Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:47 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 7/16/2018

Goal Pace
Start: Week 23 of the year = Project Week 1
End: Week 52 of the year = Project Week 30
Current: Week 29 of the year = Project Week 7
Target Pace: Finish in 25 weeks (allows for vacations, etc.)
Progress 24% of 25 weeks effort

I've pushed really hard the last few weeks and I'm feeling a little crispy around the edges, plus my Telecaster is giving me dirty looks from the corner due to neglect so I'm going to take one of my 5 "off" weeks this week and not bump my targets. I will still do my Anki reviews and the iTalki session I have scheduled, plus I'm sure I'll do some listening, but I'm generally going to take it easy.

Anki
Daily New: 20
Daily Reviews: 120-150
Daily Time: ~20m
Total Cards: ~5000 (~2500 words bidirectional)
Young: 903
Mature: 347

For the first time in a while, I _almost_ didn't do my Anki reviews yesterday... I was running around in the morning when I usually do them and honestly just wasn't into it. But right before bed time I managed to clear them, mostly out of fear of seeing the jump in due cards the next day. :)

Goal - 50 Journal entries
Progress: 12
EOW Target: 12

I still haven't done anything to utilize my corrections and won't do it this week either. Someday...

Goal - 25 hours of Chorusing, Shadowing or Reading Out Loud
Progress: 6:00
EOW Target: 6:00

Two items of note here,
1) I messed up the target in last week's report, that should have been 6:00.
2) It felt like the Chorusing I was doing was making me a little sloppy about correct tones and sounds in order to hit the speed I needed. So I changed this goal to include Reading Out Loud (ROL) which allows me to get some needed practice in perfecting my pronunciation of tones. After doing this a bit, I actually think the two things, Short Loop Chorusing (SLC) and Reading Out Loud (ROL), complement each other really well and also give me some variety in pronunciation practice.

With SLC I tended to loop the same phrase for 2-5 minutes in order to get it to the point I could say it smoothly, and it was great for noticing, understanding and practicing connected speech, i.e. how native speakers will truncate and morph things in full sentences. But sometimes, say 10-20% of the phrases were just too fast and complex for me to say them well and really hit all of the tones and sounds properly.

When I ROL I carefully re-read a phrase/sentence until I can say it fluidly and (to my ear) correctly in one go. This usually only takes 1-5 tries or less than a minute, unlike SLC's 2-5 minutes, so ROL allows me to practice a wider variety of content in the same amount of time. ROL allows me to carefully hit all the tones and sounds to my satisfaction, fixing all of my "known mistakes" and only leaving the "unknown mistakes", where as with full speed SLC I sometimes hit an upper limit where it is clear I'm not yet able to verbally perform even with a LOT of attempts. Yes, I can slow the audio for SLC, but interestingly it doesn't help that much unless I do it to the point of it being unnatural (>20% slower) which kind of kills the point.

In the end, I don't want/need to be able to speak like a native, I just want to speak clearly and be very easily understood so I'm not as concerned about speaking with speed and connected speech. Combining these two methods seems like a good path for now.

Goal - 25 iTalki lessons
Progress: 5
EOW Target: 6

Since I had a conflict last week I got behind in my iTalki sessions, but I'm doing my session this week and not moving up the goal, so in the end I'll be on track.

Goal - 100 hours of Listening
Total Progress: 27:00
EOW Target: 24:00
Intensive: 16:30
Extensive: 10:30

I'm way ahead in my listening and will likely get even more ahead this week. To me this is the most important of the goals and ironically the most enjoyable.

As much as I was sending love to the dual subtitles capability of "PotPlayer", it had an annoying tendency stop showing the subtitles after a few minutes which would correct itself if I skipped back a few seconds. This wasn't a big deal when I listened intensively as I did skip back regularly to re-listen to sentences. But I noticed that, honestly, I don't really need the English subs 99% of the time as I can read most SWC subs fairly easily. So I'm now back to using VLC with just SWC subs most of the time.

I've also collected a hair over 3k vocabulary entries from all my listening (only 2.5k of it is in Anki at the moment) and I'm starting to notice a bit of a slow down in new vocabulary items. Probably 50-75% of the things I look up now are already in my Google Sheet (I made it so duplicates highlight in red) or things I wouldn't put in there (place or organization names I don't care much about or technical vocab about things I don't have an enough interest in to Anki, e.g. "commodity futures").

