Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

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NoManches
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby NoManches » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:57 pm

A very quick recap on the experience I just had with my first of 25 telenovelas for this month:

I watched the entire episode from beginning to end, stopping occasionally (and putting on Spanish subtitles) to make out words or dialog that I couldn't understand.

Normally as I watch if I want to add a word to my vocabulary I'll look it up on my phone and then add it to anki. This takes a lot more time than I'd like. For the very first time while watching a TV show, I pulled out my notebook and wrote down words/phrases as I was watching. This was much quicker and less distracting than using my phone to look up words (I watch netflix on a tablet, had I been using my computer I'm sure I would be even more distracted).

When I was done with the show I went back to a 1 minute section that had given me some problems. I watched it with subtitles, rewound the section, and as I watched it again with subtitles I wrote down the script. I only did this for 30 seconds or so because it took up a good 12 lines of paper and got tiring. I figured that writing down what I hear might be more effective than simply reading what I was hearing on the screen. NOTE: I was not transcribing, just copying the subtitles for the 1 minute clip I selected. (I have done a ton of transcribing in the past but at this point I don't have time for it anymore).

I would say that this was a very effective day of study. I didn't even bother to time myself but I feel like this exercise will take me about 1 hour in the future if I get efficient at it. (45 minute telenovela, 10 minutes to look up unknown words, 5 minutes to review a 1-2 minute section that was hard to comprehend). I'm not sure if I will go back and try to decipher an entire 10 minute clip as I had mentioned before. There is plenty of dialog in a 2 minute clip, not to mention the fact that the entire show I was rewinding little segments in order to make out words, phrases, and dialog.

That's all I'm going to watch for today in terms of novelas. If I'm craving some massive amounts of input I'll watch some YouTube videos for the rest of the day. My goal is to do some serious intensive work with novelas this month and I'm afraid that if I fall in the habit of binge watching shows that I'll start to miss out on important stuff.

Oh, and one more thing: maybe this is a result of my recent trip to Colombia but my comprehension for this show was much higher than it has been in the past! :D
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Super Challenge:
: 3400 / 5000 Spanish books
: 6720 / 9000 Spanish films

NoManches
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby NoManches » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:59 am

Worked my way through another telenovela today. My listening comprehension must have improved quite a bit because I am understanding a very decent amount of the show (something like 95%+). I feel like some of this improvement is due to the fact that I am limiting myself to one show (which is tough because I really want to keep watching episode after episode). I subconsciously say to myself: "You can only watch one novela today, no matter how bad you want to watch the next one. You better make the most out of it"

I was watching and rewinding as needed but I found that to be very annoying. What I started to do after about 10 minutes in was simply write down the time of scenes that I had trouble with or wanted to go over again. Also, I would write new words down as the show was playing, trying not to pause or rewind (I think I mentioned this the other day). Once I was done with the show I reviewed the vocabulary, and then rewatched the troublesome scenes. I mentioned this yesterday, but one thing that helped me a lot was writing down the dialog of a certain scene. Reading it a few times and trying to make sense of it, then watching the scene a few times seems to be pretty helpful for me.


I caught up on a decent amount of reading this morning as well. I just found the PERFECT book(s) for me that are super interesting, originally written in Spanish by a Mexican author, and are at my level. On an average page of my kindle there might be a few words I don't understand (usually adjectives that I'll never use in real life), but other than that I'm understanding the story very well. I have decided to slow down my reading however to make sure I am comprehending everything that I read. Even in my native language (English) I will sometimes find myself reading words but not paying attention to them. The advantage I have in English is that even when I do this I can get a sense of what is happening since English is my native language and I'm a good reader. In Spanish I sometimes do this as well but since it is not my native language, I just zone out and miss a lot of important stuff. I constantly remind myself to pay attention and go back to comprehend things that didn't quite make sense to me (sometimes I'll understand every word but have to think about the general meaning...if that makes any sense).


In summary, this month is all about "somewhat intensive" work. In the past I tried to go through as many pages and hours of TV that I could get through. This month is all about quality over quantity. My hope it that after this month I can go back to the "quantity" method but actually get more out of it since my comprehension will hopefully be better at the end of this 25 day "mini challenge".
1 x
Super Challenge:
: 3400 / 5000 Spanish books
: 6720 / 9000 Spanish films

NoManches
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Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Estados Unidos (near the Mexican border)
Languages: English - (N)
Spanish - B2++ (estimated)
Some day (far from now): Portuguese, Lao, and/or Italian
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2513
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby NoManches » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:00 am

Worked my way through another telenovela today. My listening comprehension must have improved quite a bit because I am understanding a very decent amount of the show (something like 95%+). I feel like some of this improvement is due to the fact that I am limiting myself to one show (which is tough because I really want to keep watching episode after episode). I subconsciously say to myself: "You can only watch one novela today, no matter how bad you want to watch the next one. You better make the most out of it"

I was watching and rewinding as needed but I found that to be very annoying. What I started to do after about 10 minutes in was simply write down the time of scenes that I had trouble with or wanted to go over again. Also, I would write new words down as the show was playing, trying not to pause or rewind (I think I mentioned this the other day). Once I was done with the show I reviewed the vocabulary, and then rewatched the troublesome scenes. I mentioned this yesterday, but one thing that helped me a lot was writing down the dialog of a certain scene. Reading it a few times and trying to make sense of it, then watching the scene a few times seems to be pretty helpful for me.


