drp9341's 2 year Polish Immersion & advanced Spanish + Portuguese + Italian

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drp9341
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby drp9341 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:10 pm

reineke wrote:I just finished reading a sad story about a 13-year-old Polish boy who took his own life after being bullied for looking "gay". He was beaten but he pretended to have a stomach ache so as not to "snitch".

Young kids are more likely to tattle. Later it becomes a social no-no. I don't think Polish kids are different in this respect.

“In early childhood, it’s normal for kids to share social problems with parents,” says psychologist and school consultant Michael Thompson, author of Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children. At times, they legitimately need our help resolving disputes and soothing hurt feelings.

But by second grade, inviting adults into social conflicts is clearly not cool. Perhaps because this is also the age, around 7 or 8, when a child has the ability to distinguish between what does and doesn’t need to be told.

“Kids who tattle get labeled – tattletale, squealer, snitch – and left out,” says Thompson. Bringing infractions to an adult’s attention sets your kid up for friendship failure.

Tattletale kids

...Parents may assume kids tattle because they don’t feel empowered to stick up for themselves, says Fran Walfish, a child and adolescent psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, California. That’s not true.

“Kids tattle because they’ve developed a strong sense of right and wrong and they start policing other people,” says Walfish. Tattletales suffer from an overdose of conscience..."

The most prominent reason is a developmental stage called “rule-governed behavior.” Somewhere around 5, kids begin to understand there are rules to be followed – but they don’t have the capacity to distinguish between major and minor rule-breaking. The result is that every broken rule is brought to an adult’s attention.

How to respond

It seems obvious: Giving attention to a child who tattles will only reward her for it. But experts say parents shouldn’t dismiss kids’ reports or tell them to “Get over it.” Sometimes, kids just want a safe place to share their concerns.

“Kids won’t say, ‘I need you to listen to this and be outraged on my behalf and then do absolutely nothing,'” says Thompson, “but 90 percent of the time that is what they want.”

Here are nine tips to help you with your little tattletale:

Consider motivation. Look at what prompted the tattling. Is the child speaking up because he knows a rule has been broken but hasn’t developed the cognitive skills to understand when it’s important to and not to tell? Does he lack the social skills needed to resolve problems on his own? Kids also may tattle if they feel something is unfair, to get another child in trouble, for attention or approval, or for deflection.
Brush aside but don’t boot..."

Metro Parent

"Children are unrepentant tattletales. And when your kid’s big mouth tosses the blame at your feet, it’s tempting to chalk up their bald-faced honesty to self-preservation. Why did your son tell your wife that you broke that fancy dish? Because he was afraid she’d blame him! But a new study in Social Development reports that children tattle even when they know they cannot be blamed for a transgression. The results suggest kids tattle to reinforce social norms, not to save their own skin.

“Children tattle about third-party moral transgressions even when they cannot be held responsible for those transgressions, suggesting that children’s tattling serves cooperative rather than self-serving functions,” according to the study. “This highlights the impressive ways in which children enforce moral norms and thus help maintain cooperation.”

https://www.fatherly.com/health-science ... le-snitch/



Thank you so much for this. I often get accused of "thinking to deeply" about things, especially behavior. However, these last few weeks have been a whirl-wind and I've functioning on auto-pilot for everything not related to my job / future income.
This was exactly the kind of thing I needed to read. I'm going to think about this some more, and I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Today, I asked 3 teachers about the "snitching" that was so rampant. Two of the Polish teachers said the same thing, that it was ridiculous. One blamed it on being a private school, and the other just shook her head in disapproval. I then a third time today asked an American teacher, and he said, "I must say 80 times a day to these kids that they need to stop snitching."

ALSO TODAY: I caught a girl cheating on a quiz. She denied it at first. Then she broke out in Polish, "FINE, I ADMIT I TRIED TO A LITTLE BIT, BUT "MARTA(not the actual name)" HELPED ME!" (I saw her pestering "marta" and "marta" was nervous and didn't want to do it, but the "cheater" is one of the "cool kids".)

I actually got angry. I told her cheating is one thing, but betraying someone who takes a risk to help you is despicable. I told her I didn't want to speak to her anymore, and let her sit in shame for the next hour.

