Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

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Bex
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Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby Bex » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:14 pm

About me
I live in Spain and I would like to be able to talk with my neighbours, dentist, doctor supermarket attendant….etc, etc. I love the Spanish way of life, the weather, the food, beaches, mountains, fiestas, people and I would like to be able to integrate more with this colourful, sociable, wonderful way of life.

My journey so far
Year 1 2015: Lazing around in the sun
I learnt the basics slowly (how to order a beer) and lived in a very “ex-pat” area, apart from the postman, pretty much everyone spoke English. I was still adjusting to a new way of life, enjoying the sunshine and being lazy.
Year 2 2016: Frustration
I tried teaching myself at home, started many courses and finished none. I got frustrated with my lack of speaking practice so I tried Spanish classes which were awful, I think I only spoke twice in six months. I remember my Spanish teacher saying to me “your grammar and writing are good, I can’t understand why you don’t speak?”. I left the class shortly after, I realised I had taught myself more at home and my speech was not improving. I also moved out of the ex-pat zone, and started to really need to be able to speak Spanish. I started my original log to encourage me to finish my courses, give me some confidence and encourage me to speak.
Year 3 2017: Finding my way
I went back to teaching myself and had an almighty struggle with myself to continue with my studies. But I did it, I finished Assimil, Glossika 1, Michel Thomas and Duolingo, thanks to much support on here along the way. Then I got lost again, I didn't know what to do after the courses and I still wasn't speaking. Towards the end of the year I really had to push myself to start using everything I had learnt, so I set myself some challenges and focused on output for the last 3 months. Writing and taking iTalki lessons have been my main focus, as well as one specific grammar focus which is past tense usage, which I have been improving with Anki.

Year 4 2018: this log in it's entirety.

My original log can be viewed here: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=3949

So that’s it really… I have learnt a lot about myself and learning a language since I started my first log in September 2016 but I still have no idea what I'm doing.

I have found along the way that focusing on one thing at a time is really the only way for me, otherwise I end up trying to learn everything. I am a terrible procrastinator but I am also determined and I can do things which sometimes I think I can’t.

This year I have a long list of things I wish to improve/learn and a long list of ways I would like to achieve this. Next job is to cobble a plan together for the new year.
Last edited by Bex on Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SC 2018/19: Spanish
100 books: 73 / 100
100 films. : 80 / 100

FSI Basic Spanish:
Vol 1 - 01-15: 15 / 15 :D
Vol 2 - 16-30: 4 / 15

User avatar
Bex
Green Belt
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:10 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7387
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Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby Bex » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:19 pm

Mini-Challenges:

Completed
18/01/2018 - First Spanish Book read: Short Stories (Olly Richards) - 285 Pages. (2.5 lookups per page)
24/01/2018 - Notes in Spanish: Inspired beginners - 30 podcasts.
29/01/2018 - B1 reader 120 pages: Nuevo año, nueva vida. (1.4 lookups per page).
07/02/2018 - La Gran Nevada - 35 pages.
07/02/2018 - Notes in Spanish: Intermediate - 46 podcasts/5:35 hours.
03/05/2018 - A1 reader 18 pages: Una aventura de WhatsApp.
04/05/2018 - Michel Thomas Advanced Course.
22/05/2018 - Mastered Clozemaster 101-500 (6,000+ sentences).
24/05/2018 - Short Stories 2 (Richards) - 235 pages.
10/12/2018 - 126 Unlimited Spanish podcasts read - approx 500 pages (1000 words each).