In general, I can feel my motivation waning a bit which is something I always take seriously. I've been pushing hard the last few weeks and 'stealing time' a bit too egregiously. So I'm going to take it easy this week, play a little guitar, and next week try to find a slightly lighter pace.
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:59 pm

Cantonese - 7/23/2018

The Goal
Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Start: 6/4/2018 (week 23)
End: 12/31/2018 (week 52)
Current Week of the year: 30/52

The thread I started "Preempting Burnout" (https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =14&t=8683) took a totally unexpected turn for me and caused me to re-examine my method of tracking and the nature of how I approached my goals. I had known all along that my set of goals were not easily sustainable long term and I had planned on continuously changing the goals as I felt like it over time. But that thread made me realize that these goals may have been placing unnecessary negative pressure and weren't really needed. So I've nuked the previous list of goals and replaced it with my true high level goal above in all its vague glory. I'd like to be conversational in Cantonese for our next trip to Hong Kong, which will likely be in early 2019, so I'll say roughly by the end of the year. I will still track my activities for both entertainment and motivation purposes, but I won't put much pressure on myself to 'make numbers' or have specific pacing. This will ebb and flow with my schedule, motivation and other activities. I do strongly believe that almost any semi-comprehensible interaction with the language causes learning, so time on task is really the only important thing. I can switch the activities willy-nilly. That said, I will continue my minimal Anki (limited to ~20mins/day of dead time) as it is effective and I already have the habit... why not? I will also keep the regular (weekly-ish) iTalki lessons as they are both the most direct measure and specific practice of my true end goal. As for input and output, I will just do the things that seem appropriate and FUN, at the time, as they come to me. I will continue to roughly track total progress numbers just for the fun of it and perhaps to give some context to my log.

Anki
Daily New: 20
Daily Reviews: 120-170
Daily Time: 18-25m
Total Cards: ~5000 (~2500 words bidirectional)
Young: 990
Mature: 398

iTalki
Lessons: 6
Last Week: 1

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

The above is a guess at how many characters my 12 journal entries so far add up to. I'll probably be fairly lazy about the count and I'll probably do more freestyle journal writing in the future. Primarily I'm using this to build my automaticity with grammar when speaking, so I'll likely do a little studying of my grammar books on the side and worry a lot less about quantity of writing in the short term as I really want to focus on my grammatical accuracy for a bit.

Edit: I'm changing the writing count to characters as this somewhat easier to count (I'm told Chinese characters to English words is about a 3:2 ratio). I'm also counting my Reading Out Loud (ROL), Shadowing, Chorusing under output as it is primarily to practice my pronunciation at speed... even though it clearly is also input at the same time.

Input
Total: 28:00
Intensive: 16:30
Extensive: 11:30
Last Week: 1:00

I've been watching various TV shows, some extensive, some intensive. I plan on greatly increasing the extensive ratio as I go. I'm also getting the point where the vocabulary mining I do (which I would eventually put into Anki) is having diminishing returns, so I'm going to speed up my intensive listening by only doing the dictionary look up if I need it, but not checking my vocab list to see if it is a new word and entering it in my Google sheet. This will make intensive listening faster and less 'work'.

Learning vocabulary from extensive listening/watching/reading:
I experienced one of the very rare instances where I knowingly learned a word from extensive listening/watching/reading Cantonese... sort of. The word was 魔術 (mo1 seot6) "magic". In the TV show I was watching, one of characters is a magician/illusionist and performed a few tricks while talking with another character. They each said this word at least 4-5 times in one scene and I had the Chinese subtitles on. Now the reason I say I "sort of" learned it here is that:
  1. I know the character 術 (seot6 - art; skill) well.
  2. In my studies a couple years back, I'm fairly certain I looked up 魔術 and put it my old vocabulary list (which was ~8k words)
  3. Without context and just by reading, I would have guessed 魔 (mo1) meant something spiritual or mystical but I would not have guessed the pronunciation.
  4. I didn't catch the tones even after they said the word again and again as the native speech was just too quick.
Not clearly catching the tones was REALLY frustrating and I basically had to look it up later to know that it was 1-6. And I realized that in the whole hour or so of listening, that was the ONLY new(-ish) word that I knowingly "learned". There may be unconscious things going on, but certainly not a lot is happening that I'm aware of. This is a reoccurring experience for me, so in the end I'm not sure I'm a big believer in extensive listening for vocabulary learning, particularly for tonal languages. I do think it is GREAT at getting you to hear/understand words you already know from other sources. (i.e. consolidation) That said, my understanding of native speech is far below the 80% level that is often cited as necessary to efficiently learn this way.
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:38 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 7/30/2018

End Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Current Week of the year: 31/52

Anki
Daily New: 20
Daily Reviews: 120-170
Daily Time: 22-28m
Total Cards: ~5000 (~2500 words bidirectional)
Young: 1044
Mature: 484

So I'm a bonehead.
I do everything I can to spend as little time with Anki as possible. When I do intensive input with an online dictionary, I copy/paste vocab into a Google sheet and it is setup to highlight dups in red so I can eliminate them instantly. When I collect a big batch in the sheet, say 500 or so, I bulk import them into Anki. I do my reviews only during dead time and only do 20 new per day, so I expect to keep it around 20 mins a day. All of this is to keep my time in Anki as small as possible. But lately I noticed that my review counts were continuing to slowly climb and I was seeing a lot of the same cards a bit too often so I was getting suspicious that something was off. Yesterday I dug a little deeper and found the culprit: At some point I set the "swipe left" gesture my Android Anki app to "Answer 2".. which is my default action when ripping through reviews during dead time.
Answer 2 != "Good". Answer 2 == "Hard".
So for the last couple of months, 98% of the time I've been marking almost of all the cards "Hard"... Doh!
Fixed.

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

I did no writing last week. I'm taking it easy as life's other pressures (ok, outright chaos) have cropped up.

Input
Total: 32:00
Last Week: 4:00

I've now collapsed my measurement to a single number for input. And basically I'm counting actual audio/video content time, i.e. if I spend an hour intensively watching something that is only 30 mins of actual content, I count this as 30 mins. I'll also subtract out any time that is intro theme song or credits. I had this measure divided into extensive/intensive before, but the truth is most of my input isn't strictly extensive or intensive. I'm usually doing a half-intensive thing where I'll let semi-understood stuff go by and only look stuff up when I'm either really lost or really interested in finding out what that odd word is. One of this reasons this number dropped this week, in addition to the fore mentioned chaos, is that my wife and I didn't watch much of her childhood cartoon this week (我係小忌廉). But I did watch a good amount of the TV drama I've been working through (心戰 - Master of Play).
I'm hoping this week will pick up and I'll get more time in.


iTalki
Lessons: 7
Last Week: 1

I did my lesson with Eldo, I can feel my word salad output has slightly less pauses than before. He is so good at letting me roll most of the time, but then giving me more natural ways of saying things. I've realized there is no substitute for a good tutor when it comes to that kind of information, maybe with the exception of ridiculously massive piles of input? But a good tutor is just so useful and direct for this.
I'm also really hoping to take a little time to read my grammar books and get a refresher on some structures I struggle with during conversation/output.

Output Cards Only?
I was also pondering my Anki snafu and intensive input, and had I thought: Should I drop the input cards and only do output cards?
I've got bi-directional cards today, but I'm thinking I don't need both. I think the output cards are fairly critical for me for output in Cantonese, as I need to drill an accurate knowledge of the tones to speak. And I know plenty of folks do no SRS at all and rely primarily on input for 'natural spaced repetition'. So I'm thinking that if I keep my intensive input fairly high, input cards might not be that necessary, particularly at the intermediate level I'm at.

If I play this thought out, output cards are harder and I won't have 'side channel' reminders when seeing sibling cards. So if I do this I may actually reduce my new card count from 20/day to something like 15/day. And for words that I don't think I'll need to say any time soon, I can suspend them. This can also help with synonyms; i.e. I don't yet need 4 ways to say "to think"... one will do.
Also Since my current 20/day bidirectional really means 10 new words per day, the new process at 15/day and suspending less useful cards would mean I'd grow my core of useful output vocab faster. That said, without the sibling easier input cards, the Anki process would likely be a bit more painful. Hmmmm, I'm undecided.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:42 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 8/6/2018

End Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Start of current Project: 5/16/2018, Week 20/52
Current Week of the year: 32/52, 13 weeks in.

