Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

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aokoye
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Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:56 am

So after a long hiatus from this forum I'm back. My depression is what kept me away but it hasn't kept me from German for a handful of reasons. I just finished my fourth German class of the school year and now that the Spring term is over I'll have more time to devote to learning German, as opposed to studying German and two linguistics courses. I will be taking two 8 week classes over the Summer but it should be a more relaxed course load than this past term.

Despite the incredible amount of stress that was the past 12 weeks (Spring term) something really clicked with my German sometime in March and my reading comprehension has really started improving again. One of my larger goals for German is to pass the C2 Goethe Institut Prüfung but my goal for this summer is to increase my vocabulary. Last Summer it was all grammar all the time which worked out really well, this Summer it's vocabulary.

My more concrete plan is:
  • Go through my Grund und Aufbauwortschatz book each day and put the words that I don't know into Anki including the sentences that are provided in the book.
  • Work through two chapters of the Mittelpunkt B2 Intensivtrainer per week (which should take six weeks) - we used the regular Mittelpunkt B2 textbook in my German classes this calendar year but I want to review it and already have the Intensivtrainer.
  • After Mittelpunkt B2, start a C1 textbook
  • Read more books in German - I have a subscription to the Goethe Institute's online library and am currently reading Ich träume deutsch: ... und wache türkisch auf. Eine Kindheit in zwei Welten and having no almost issues with comprehension.

I'm also wanting to look for Skype partners because I know it would really behove me to work on my speaking. I have a friend in Vienna who I instant message on iChat in German. We've known each other for four or five years and send each other packages once or twice a year. When I told her my plan she more or less immediately switched to typing in German :)

So yea - those are the goals right now. So far I've gone through he first 11 of 18 chapters of Grund und Aufbauwortschatz. I'm working through the "Grund" (A1-B1) vocab first and will then go back and through and work through the "Aufbau" section (B2). I started working through it on the 2nd of this month and so far things are going surprisingly smoothly. I've also started putting words (with sentences) from Mittelpunkt into Anki so we'll see how that affects things.

I feel like I should probably also write short essays and put them on iTalki or Lang-8 for correction but I have no idea if I'll have the time and/or energy. It would be great if I could but overburdening myself is not the answer.
Last edited by aokoye on Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby IronMike » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:02 am

Welcome back!
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aokoye
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby aokoye » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:44 am

I should note - I eventually want to take the C2 exam because I want to get a masters in translation at a German university. That may or may not happen but one can dream...
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aokoye
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby aokoye » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:36 pm

Despite being very tired (I think my body is trying to recover from finals week) I managed to get all of my Anki reviews and 35 new cards done. I'm just under half of the way through with the Grundwortschatz in Chapter 12 of the Grund und Aufbauwortschatz book. Despite the book being thematic in construction, the later chapters end up having more vocabulary (with the exception of the very last one) than the earlier chapters. As a result of that and likely just having less knowledge on this theme I ended up with 103 words that I didn't know. That's more unknown words than the first five chapters combined!

Yesterday I read around 20 pages from Ich träume deutsch: ... und wache türkisch auf. Eine Kindheit in zwei Welten which I'm really enjoying. It's a memoir about a woman who was born in Turkey but moved with her mother, father, and older sister to Germany when she was a baby. I have had no major problems with reading comprehension so far which has been really encouraging. There are some words that I don't know but I haven't had to actually look anything up in order to aid in comprehension. The only real issue I realizing that when the author was referring to "Anne" she was referring to her mother - it's apparently the Turkish word for "mom" or "mommy". There's another book that I want to read after this that is currently "checked out" from the Goethe Institute's elibrary. If it isn't available by the time I'm done with the book I'm reading right now I'm probably going to dip into one of my textbooks that was written for German students (in German).

My goal for the rest of the day is to reread the texts from the first chapter of the B2 intensivtrainer and go through the listening part as well. I also want to finish the second chapter of the workbook from the Grund/Aufbau vocab book (there's one main book with words and sentences and then two workbooks).
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby Cavesa » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:14 am

Great to have you back!

And thanks for sharing, you are a great source of German inspiration!

I am looking forward to hearing of your progress.

Two questions:
1.I've noticed there are two or three course series for learners after B1 and perhaps, in a year or so, I will be around the B1. What is Mittelpunkt like?
2.If I remember correctly, you used to put the vocab from your Wortschatz book to a Memrise deck. Are you gonna continue with Memrise as well or have you abandonned the platform? And would you share your anki deck eventually, please?
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby aokoye » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:01 pm

Cavesa wrote:Great to have you back!

And thanks for sharing, you are a great source of German inspiration!

I am looking forward to hearing of your progress.

Two questions:
1.I've noticed there are two or three course series for learners after B1 and perhaps, in a year or so, I will be around the B1. What is Mittelpunkt like?
2.If I remember correctly, you used to put the vocab from your Wortschatz book to a Memrise deck. Are you gonna continue with Memrise as well or have you abandonned the platform? And would you share your anki deck eventually, please?