2018 totals are:
Reading: 2,502 pages (50 books)
Listening: 5,936 mins (98 hours)
Writing: 14,085 words (1 book)
Speaking: 1,680 minutes (28 hours)

On Hold AKA got bored
Clozemaster 501-1,000 played : 5806 / 7800
Read Harry Potter 3. 22 Chapters: 11 / 22
Transcribe 10 NIS Int podcasts: 8 / 10

On Hold AKA Too difficult
Ministerio del Tiempo Season 1: 4 / 8
NIS Advanced Season 1: 8 / 96
Español Automatico podcasts: 3 / 81
Transcribe 5 NIS Adv podcasts: 0 / 5

Resources:
Steven Universe Transcripts: http://es.steven-universe.wikia.com/wik ... Castellana
Ministerio del Tiempo Season 1 scripts: http://www.rtve.es/television/ministeri ... emporada1/
Parallel text books (classics): http://paralleltext.io/
Pluton BRB Nero http://www.rtve.es/m/alacarta/videos/pl ... chapters_4

Super Challenge Progress:
Total: 37.6 books & 29.7 films

May 2018: 5.4 books / 2.4 films.
June 2018: 1.1 books / 1.6 films.
July 2018: 1.1 books / 1.6 films.
Aug 2018: 1.1 books / 1.6 films.
Sept 2018: 2.6 books / 2.5 films.
Oct 2018: 8.1 books / 11.6 films
Nov 2018: 10.8 books / 7.5 films
Dec 2018: 7.4 books / 1.1 films
Last edited by Bex on Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:07 am, edited 44 times in total.
2 x
SC 2018/19: Spanish
100 books: 73 / 100
100 films. : 80 / 100

FSI Basic Spanish:
Vol 1 - 01-15: 15 / 15 :D
Vol 2 - 16-30: 4 / 15

User avatar
Bex
Green Belt
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:10 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7387
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Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby Bex » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:24 pm

List of grammar points I would like to improve this year....most of these I have learnt (some not very well) but I would like make more automatic and natural when speaking/writing.

In no particular order.....
Past tense; preterite vs imperfect.
Top 50 verbs in present, preterite and imperfect. Particularly stem changing and irregular and irregular first person.
Common connectors, slang etc
Por vs Para.
Tener que and Hay que
Acabar de and Volver a
Personal ‘a’ - I always forget :roll:
Comparisons, comparatives and irregular comparatives
Demonstratives: this, that etc.
Hacer usage with time expressions
Superlatives; muy, sumamente, -ísimo.
Direct and Indirect object pronouns.
Present progressive.
Numbers, especially years.
Saber vs Conocer
Pedir vs Preguntar.
Reflexive verbs
Relative pronouns; que, quien, lo que, el que etc.
Past perfect; habia
Formal,informal and irregular commands.
Prepositions; de, a, etc.
Subjunctive.

Anyway, this is my own personal grammar course for the year. To be learnt/noted using YouTube, text books, listening and reading. Then I will practice during writing and speaking. One grammar point at a time will be in "focus" during all other activities.
Last edited by Bex on Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:54 am, edited 4 times in total.
2 x
SC 2018/19: Spanish
100 books: 73 / 100
100 films. : 80 / 100

FSI Basic Spanish:
Vol 1 - 01-15: 15 / 15 :D
Vol 2 - 16-30: 4 / 15

AndyMeg
Blue Belt
Posts: 544
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Languages: Spanish (N), English (B2-C1), Japanese (A2-B1), Korean (Beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7431
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Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:32 pm

I'm also planning to start a new log.

Muchos ánimos en este nuevo comienzo y que aprendas muchas cosas y, sobre todo, ¡¡¡que disfrutes mucho tu travesía!!! ;)

By the way, I'm curious about something. Why did you choose this name for your log: "Improbable ambitions"?
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Bex
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Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:10 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7387
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Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby Bex » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:52 pm

AndyMeg wrote:By the way, I'm curious about something. Why did you choose this name for your log: "Improbable ambitions"?

Because I always set the bar too high and this year will be no different :lol:
4 x
SC 2018/19: Spanish
100 books: 73 / 100
100 films. : 80 / 100

FSI Basic Spanish:
Vol 1 - 01-15: 15 / 15 :D
Vol 2 - 16-30: 4 / 15

User avatar
Bex
Green Belt
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:10 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7387
x 1086

Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby Bex » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:03 pm

Right new plans.