Anki
Daily New: 15
Daily Reviews: ~90-100
Daily Time: ~20m
Total Cards: 2990
Unseen: 2116
Young: 625
Mature: 230
Suspended: 19

I'm enjoying using Anki as ONLY an output tool and I feel this is the right path as I've described here:
https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 97#p112543

I'm actually going to refine this further this week. First, I'm going to drop my new cards per day down to 10. This will allow me to take a little bit more time per card and keep my time with Anki small (maybe even smaller than before). Frankly, I really don't NEED to learn more than 10 new words per day, and this was the same pace I had with bi-directional cards. Also I'm going to be slightly more strict with my grading of cards as I've been a little sloppy with it at times. I'm also dropping my leach threshold from 8 (the default) to 4... I thought I had already done that, but apparently not. Finally, I'm going to be even MORE trigger happy with the suspend button on new cards. I've got literally thousands of cards in the unseen queue, so my plan is to ruthlessly suspend any new card that gives me any excuse to do so. Once I've run out of unseen cards, I'll bulk un-suspend all of them and take another pass. This won't happen for many, many months... heck, I'm more likely to delete the deck before that happens. I'll turn suspending new cards into a game: Can I think of any reason why this word doesn't deserve my attention? *BANG* its gone.

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

No Output this week beyond my iTalki lesson. And I still haven't dug into my grammar book like I wanted.

Input
Total: 34:25
Last Week: 2:25

The number above looks small, but I've been doing a lot more truly intensive listening to my Master of Play (心戰) TV show, and that number is really content run time, so the actual wall clock time is much higher. I also don't count the partial-attention extensive listening to a podcast (RTHK's 捉心理) in the car. This week I'm going to lean a little bit less intensive as I fear that sometimes when I pause to much, I'm cutting up the audio and not really hearing the full sentences. The Chinese (SWC) subtitles are a bit of siren's song for me as they are never word for word (and sometimes even significantly different in meaning) from the spoken audio. But since I can usually easily read the subs I have to stop myself from focusing on them too much and not really listening. All that said, I'm feeling like my listening is really starting to come along. My brain seems to be processing things into words (even if I don't know the words) quickly enough now to where most native full speed speech is no longer just a blur of sounds. Also, as I approach 3500 words collected, my vocabulary mining is finding fewer and fewer words that are new.

iTalki
Lessons: 8
Last Week: 1

Had a great lesson with Eldo. He commented that my speaking has a bit less hesitation and big pauses than before. I can feel it as well, but I am still WELL into the 'conversations are painful for both parties' territory, so I assess myself as low B1 in conversation ability. I mentioned this self-assessment to Eldo and he said that he believed I was higher. He said that while my pronunciation and stumbling to make sentences still needed lots of work, my vocabulary was quite broad and was probably better than his little sister who was born in the US. I appreciated the compliment, but I think some of that vocabulary he was praising was the cheat-sheet of ~20 words I make before each iTalki session for things I might want to say when I guess a topic we might talk about.

Anyhow, I think most readers here are now familiar with my opinion on the CEFR levels :D
https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =14&t=8793

This last week, as is my way, I've spent a bit too much language learning time not actually learning my target language, so this week I'm going to try to re-focus on the real activity and not meta processes. I fully expect to say this in this log many times in the future. :lol:
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:19 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 8/13/2018

End Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Start of current Project: 5/16/2018, Week of year 20/52
Current Week of the year: 33/52, 14 weeks in.

Anki
Daily New: 10
Daily Reviews: ~70-90
Daily Time: ~20m
Total Cards: 3490
Unseen: 2519
Young: 572
Mature: 348
Suspended: 51

As I've outlined elsewhere, I've cut back to 10 new / day production only cards. I'm also suspending a lot more and being more stingy on my grading of cards. This has resulted in me spending roughly the same amount of time as when I was doing bidirectional notes, but I'm focusing on quality and useful output words.

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

No output this week beyond my iTalki lesson below.

iTalki
Lessons: 9
Last Week: 1

Had lesson with Eldo last week, but this week he has a conflict, so we're skipping it.

Input
Total: 38:00
Last Week: 3:30

Again the time above is content run time, not clock time, so this is actually a pretty high number for me. It is also a mixed total of extensive listening/watching and intensive, so there's a little apples and oranges going on there. I've been trying quite hard when doing intensive listening/watching to pause less so that I don't break up the audio too much and lose the flow of the sentences or even worse, only focusing on the subtitles.