I'm teaching these young kids stupid basic english words like "T-Shirt" that they'll learn anyway through continued immersion. What's more important is life skills.
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby Ani » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:43 am

I know you're thinking really hard to think about teaching life skills and encouraging social development, but if you were teaching one of my kids at age 7, I'd lose my sh*t. You're ideas are far more appropriate for 10-12 year olds. 7 year old are emotionally little more than babies. They just *look* slightly more competent on the outside until they fall apart. It's not an easy age but they really will grow up one day, life lessons or not.
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby drp9341 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:43 pm

Ani wrote:I know you're thinking really hard to think about teaching life skills and encouraging social development, but if you were teaching one of my kids at age 7, I'd lose my sh*t. You're ideas are far more appropriate for 10-12 year olds. 7 year old are emotionally little more than babies. They just *look* slightly more competent on the outside until they fall apart. It's not an easy age but they really will grow up one day, life lessons or not.


The kids love me. They learn and they have a lot of fun during class. There are two girls however, who intentionally hurt other students in the class. They try to be all sweet and cute, and then when they believe I'm not looking or within earshot, they actively try to hurt the other students emotionally.

Cheating on a test, bullying "less cool" children, and then ratting out her "friend" just to try to save her own skin? I followed all appropriate protocol. I contacted the parents. I'm incentivizing approximations towards acceptable behaviors with rewards, rather than a punishments. However, in a situation like this, with a student like I described above, you really think it's wrong of me to reprimand her?

I don't have children, so I can't in good faith say I know where you're coming from, but you're saying that you would be okay with your kid, assuming he/she is intellectually capable, and socially intelligent enough to "lead the pack," doing what this kid did?
Please don't misunderstand me here, I'm not trying to win an argument. I actually want to know your rationale, and your suggestion as to what could have been done differently on my part.
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby Ani » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:53 am

drp9341 wrote:
Cheating on a test, bullying "less cool" children, and then ratting out her "friend" just to try to save her own skin? I followed all appropriate protocol. I contacted the parents. I'm incentivizing approximations towards acceptable behaviors with rewards, rather than a punishments. However, in a situation like this, with a student like I described above, you really think it's wrong of me to reprimand her?

I don't have children, so I can't in good faith say I know where you're coming from, but you're saying that you would be okay with your kid, assuming he/she is intellectually capable, and socially intelligent enough to "lead the pack," doing what this kid did?
Please don't misunderstand me here, I'm not trying to win an argument. I actually want to know your rationale, and your suggestion as to what could have been done differently on my part.



No of course not. I don't let *anything* slide when it comes to kindness and peer interactions.

You mentioned three general areas in the last few pages:
a) tattling
b) crying in front of agemates
c) shaming of misbehavior

Reineke posted some good stuff on development & trust. When those kids come to you, they're telling you they value you and your advice on their relationships with each other... with their limited social skills. I'm not denying it's annoying, but it helps to keep perspective. Encouraging them to consider their agemates (let's face it, classmates are not often suitable peers) over adults as their "community" is playing the serpent in the garden of Eden. You risk cutting short those precious last years when they value adult opinions before the emotional & social wasteland of puberty. In 2-3 years time those kids will have lost any interest in what you think about their relationships & actions, and the chance to instill social values will be lost.

This plays into encouraging not crying in front of others. It sits very poorly with me although my husband would probably agree with you \_(ツ)_/¯

For the third one, obviously I have no idea how your phrasing here related to what happened in the classroom. I really believe it's important to be vigilant in enforcing respect, kindness, honesty, etc. It's also really important to model the ways we make up for our actions and forgive others. Calling a kid out on the misbehavior is only step 1. Shame is not a good way to teach compassion & communal living.

Edit: I'm a little tired tonight act I can't tell if my post looks a little harsh. If so, it's not intended. Here's some smilie faces to set the mood :D :lol: :D :D :lol:
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby drp9341 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:26 pm

Ani wrote:
drp9341 wrote:




I think we agree on everything here. I have to read some more into Reineke's study, I'm looking forward to finding the time to go over it again to understand it better.

This weekend I'll be totally immersed in Polish, so next week I'll finally be able to bring this log back to the main topic - learning Polish.

Something I wanted to mention, was how I'm hearing a whole new "type" of Polish by listening to the kids. Polish grammar is rough. These kids use very simply grammar, and lots of short sentences, and communicate perfectly with each other. I'm trying to internalize this so that I can "fall back on" simple yet correct speaking. Since inevitably my grammatical knowledge will fail me, and I can revert to simple structures instead of starting to "wing it" mid sentence, (knowing I'm butchering the grammar.)
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby drp9341 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:53 am

So I've made a lot of progress in Polish, but in ways that I did not at all expect, and in ways that I'm not sure.