Reading: I am going to start reading every day, Santa brought me a kindle and I am trying to read Spanish everyday. hoping to make a habit, I will use this month to gauge limits and consider goals with reading, as it not something i have done in Spanish much and so I suspect it will take a while to settle into. At the moment I am aiming for 2.5 hours a week, I shall see how it goes and also how many pages 2.5 hours equates to.

Writing: Going to sign up to the output challenge and aim for 50,000 words for the year. I will continue writing to my email pen-pals and I may also start a journal, just because I am really enjoying writing at the moment.

Listening: Still a struggle, going to use January as my trial month, so using the same strategy as reading, I will try different things and see which one sticks, and then try to turn it into an enjoyable habit. I think this is going to be the most difficult area for me.

Speaking: One italki lesson a week, I won't include this in the output challenge officially as it won't be recorded and so wouldn't count but I shall set myself the same target of 50 hours speaking for the year. I will probably have to find another activity to top up the time to complete my challenge. I may try reading aloud or go back to Glossika GSR and repeat the sentences for 20 mins each day.

Grammar: I have a list of topics I wish to cover this year, some are areas of revision, some are areas I know that I struggle with and some will be learning new stuff, I am going to use a mixture of Anki, YouTube and text books to learn/revise/cement these things. I did this at the end of last year with the past tenses and focusing on this one area for two months has made a massive difference to my confidence and my comprehension of material. When reading, listening, writing and speaking I shall try and focus on each particular grammar point as well. I will assess my grammar and move onto the next item on the list once I feel relatively confident in each area. I hope to have visited each grammar item before the end of the year. The list will be amended as and when required.

Hopefully all 5 things at once, with focused "noticing" and "usage" should all reinforce each other and create a good drive froward over the coming months.

My input I still struggle with and I am yet to find ways that are enjoyable for me to receive input in Spanish, I am hoping that with the reading and listening I can find fun activities and I have allowed myself this month to experiment and find these enjoyable activities.

I should point out that this is just my plan, what I would like ideally to achieve, I know I will not achieve all of these things and that is fine.

ETA: Grammar list now added to log a few posts back.
5 x
SC 2018/19: Spanish
100 books: 73 / 100
100 films. : 80 / 100

FSI Basic Spanish:
Vol 1 - 01-15: 15 / 15 :D
Vol 2 - 16-30: 4 / 15

User avatar
Bex
Green Belt
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:10 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7387
x 1086

Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby Bex » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:52 am

Update/notes on trying to adopt my new routine this week...

Reading: I appear to be able to read around 20-25 pages of Spanish (on kindle smallest font size) in 30 minutes, so I shall set my reading target to 100 pages per week. Which works out at 5,200 pages per year, my annual target for my progress bar will be 5,000 pages to allow for a small amount of life happening. I have to say that it surprises me that after only a few days of 30 minutes reading I am seeing an improvement and it is becoming more enjoyable already.

Writing: I have decided to use my grammar list to start writing a journal (or story, something anyway) each week, I will concentrate on each of the items on the list in order (saves me having to decide which one is next) and also try to focus on this one grammar area in particular when writing to my pen-pals. I will move onto the next grammar area once I feel comfortable using it in my writing.

Listening: I am currently listening to podcasts but I can see this becoming boring after a while. I may leave this activity a bit more open and try to keep it to "fun" activities. I have set myself a goal of 2 hours of audio each week, which can be TV, films, podcasts, Netflix, YouTube, anything. Anyway it's podcasts for now - I may set myself a mini challenge to finish the Notes in Spanish beginners and intermediate series.

Speaking: I have booked an iTalki lesson for 45 minutes on Friday but I need to add more speaking time to meet my unofficial unrecorded Output Challenge target of 50 hours this year, so I need to find a short activity to make up the time each week...if anyone has any ideas?

Grammar: This months focus is 'past tenses' until February, then it will be 'Top 50 verbs in present, preterite and imperfect'. Hopefully I should have settled into a good routine by then.