My listening is now done in three ways:
  1. Mostly Intensive: When watching my TVB dramas (like 心戰 - Master of Play) I'm doing a mostly intensive activity, but trying to make sure I pause only when I really need to and after full sentences are said. I do the vocab lookup/recording and then usually skip back a couple of seconds to make sure I hear the sentence in full. I don't look up EVERYTHING, but I do pause A LOT. I'd say I get 15-20 mins of content in an hour of clock time.
  2. Pure Extensive: When I watch something Cantonese with my wife at night on the TV, such as cartoons (like 我係小忌廉 Creamy Mami) or some YouTube video. Or the podcast I listen to in the car (RTHK's 捉心理). This is just pure watching for enjoyment, but frankly I don't get a lot of it... particularly when the content has no subs. I also find it hard to not let my mind wander away from the audio when I'm not getting much from it.
  3. Mostly Extensive: This is a relatively new thing. I've been watching a travel/cooking YouTube channel with dual subs (煮家男人 Bob's Your Uncle) and I do this "mostly extensively". I let the video play through without pauses, but I keep a notepad window open with the cursor focus on it, and as I hear a word I want to look up later I quickly type a guess of the jyutping I heard and maybe a guess at the meaning. I attempt to make this as quick as possible and return to listening immediately as the video hasn't stopped.
    This was an interesting exercise for me as I was SO used to doing frequently-paused-intensive-listening that I was instinctively hitting the space bar to pause the video when I heard/saw something unknown... but since the cursor focus was in the notepad window, it would just type a space in the notepad document and there would be a moment of disorientation as my brain expected the video to stop. This took some getting used to. That said, I find this new method works REALLY well as my biggest problem with extensive listening is keeping focused on the audio. I feel like I need to give my brain a task that requires use of the audio in order to stay focused on it. The act of trying to pick out unknown word sounds 'on the fly' is just enough to keep my ears on task. And I already feel like this kind of listening is giving me a different kind of practice than my usual "mostly intensive" work in that I hear the audio 'as a whole'... it already feels like my pure extensive listening is getting a bit better because of it.
During study time I used to do pretty much only "mostly intensive" listening, but now I'm going to try to balance 1 and 3 fairly evenly.
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:55 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 8/20/2018

End Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Start of current Project: 5/16/2018, Week of year 20/52
Current Week of the year: 34/52, 15 weeks in.

Anki
Daily New: 10
Daily Reviews: ~70-90
Daily Time: ~20-25m
Total Cards: 3490
Unseen: 2424
Young: 543
Mature: 446
Suspended: 77

My never ending tweaking of Anki continues. Since I went to Production only cards and I've been more strict about my grading, I noticed I was failing a lot of cards shortly after they became new when the intervals really stretched out quickly. I realized that the difficulty of my production cards was higher than the 'average card' Anki expected (whatever that is) so I needed to adjust some settings to ensure the intervals didn't climb too quickly. I've adjusted the "Interval Modifer" to 80% and the "Starting Ease" to 200%. It will take some time to see if that solves the problem and hopefully it doesn't swamp me with high daily review counts.

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

I've been lazy about output the last 2-3 of weeks (i.e. zero other than iTalki) and I've noticed that right after my session with Eldo I have this huge buzz of Cantonese rattling around my head that rapidly falls off in a day or two. I'd like to keep that buzz going so I'm thinking I should do one of the following:
  • More iTalki - Get a backup iTalki tutor (Or two?) and have multiple sessions per week for a while, even two per week might keep me going if they were spread out. Although this is hard to do from a schedule standpoint and while the cost isn't a BIG problem, it isn't zero.
  • Journaling - Restart my writing output in a more serious way. Not just little essays but a high volume free form journal that I try to write in somewhat daily.
  • Speaking at Home - My wife and I haven't had much luck in the past practicing together, but much of the issue before was that I just wasn't at a level where I could hold much of a conversation. I'm a bit higher level now, but I'm still not sure this will work as I don't want to co-opt our leisure time for language practice (nor would she like that, I'm sure) and when we are doing some kind of work/project it would just kind of get in the way. And short little practice sessions isn't the volume I'm looking for.
Thinking out loud here, or rather typing out my random stream of thoughts really, I'm leaning toward a journal as the only thing preventing me from doing it is my own laziness. :D It also generates a nice record that I can use to find corrections and track progress with.
We'll see if I actually make this happen.

