier. What I really like about Sch is the simplicity of presentation, combined with many, many examples, certainly way more than is necessary! (≈4h)

Mangio tre volte al giorno.
I eat three times a day.

Io non mangio carne.
I do not eat meat.
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