I will start logging my weekly targets progress each Friday as I did on my old log....keeps me motivated. My weekly targets appear to be settling at around...

Reading: 100 pages
Writing: 1000 words
Listening: 120 minutes
Speaking: 60 minutes

ETA: Now that I have added all my new progress bars for 2018, my new log title seems so much more appropriate :lol:
5 x
SC 2018/19: Spanish
100 books: 73 / 100
100 films. : 80 / 100

FSI Basic Spanish:
Vol 1 - 01-15: 15 / 15 :D
Vol 2 - 16-30: 4 / 15

AndyMeg
Blue Belt
Posts: 544
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Languages: Spanish (N), English (B2-C1), Japanese (A2-B1), Korean (Beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7431
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Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:26 pm

Bex wrote:Speaking: I have booked an iTalki lesson for 45 minutes on Friday but I need to add more speaking time to meet my unofficial unrecorded Output Challenge target of 50 hours this year, so I need to find a short activity to make up the time each week...if anyone has any ideas?

Would speaking imitation practice count for speaking? If so you could do 15 minutes a week or so. Just choose a short dialogue or speech you like (if you have the transcript it's even better) and start shadowing it out loud, then try to say it at the same time that the speaker and with the same intonation and rhythm. When you have mastered it you can move on to another short dialogue or speech (at the beginning it may take more time that you would expect but the more you practice the easier it becomes) ;)
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User avatar
Bex
Green Belt
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:10 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7387
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Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby Bex » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:12 pm

AndyMeg wrote:
Bex wrote:Speaking: I have booked an iTalki lesson for 45 minutes on Friday but I need to add more speaking time to meet my unofficial unrecorded Output Challenge target of 50 hours this year, so I need to find a short activity to make up the time each week...if anyone has any ideas?

Would speaking imitation practice count for speaking? If so you could do 15 minutes a week or so. Just choose a short dialogue or speech you like (if you have the transcript it's even better) and start shadowing it out loud, then try to say it at the same time that the speaker and with the same intonation and rhythm. When you have mastered it you can move on to another short dialogue or speech (at the beginning it may take more time that you would expect but the more you practice the easier it becomes) ;)


Great idea. I could use my Assimil dialogues for this to start with, I've been dying to go back to them and see if I have improved since I last looked at them. I could try and choose a dialogue each week to shadow that covered my current grammar focus as well...ooh another addition to my weekly routine is taking shape. Thanks AndyMeg
1 x
SC 2018/19: Spanish
100 books: 73 / 100
100 films. : 80 / 100

FSI Basic Spanish:
Vol 1 - 01-15: 15 / 15 :D
Vol 2 - 16-30: 4 / 15

AndyMeg
Blue Belt
Posts: 544
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Languages: Spanish (N), English (B2-C1), Japanese (A2-B1), Korean (Beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7431
x 932

Re: Bex's Spanish log 2018. Chapter 2: Improbable ambitions

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:25 pm

Bex wrote:
AndyMeg wrote:
Bex wrote:Speaking: I have booked an iTalki lesson for 45 minutes on Friday but I need to add more speaking time to meet my unofficial unrecorded Output Challenge target of 50 hours this year, so I need to find a short activity to make up the time each week...if anyone has any ideas?

Would speaking imitation practice count for speaking? If so you could do 15 minutes a week or so. Just choose a short dialogue or speech you like (if you have the transcript it's even better) and start shadowing it out loud, then try to say it at the same time that the speaker and with the same intonation and rhythm. When you have mastered it you can move on to another short dialogue or speech (at the beginning it may take more time that you would expect but the more you practice the easier it becomes) ;)

Great idea. I could use my Assimil dialogues for this to start with, I've been dying to go back to them and see if I have improved since I last looked at them. I could try and choose a dialogue each week to shadow that covered my current grammar focus as well...ooh another addition to my weekly routine is taking shape. Thanks AndyMeg

You're welcome! ;)
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