I caught up on a decent amount of reading this morning as well. I just found the PERFECT book(s) for me that are super interesting, originally written in Spanish by a Mexican author, and are at my level. On an average page of my kindle there might be a few words I don't understand (usually adjectives that I'll never use in real life), but other than that I'm understanding the story very well. I have decided to slow down my reading however to make sure I am comprehending everything that I read. Even in my native language (English) I will sometimes find myself reading words but not paying attention to them. The advantage I have in English is that even when I do this I can get a sense of what is happening since English is my native language and I'm a good reader. In Spanish I sometimes do this as well but since it is not my native language, I just zone out and miss a lot of important stuff. I constantly remind myself to pay attention and go back to comprehend things that didn't quite make sense to me (sometimes I'll understand every word but have to think about the general meaning...if that makes any sense).


In summary, this month is all about "somewhat intensive" work. In the past I tried to go through as many pages and hours of TV that I could get through. This month is all about quality over quantity. My hope it that after this month I can go back to the "quantity" method but actually get more out of it since my comprehension will hopefully be better at the end of this 25 day "mini challenge".
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Super Challenge:
: 3400 / 5000 Spanish books
: 6720 / 9000 Spanish films

garyb
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby garyb » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:29 am

Hey NoManches, I've enjoyed your last few posts, sounds like good progress with the telenovelas. I agree that there's something to be said about quality as well as quantity of input. I've also found myself not really concentrating on what I'm watching and just waiting for it to finish for the sake of completing one more episode or film. Even with easier material, you get a lot more out of it if you focus on the context and how the language is being used than if you watch it in the background while doing other things.
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NoManches
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby NoManches » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:00 pm

garyb wrote:Hey NoManches, I've enjoyed your last few posts, sounds like good progress with the telenovelas. I agree that there's something to be said about quality as well as quantity of input. I've also found myself not really concentrating on what I'm watching and just waiting for it to finish for the sake of completing one more episode or film. Even with easier material, you get a lot more out of it if you focus on the context and how the language is being used than if you watch it in the background while doing other things.



I agree with your statement 100%! Massive amounts of input is a heck of a lot more usefulif you actually comprehend it all.

Last night I tried watching "Y tú mamá también". That was tough! I think I'm used to the voices in my telenovela. This month one of my goals is to be able to watch that movie from start to finish with a comprehension of at least 90%. Stay tuned!
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Super Challenge:
: 3400 / 5000 Spanish books
: 6720 / 9000 Spanish films

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arthaey
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby arthaey » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:46 pm

Which telenovela and which book are you doing right now?
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NoManches
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby NoManches » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:38 am

arthaey wrote:Which telenovela and which book are you doing right now?



I should have shared this info before, sorry! I think in the near future I will make a post about all of the books that I've found in Spanish as to help other people out (keep in mind that I am very picky with my books: in addition to being interesting they have to be originally written in Spanish, preferably from Mexican or Latin American authors, and written at whatever level of Spanish I happen to be at 8-) )

The show I am watching is: El señor de los cielos - Excellent show with a few different accents in it including Colombian & Mexican.

The book I am reading is called: Nocturno Belfegor: 2 (El libro de los héores)

It is the second book of a 3 book series written by Mexican author Antonio Malpica.

The first and 3rd books are:

Siete esqueletos decapitados: 1 (El libro de los héroes)
El llamado de la estirpe: 3



I am about 50 pages into book 2 and it is really, really, good. I had recently finished another 3 books series by a Venezuelan author. I will share that information later (I forget the book names right now).
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Super Challenge:
: 3400 / 5000 Spanish books
: 6720 / 9000 Spanish films

NoManches
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby NoManches » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:43 pm

Well, my August challenge was a complete failure.