Aw thanks Cavesa, I'm glad to be back! I'm not going to continue with Memorize, at least not for this list, but I will share the Anki deck or at least the spreadsheet that I put all of the vocab in. The way I make both Anki decks and Memrise lists is to put all of the vocab into a spreadsheet and then either copy and paste it into a .csv file for Anki or copy and paste it into Memrise's bulk entry tool. This isn't isn't going to have anywhere near the 4000 words in the list rather just words that I don't know or have trouble with but I can still share it if you want it.

There are actually current five or six, if not more, series for German learners after B1. That said I liked this book. I should note that we used the first edition. A friend of mine who was in my class Winter term had the 2nd edition and the changes didn't seem major so I wouldn't have any hesitation recommending it. The text and workbook were both good and the pages are parallel, which is to say page 42 in the textbook corresponds with page 42 in the workbook. It was surprisingly useful (though probably more so for a classroom environment than a self learning one). All of the answers for the workbook are also in the back of the book which is very useful. The workbook exercises were actually really useful and none of them require group work (I've looked at workbooks that have instructed you to work in groups which I find absurd). The texts were, for the most part, pretty interesting and I found them appropriate for the level. 43 of the texts come from real world sources (they're listed in the back of the book) which averages to 3.5 of the texts per chapter. Said sources include die Zeit, Psychologie heute, and the Berliner Zeitung.

We didn't use any of the listening exercises so I can't speak to that part of the book. That said I was listening to German podcasts and watching TV in German on a regular basis through both classes that we used the book for so I didn't miss the listening.

The other B2 and C1 book series are: Studio die Mittelstufe, various series by Schubert Verlag including Erkundungen, Aspekt Neu (which Klett now publishes - I think they bought part of Langenscheidt), Sicher!, Ziel, and em Neu (the last three of which are both published by Hueber).

The books I would recommend are Mittelstufe, Erkundungen, and it looks like the Studio Mittelstufe B2 book is also good. I have what is essentially the B1 version of Erkundungen and I really liked how much reading there was. If I remember correctly there was also an answer key. The one drawback is that it's almost totally black and white which, for better or worse, does actually make a difference for me. What is nice though is that Schubert Verlag books are combined Lehr and Werk books so you don't have to buy the two books separately. There's "Blick ins Buch" for Studio Mittelstufe and it also looks good. The website indicates that there's an answer booklet included with the textbooks. It, unlike the Schubert books, makes good use of color and layout.

The other thing about Erkundungen is that it goes through C2. I think there are maybe two other books at that level. I will likely use it if and when I reach that level. That said, for C1 I'm really waffling over which to use.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby Cavesa » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:51 pm

Thanks for all the information! I hope to be ready to use it in a year or so.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby Elenia » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:26 pm

Great to see you posting again, Aokoye, and glad that your German motivation is going strong.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby vogeltje » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:37 pm

Tolle Idee um die Prüfungen zu machen. Viel Erfolg damit wünsche ich dir!!

ich würde auch irgendwann eine deutsche Prüfung machen weil ich gar nichts zu zeigen habe, dass ich Deutsch sprechen kann.
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aokoye
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German

Postby aokoye » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:23 pm

German is still going well. I'm still plugging away at Anki but smartly lowered the new cards per day to 20 from 35. If I had stayed at 35 the reviews would have quickly overwhelmed me. I've also completed added more cards through the 14th chapter of the A1-B1 section vocab book. It's funny because it says that the words in that section correspond with the the words that will be in the B1 text but I'm almost positive there are plenty of words that are more advanced than B1. That said I don't have much of a problem with that because my goal is to have a good enough understanding of the language to translate, professionally, from German into English.

I ended doing the exercises in chapters 2 and 3 in the vocabulary workbook.

When I was typing out my last post, about the various B2 books, I realized that I might want to do some of the exercises in the Mittelpunkt B2 workbook again. We spent far more time in my classes with the textbook than the workbook and I think it would do a lot to firm up my grammar and general understanding. I am also realizing that, while it's great that I watch the news in German almost every day, I need to read more news in German.

I kind of wanted read a bit more of the book that I am reading on my iPad (the one about the Turkish immigrant) but I ended up spending all afternoon and evening hanging out with a good friend and then going to two vigils.

My language goals for today are:
  • Read at least one chapter in the memoir
  • Do exercises from the first chapter of the Mittlepunkt workbook (I think I might go for a chapter every one or two days)
  • Complete the exercises in chapter 3 of the vocab workbook (for reference, I'm currently learning words from chapter 12)
  • Read at least one newspaper article in German
  • Watch the news in German while cooking dinner or lunch (tonight's dinner involves making pasta sauce with meatballs in the slow cooker so I'm going to start on that right after I finish this post)
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