Input
Total: 39:30
Last Week: 1:30

My Input count was fairly low last week as I've been distracted by other priorities, but I'm hoping to have a bit more study time this week.
I'm also going to experiment this week with doing only 'mostly extensive' listening/watching and give the 'mostly intensive' task a rest. As I described last time, the 'mostly extensive' process means I will let the content run without pauses and I will take (phonetically spelled) notes of words I don't know to look up after the video/audio ends. I'm only able to catch a few of the unknowns here and there with this process, but I get to listen to WAY more run time of content per unit of wall clock time. It should give me a LOT more listening practice with known and semi-known words and, more importantly, sentence patterns at the cost of slower acquisition of the unknowns. I believe this would not have been very efficient previously, but my listening skills may now have grown such that this can work... at least for some content.
We shall see.

iTalki
Lessons: 10
Last Week: 1

I had my iTalki session last week, but this week Eldo was all booked up and the next two weeks we each have a conflict, so it may be 3 weeks until I get another session in. I was considering finding another tutor as a 'backup' but I'm not sure its worth the trouble just yet. Plus I REALLY like working with Eldo.
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:43 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 8/27/2018

!! BIRTHDAY EDITION !!

End Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Start of current Project: 5/16/2018, Week of year 20/52
Current Week of the year: 35/52, 16 weeks in.

Anki
Daily New: 10
Daily Reviews: ~70-90
Daily Time: ~20-25m
Total Cards: 3490
Unseen: 527
Young: 533
Mature: 520
Suspended: 1910

The large jump in suspended cards is because I bulk suspended all my unseen cards and then cherry picked out a few hundred to un-suspend back to unseen. This is probably a bit more effective than suspending cards as they appeared in the new queue. I'm spending a bit more time per card, only doing production and being very picky about what I let through... and I think I really like the new process. It seems very focused. I will probably continue to suspend some existing cards here and there as I know that there are still a number of earlier cards that aren't really that important that don't deserve my attention yet.

I realize, as I try to push to B2, that having a semi-narrow focus is really REALLY important, especially for production. It is so very tempting to attempt to "learn it all" right as you leave your course books and start to tackle native materials, but I'm starting to understand that indulging in that impulse is a mistake. More on that in a future post.

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

Still no writing. *Sigh*

Input
Time is content run time, not wall clock study time.
Total: 45:30
Last Week: 6:00

I experimented last week with only doing 'mostly extensive' listening/watching, which is why the time is so much higher than previous weeks where I was doing almost all intensive listening. I've described 'mostly extensive' in previous log entries, but in short: Let the video/audio play through without pausing, keep a doc open and write phonetically on the fly any unknowns I catch. Look them up later, after the audio/video segment is done.

My observations from this experiment:
The big negative: extensive listening is MUCH less efficient at vocabulary acquisition per hour of study time than intensive listening, which is really no surprise. The reasons for this:
1) I catch FAR fewer unknown words as they fly by.
2) When I do catch them, since I'm writing them phonetically, when I look them up later I only find about half of them.
3) Since I look up the unknowns later, I don't have the benefit of that knowledge when I'm encountering them in that episode of the content. (which makes the content less comprehensible)
4) When I do look up the unknowns, for a large portion of the words, I've lost memory of their context so they are more disembodied and hollow in their meaning.
These negatives compound each other and basically mean that the larger raw volume of content doesn't make up for the FAR smaller rate of uptake of new words. I'd guess this ratio will improve as my listening skills and vocabulary improve, but I'm fairly certain it wouldn't ever match intensive listening.

That said, extensive listening has some large up sides:
1) I get to hear a lot more content per unit of study time, which is a bit more 'fun'.
2) I get a LOT more practice with relatively known vocabulary and phrases. (emk's "Consolidation")
3) The issue with pausing too much and chopping up the prosody of phrases and sentences is gone.
4) Spending large sized chunks of time concentrating on listening to pure un-paused TL audio does a good job of keeping the language rattling around in the brain without NL interference.

To sum it up, and I don't think this would be much of a surprise to anyone, I think that Extensive is great for consolidation, prosody, and just plain getting good with what you already kind of know. Intensive is good at building new vocabulary and grammar, i.e. cutting into new territory.