My daily use of Polish is basically:
- Listen to the students speak Polish all day. They mostly speak English in class, but if they're on topic, and discussing their work or debating on what to do, I pretend I don't hear.
- Speaking with co-workers in Polish around an hour, not every day, but 3/5 days of the week. The other days it's short necessary chats.
- Trying, and failing, to study Polish with Anki or reading on the kindle, but it has been pretty futile.

I started using LingQ 10 days ago, I bought the full package, and I must say, I really like it. I need to learn more of the noun declensions, but I can't stomach studying it all that much. Through LingQ and reading on my kindle, I learn new words, look up verbs and noun conjugations/declensions, while learning new words, which helps.

Supposedly my Polish has gotten "very very good." This is referring to my conversational language though. I struggle to read anything advanced, and I don't know a lot of words that adults use in more nuanced conversation. Regardless, I can respond "fluently" with a good accent and few grammatical errors, so it makes my "knowledge" seem to be much more than it really is.

Almost everyone is very confused when they find out my parents are Polish, or that I'm not a Ukrainian/Slavic immigrant. This is pretty funny, but I understand the reasoning behind it. My accent, and grammatical accuracy is much better than any "westerner" I've met that moved to Poland as an adult. They may speak better than me, or know much more than me, but if the conversation is on simple topics, the guy with a very good accent, and very accurate grammar and fluency is going to seem much better at the language, even though it's as often untrue as it is true.

The rush at work as calmed down, (or it seems to be,) so I'm going to get back to studying Polish. Doing what I've been doing, and also trying to learn technical vocabulary for a construction/building/renovation related project that I will need to be able to translate during. Aside from that all is going as planned. I need to focus on expanding my vocabulary and sentence structures, as well at using verbs more accurately, and learning more declensions for the words I already know. I'm going to continue reading on my Kindle, and using LingQ for a while, as those seem most appropriate for fixing my current weaknesses.
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby drp9341 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:46 pm

Alright guys! So, I've switched my life up a bit since my last post. I am no longer working at as a primary school. It was a tough decision, but so far it definitely seems to have been the right one. (hopefully in 3 months I wont be coming here beginning for money :? )

Since then I've restarted my online business, spent a week on an exchange in the mountains, and have basically cut the amount of time per day I'm speaking/listening to English from 95% all the way to 10-50% (depending on the nature of my work that day.)

During that 7 day exchange I spoke LOTS of Polish, and LOTS of Portuguese. The first 2 or 3 days I had some troubles understanding European Portuguese, but by the end I was understanding around 80% when they would talk quickly and excitedly amongst themselves, and basically everything when they would talk directly to me, even the one guy who supposedly, "eats his words."

I was on the exchange with 2 of my Polish friends, and the coordinators were all Polish as well. I did everything from translating the original documents into English, interpreting presentations ( ***the 3 presentations I translated were about some psychological theories that I had studied intensively in University, and am very familiar with.)

We all did a lot of partying, which was fantastic, but we also saw and did some cool stuff. My Polish seriously improved.

I think that the stress, lack of sleep, and bad eating habits caused by my last job, "hid" some of the progress I had made. Once that "weight" was removed, my mind kind of "leveled up."

I've been spending a lot of time with friends, working with clients I genuinely enjoy working with, and speaking basically all of my (B2 or higher) languages daily. I was out to dinner last night, with a group that had 2 monolingual Poles, and 2 monolingual Spaniards, and I was face-timing one of my cousins (he's Italian,) for over an hour, right before I got to the restaurant.

I was honestly shocked at the ease I was able to switch between Polish, Spanish, and English. It's amazing what stress can do to your brain's natural abilities. Normally if I would speak Italian for that long, my Spanish would be (at least for a few minutes,) "Italianized."

So now... for the Polish part of this segment...
My MAIN issues are...
1. Improve vocabulary, - - - using LingQ for this.
2. Have people correct my grammar and ask for the right way to say things, (mainly the declensions, ie: I don't remember/know how to say X in the genitive plural.)
3. Slang, (through texting people, and asking what things mean when I don't understand them.)

Obviously I need to improve everything, but I've noticed these three categories are where I'm the weakest. I still get lost sometimes if someone starts telling me their "crazy story" on the phone.

