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From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:32 pm
by Raconteur
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. 2020 False Steps of a False Beginner
  2. 2021 365 Challenge

The title says it all. I am determined to make language learning a permanent fixture of my everyday life. That’s starting today – Friday, July 24th, 2020. Why today? Frankly, I’m very tempted to hold off and start on the first of the month, or better yet, first of the year. That would feel very satisfying, for some strange, human reason. But then again, why wait? I don't want to wait.

I'm writing this log to track my journey and stay motivated.

Please keep me company. Keep me accountable. Keep me from burning out after one week.

Taking on the Italian language challenge has been on my mind for a very long time. Day 1, I’m starting with audio-only resources, as I want to get used to the sound of the language before attempting anything else. I plan to add something text-based after about 10 days of study, but we will see how it goes.

FRIDAY, 24 JULY 2020
Today, Collins Italian with Paul Noble (PN), overview and some basic concepts (≈35 min)

Suo padre non ha preparato il caffè per me.
Your father did not make [hasn’t prepared] the coffee for me.

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:34 pm
by golyplot
Good for you for not waiting for arbitrary calendar events to start. It's an easy trap to fall into, justifying indefinite procrastination. It reminds me of a couple years ago when I was planning to wait until New Years to resume studying French, but decided that was silly and just started immediately in late December. It turned out to be a great move because it resulted in me going to a French meetup group that proved to be helpful with conversation practice.

Of course, in the case of Japanese, I did wait until New Years to start. Mostly because that makes it easier to track and explain how long I've been learning.

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:21 pm
by Raconteur
SATURDAY, 25 JULY 2020
First thing in the morning, I reviewed some of the Paul Noble (PN) from yesterday. I did 15 min of audio, followed by some scriptorium using the PN booklet. While the main resource is audio-only, my memory is rather bad, and the additional practice is much needed. I hope the supplementary reading/writing doesn’t affect my pronunciation, however.

In the early afternoon, following a nice bicycle ride, I got a second wind [picking up a new drip coffee maker I ordered in town]. I tackled new PN material (≈30 min) with some drip in hand. And yes, I know, I know, given the target language it really should have been an espresso.

Time/energy permitting, I would like to do a few reviews this evening.

Ho prenotato una camera.
I have reserved a room [pre-noted a chamber]

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:26 pm
by Raconteur
golyplot wrote:Good for you for not waiting for arbitrary calendar events to start. It's an easy trap to fall into, justifying indefinite procrastination. [...] in the case of Japanese, I did wait until New Years to start. Mostly because that makes it easier to track and explain how long I've been learning.
Thank you for the encouraging words! I actually think annual goals are pretty sweet. It would be nice to say: "I have done Italian for exactly 1 year, and this is where I am today." Maybe once I built up my habit, I can think of some annual goal(s)... but here I go again, getting ahead of myself. Baby steps.

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:11 am
by golyplot
Raconteur wrote:It would be nice to say: "I have done Italian for exactly 1 year, and this is where I am today." Maybe once I built up my habit, I can think of some annual goal(s)... but here I go again, getting ahead of myself. Baby steps.


Technically, you can do that no matter when you started. Starting at the beginning of the year just makes it a lot easier to remember.

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:29 am
by Adrianslont
golyplot wrote:
Raconteur wrote:It would be nice to say: "I have done Italian for exactly 1 year, and this is where I am today." Maybe once I built up my habit, I can think of some annual goal(s)... but here I go again, getting ahead of myself. Baby steps.


Technically, you can do that no matter when you started. Starting at the beginning of the year just makes it a lot easier to remember.

You’ve got a phone? Put the date in your calendar and set it to repeat. Add an alert a couple of days out so you know your anniversary is coming. Celebrate!

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:21 am
by Raconteur
Good points Adrianslont and golyplot! :P
Celebration alert set for July 24th, 2021

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:17 pm
by Raconteur
SUNDAY, 26 JULY 2020
Another decent day – did not do any scriptorium, but managed to do a quick audio review. I also went ahead with new PN material (≈50 min). On the one hand, I don’t feel like I’m doing enough. On the other, I know from experience that burnout is always just around the corner (for me anyway). In short, slow and steady wins the lifelong learning race.

Vorrei una camera per tre persone per tre notti.
I would like a room for three people for three nights.

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:24 pm
by Raconteur
MONDAY, 27 JULY 2020
Managed to get started before 8 AM today, which for me at least is very, very early. Some audio reviews of PN followed by new material in the early afternoon. Finished CD 2 (out of 12). Before going to bed I plan to do a few minutes of scriptorium, probably not much. Today’s PN total ≈60 min.

Vorrei prenotare un tavolo ma vorrei sapere se è romantico
I would like to reserve a table but I would like to know if it’s romantic. :oops: :lol:

I also revisited Anki, a tool I haven’t used in ages. I don’t need it just yet, I mostly wanted to refamiliarize myself with it. I looked at some old decks from 2016 to see what can be improved this time around. I’m of the opinion that SRS is an amazing invention, but requires a lot from the user to be effective. I’m still working out how to best use it. Any personal advice or article links on better SRSing would be very much appreciated!

On a more personal note, a nice lady at the municipal office informed me that I will need to give up my US driver’s license in order to get a local one. This is quite problematic… I would really like to be able to drive in the EU, but losing the US license (which often functions as a state ID) is rather unappealing. Not sure how to tackle this one.

Re: From Weeklong Learner to Lifelong Learner

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:49 pm
by Raconteur
TUESDAY, 28 JULY 2020
Audio review of PN CD 2, followed by some new material from CD 3, first thing in the morning. Already getting a bit annoyed with some of the forgetting. Perfectionism is something I struggle with a great deal, not just in the area of language acquisition. I understand that learning is all about making mistakes… but that’s something I understand. Frustration is something I feel. All of this reminds me of a great quote someone shared with me on the old forum (HTLAL), supposedly attributed to some edition of Assimil German: “Before you learn something, you will have to forget it seven times.” In the evening another session → audio review, one new lesson, and 10 min of scriptorium. (Total for the day ≈80 min)

Il risotto è perfetto
The risotto is perfect.