I've been so busy with work, travel, and other things that I haven't had much time to actively study my Spanish. I do study my vocab every day, and have managed a very small amount of conversation practice each week (but not enough). I was doing so good with everything: reading, speaking, listening.....but then it just all....stopped. I don't want to say I got tired of the language, it's just that other things in life have been more important the last few weeks. Instead of squeezing some practice in when I can, I've made excuses and avoided doing anything productive with the Spanish language :roll:


Fortunately, tomorrow is a new month and I can start fresh. I act like I've lost all of my language abilities because I stopped practicing for a few weeks. Yes, I did get a bit rusty but I think a day or two of practice will get me back to where I was. Heck, I'm sure the break I took (almost a month!) did more good for me than bad. After all, I haven't really given myself a break in quite a while.

Tomorrow I will get back at it.....I've enrolled in a few Spanish classes in my local university and will continue to read (and hopefully practice speaking) on a daily basis. I sure am glad that I was able to "snap myself out of it" when I did, instead of waiting longer to get back into my old Spanish routine.
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Super Challenge:
: 3400 / 5000 Spanish books
: 6720 / 9000 Spanish films

NoManches
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby NoManches » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:42 pm

Today is September 10th. That leaves about 112 days in 2016. I think right now is a good time for an "end of the year challenge". I've already put myself in a "sink or swim" situation by enrolling myself in some advanced Spanish classes at the local university. Only a few weeks into classes and I am being challenged in new ways and on a whole new level. Adding some extra challenges in addition to my course work seems like a great way to get as close as possible to immersion, while saturating my brain in Spanish. I have to be very honest with myself as well: the next 112 days will most likely be the best/last opportunity I have to really practice my Spanish for a long, long, time.

Instead of giving myself strict goals that I need to reach, I will be pretty lenient with myself considering that I am under a considerable amount of pressure at work and in the classes I am taking. Below are some goals that I would like to meet. Instead of making this a pass/fail challenge, I would rather keep a tally of how many hours I log in for each activity. I want to reach every goal but if I don't I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

These are the goals I would like to achieve.

Outside of classroom:

Reading:
30 minutes each day.
End of year total: 56 hours

Telenovelas:
160 minutes each week (4 episodes).
End of year total: 42.6 hours

Conversation (with my tutor-not in the classroom):
2.5 hours each week
End of year total: 40 hours

In the classroom:

5 hours of instruction time each week
End of year total: 80 hours

Not included: reading & essay writing for each class

This comes out to a very measly 218 hours of practiced Spanish in a 112 day period. That is not even 2 hours per day. If my goal is to put myself in an environment close to immersion, I really need to step up my game!

Consider this:

In a 112 day period a native speaker will be awake for around 1,792 hours (if he/she gets 8 hours of sleep each day). Let's assume that the native speaker only uses his/her language for 10 hours each day (which is surely an underestimate). In the same 112 period, the native speaker, who is immersed in their language, will use that language for AT LEAST 1,120 hours. (In reality, they probably use the language for 14 hours a day if you consider all the time they spend watching TV, talking to people, reading, listening, thinking in their language, etc.) - this comes out to 1,568 hours of using the language in a 112 day period).

My point is this: if I want to make a drastic improvement in my language skills I need to be logging in at least 5 hours of Spanish each day. Don't get me wrong: even 40 minutes of practice each day is enough to make a difference. But when I consider the fact that 5 hours of practice each day for 112 days comes out to a total of 560 hours, I start to see how insignificant this is. 560 hours is the equivalent of a native speaker living 40 "normal days" assuming that he/she uses the language for 14 hours each day. 40 days of immersion is quite a bit, but is it enough to allow somebody to go from a solid B2 to C1? Possibly.


I am clearly over analyzing things, but by doing so I am really putting things into perspective. Another example: As part of the super challenge I have watched 3,080 minutes of Spanish TV. That seems like a lot but it is only about 50 hours. 50 hours of Spanish seems like a lot, but for a native Speaker or a person immersed in the language this 50 hours is only about 3-4 days of daily "life".


In summary: I have a lot of work to do. The goals I have are VERY reasonable considering how much time is in a day. Even though I have a full time job and am taking classes, a lot of my day is spent doing "pointless" things. Every hour I spend on Facebook could be an hour of reading time. Every time I think in English, could be time spent thinking in Spanish. If I drive and listen to music in English, that is a missed opportunity to use Spanish. Over time, these smalls chunks of time will certainly add up and allow me to achieve the level of Spanish I want.

Even though my goal is 218 hours of Spanish by the end of December, I will be striving to reach that 560 hour mark (5 hours each day). I will do my best to log in all of the time I spend doing each activity on a daily basis (to include things such as essay writing in Spanish).

Good luck to anybody reading this!
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Super Challenge:
: 3400 / 5000 Spanish books
: 6720 / 9000 Spanish films

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flippedsort
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Re: Spanish: B2-->C1 Log

Postby flippedsort » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:58 am

NoManches wrote:
Good luck to anybody reading this!


Good luck to you! It sounds like you're working hard and you'll get a lot out of these months.
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