I'm pretty honest about my lack of understanding though. If someone is speaking to fast, I tell them I don't understand them, and if someone is telling me a long story, I'll ask clarifying questions, tell them to repeat etc. I find this is something I should have done with other languages, but when I was younger I was too proud to do this sort of thing lol.

I wish everyone the best! Thanks for reading!
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby drp9341 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:20 pm

this month I'll spend 8 days in Italy, then 8 days in Spain :D :D

I'll be staying with my friend and his brother in Italy. It will be 8 days of total immersion. The brother's girlfriend is bilingual, (one of her parents is a native speaker of English,) but everyone else that I know there doesn't speak to me in English. I've been using a lot of Italian for the past 5 days, and I've noticed a few things...
1. Accent: I'm pronouncing the consonants way too strong. I recorded myself telling a story and I could hear myself hitting the consonants really hard, not even in an English way, it's definitely because of Polish :shock: . I've fixed it more or less, but I caught myself on the phone yesterday saying 'anche' as 'ANkì' which is really weird.

2. It's so easy: I make mistakes when I speak Italian, especially if I have to talk about something I have weak vocabulary for in Italian. I never really read in Italian, so there are certain subjects, (like cooking words, or car-repair related words,) that I have to circumvent for.

3. Problems with the articles, thanks to POLISH :| : I love Polish, but it's amazing what it's done to my romance languages. In Spanish my subjunctive is really rusty. In Italian I'm either - putting the definite article everywhere, or not putting the article at all. I can hear it sounds wrong as soon as I say it, but it's really weird. I remember spending a lot of time working on the direct article in Italian. It's used differently than in English, but it's too close that sometimes I transfer from English. I'm getting better though. I've been looking up a lot of stuff, and having my friends in the group chat correct me, (really only one of them corrects me lol.)

¡Spain!
I'll be staying with a good friend of mine, who's been living in Andalusia for a while. He's bilingual in English, but his Spanish is probably better than his English now. He seems to know a lot of people over there, so it should be good practice. I've been getting random video calls from him and his friends for a while now, and I gotta admit, I'm surprised that I can understand the Andalusian accent as well as I can. There was one person one time who I couldn't understand that well, I had to pay attention really closely, but I was able to converse. At the end of each sentence my brain sorta put the words together and made sense of it, and I could respond. It'll be an interesting experience. I hang out often with some Spaniards here, but we have fun with the fact that my Spanish is so different to theirs, especially considering that how I look does not match what they hear, (given their stereotypes of Latin Americans). However, when I watched the first episode of that new Spanish show on Netflix, "Elite" I had to look up a lot of the slang. I'd say about 1/3rd of it I knew before, but at least 2/3rds of the words were new. I then realized that I've never really been "immersed" in a social circle of Spaniards my age.

I'll have 3 days in Poland to smooth all the "Italianisms" out of my speech, (between my stays in Italy and Spain,) so it should be all good.

The way I'm working now allows me to travel around like this. It's amazing. Next fall I'll be going to grad school, so I'm going to enjoy my freedom while I still can.

(Polish)
My Polish is the same. I'm so immersed in it, that even though I stopped deliberate study for a while, (except for doing my Anki routine ~4x a week,) I really don't feel any difference. I've talking to my girlfriend a lot in Polish, and we watch funny youtube videos or TV shows in Polish pretty often. Plus, I get phone calls and emails in Polish daily, about either my business, private students, translation clients etc. I really don't have a choice at this point haha. For now, life won't allow me to even think about forgetting Polish lol.
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby SGP » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:42 am

drp9341 wrote:2. It's so easy: I make mistakes when I speak Italian, especially if I have to talk about something I have weak vocabulary for in Italian. I never really read in Italian, so there are certain subjects, (like cooking words, or car-repair related words,) that I have to circumvent for.
As for circumventing, this is what I am required to do too sometimes, both in a beginner's level language of mine like Italian, and in an intermediate one like Spanish. Especially because I am one of those who (even if they did rote memorization of vocabulary in the past) choose to only learn through immersion and exposure.

So if I wanted to talk about brewing tea, I would have to use terms like "the thing that gives you hot water" :lol: or something similar. To some degree, I consider those words as somewhat more specific than, for example, water, bread, house, sky, etc. (you get the picture). They are a bit jargon-y, even if it is kinda like an everyday jargon. ;)

What are your experiences when talking about things using circumvention, rather than the shorter and more precise words that I also do not know in many cases? Do those whom you talk to understand your intention rather easily, or does it require a bit of additional thinking and pondering upon what you said? From my experience, those whom I talked to using anything different than the very words they really got used to, well, some of them still were easily able to understand my intention, but others weren't able to do so easily, or it wasn't possible at all to be understood even in some cases.

drp9341 wrote:3. Problems with the articles, thanks to POLISH :| : I love Polish, but it's amazing what it's done to my romance languages. In Spanish my subjunctive is really rusty. In Italian I'm either - putting the definite article everywhere, or not putting the article at all. I can hear it sounds wrong as soon as I say it, but it's really weird. I remember spending a lot of time working on the direct article in Italian. It's used differently than in English, but it's too close that sometimes I transfer from English.
Any concrete example on transferring the article?

drp9341 wrote:I hang out often with some Spaniards here, but we have fun with the fact that my Spanish is so different to theirs, especially considering that how I look does not match what they hear, (given their stereotypes of Latin Americans).
And I also would be interested in knowing the meaning of "how I look does not match what they hear". Even if what is intended it may be obvious to some others, it isn't really clear to me. ;)
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Re: Drp9341's Polish /RUS/ARB/ITA/SPA/PT/FR log!

Postby drp9341 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:02 am

SGP wrote:
drp9341 wrote:As for circumventing, this is what I am required to do too sometimes, both in a beginner's level language of mine like Italian, and in an intermediate one like Spanish. Especially because I am one of those who (even if they did rote memorization of vocabulary in the past) choose to only learn through immersion and exposure.

So if I wanted to talk about brewing tea, I would have to use terms like "the thing that gives you hot water" :lol: or something similar. To some degree, I consider those words as somewhat more specific than, for example, water, bread, house, sky, etc. (you get the picture). They are a bit jargon-y, even if it is kinda like an everyday jargon. ;)

What are your experiences when talking about things using circumvention, rather than the shorter and more precise words that I also do not know in many cases? Do those whom you talk to understand your intention rather easily, or does it require a bit of additional thinking and pondering upon what you said? From my experience, those whom I talked to using anything different than the very words they really got used to, well, some of them still were easily able to understand my intention, but others weren't able to do so easily, or it wasn't possible at all to be understood even in some cases.


I usually never have a problem with this, but it's because I've been doing it my whole life in my native language, (English.) I stutter, and while it's not noticeable to hardly anyone, I have needed to change words my whole life in order to not stutter. So circumvention is something I do in all languages, English included. (It's not recommended for stutterers, and if I am going through a "almost no stuttering phase," then I don't have to circumvent to avoid a stutter more than once or twice a day.)


drp9341 wrote:3. Problems with the articles, thanks to POLISH :| : I love Polish, but it's amazing what it's done to my romance languages. In Spanish my subjunctive is really rusty. In Italian I'm either - putting the definite article everywhere, or not putting the article at all. I can hear it sounds wrong as soon as I say it, but it's really weird. I remember spending a lot of time working on the direct article in Italian. It's used differently than in English, but it's too close that sometimes I transfer from English.
Any concrete example on transferring the article?


I can't think of any specifically, it's more that I question my texts constantly, (I need to check context.reverso .com pretty often,) and I ask a lot, "È meglio dire, l'italiano o italiano?" for example. I'll try to pay attention, that's a good question!

drp9341 wrote:I hang out often with some Spaniards here, but we have fun with the fact that my Spanish is so different to theirs, especially considering that how I look does not match what they hear, (given their stereotypes of Latin Americans).
And I also would be interested in knowing the meaning of "how I look does not match what they hear". Even if what is intended it may be obvious to some others, it isn't really clear to me. ;)[/quote]

It's because I'm 6'3" (190cm) and very white, (even though I have brown eyes and hair.) The stereotypical look of a Mexican / Central American is, (at least in the USA, and I'm guessing Spain also apparently - but please correct me if I'm wrong,) is a short, stocky / muscular build, dark skinned person with facial features different to that of a European. Even though there are LOTS of Mexicans that look to be fully European, they seem to be underrepresented in the diaspora; unless you go to Mexico / Central America, you will hardly ever meet Mexicans / Central Americans that look fully, "white." (insofar as they have no physical features that would ever make one question whether or not they had non-white ancestry.) I remember when I was in middle school, (maybe I was 13,) we met a Mexican American who looked completely white, (he looked like he was German or something,) and me and my friends, (some of them 'hispanic' themselves :lol: :lol: ,) didn't believe him for probably a week. We seriously thought that he was making a joke.
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