My high level take-aways:
To grow my comprehension vocabulary, since I really don't like using Anki for input and I can't effectively use intensive reading due to Cantonese's diglossia and extensive listening seems to be really inefficient (at least at my current level), I simply must use intensive listening for this purpose. Extensive listening has consolidation benefits that are often missing (at my level) in intensive listening due to all-too-often pauses and look ups. Given the above, I plan on alternating between the two. I'm thinking I'll do one or two week chunks of each one as I've realized I don't like switching between tasks back and forth. I like to do one process for several days and get into the groove of it.

iTalki
Lessons: 10
Last Week: 0

No session last week as Eldo had limited slots and was booked up.
No session this week as its my birthday and I'm taking some time off!
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eido
Blue Belt
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1), dabbling in others
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby eido » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:19 am

Happy birthday and happy progress! I'm proud of you as always. You're so studious. A real inspiration. :'D
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zKing
Orange Belt
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 11:59 pm
Location: Seattle Area
Languages: English(N), Learning: Cantonese, Italian
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7973
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:56 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 9/3/2018
(Posting a day late due to the holiday.)

Since last week was Birthday week (new guitar amp!), plus PAX, plus other random distractions, I did absolutely nothing with languages except for my Anki reps. I'm still suspending cards that are duplicate or annoy me. :)

No iTalki lesson this week either as my tutor is taking some time off.

The only other progress related thing of note is that I realized I'm about 1/2 way through the ~32 weeks from when I started the current project and my rough end-of-the-year goal. I'm pretty happy with the progress so far. Both my speaking and listening are quite noticeably improved; I feel more much confident in claiming my skills as B1 at this point. I'd love to be B2-ish by EOY but I'm fairly certain that is a little unrealistic as it feels like I'm fairly far from the 'without strain' part of this measure: "Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party." Plus I'm expecting my work schedule to get a little more intense this Fall such that I may not be able to focus on Cantonese quite as much as I've been able to in the last few months.

@eido, Thanks for the shout out, I had a great Birthday and some fun extra time off. I'm feeling charged up and ready to charge ahead!

-----------------------------
End Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Start of current Project: 5/16/2018, Week of year 20/52
Current Week of the year: 36/52, 17 weeks in.

Anki
Daily New: 10
Daily Reviews: ~70-90
Daily Time: ~15-25m
Total Cards: 3490
Unseen: 456
Young: 547
Mature: 561
Suspended: 1926

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

Input
Time is content run time, not wall clock study time.
Total: 45:30
Last Week: 0:00

iTalki
Lessons: 10
Last Week: 0
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zKing
Orange Belt
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 11:59 pm
Location: Seattle Area
Languages: English(N), Learning: Cantonese, Italian
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7973
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Re: Stealing time and grappling with fickle devotion

Postby zKing » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:31 pm

Cantonese Progress Report 9/10/2018

End Goal: For our next trip to HK (likely early 2019), I would like to be 'conversational' in Cantonese.
Start of current Project: 5/16/2018, Week of year 20/52
Current Week of the year: 37/52, 18 weeks in.

Anki
Daily New: 10
Daily Reviews: ~70-90
Daily Time: ~15-25m
Total Cards: 3490
Unseen: 386
Young: 576
Mature: 591
Suspended: 1937

While I haven't missed a day doing Anki reviews during this whole project, I'm getting a little sloppy with the reviews and marking a lot of stuff "OK" that I didn't really get 100% right. I also continue to suspend more cards that annoy me.

I'm having nagging doubts that the new words I've been seeing are the right items I need for production. I've collected my large bag of words via intensive input and then sort of guessed at the small subset I want to memorize for output. I'm starting to think that I really should resume some intensive output practice and collect the set of words that I ACTUALLY find I'm missing for output. And another part of me says, if I do ENOUGH intensive output practice, Anki would become almost completely redundant. (Except for perhaps the fact that Anki is especially good for drilling tones... if you aren't sloppy about the reviews) Maybe I'll become one of those "sans SRS" guys? But this would definitely require a lot of diligence in intensive output practice. I'm not sure...

But as Pink Floyd would say: "I can feel one of my turns coming on"

Output
Writing: 2400 characters
Last Week: 0
ROL/Shadow/Chorus: 6:00
Last Week: 0

Input
Time is content run time, not wall clock study time.
Total: 47:00
Last Week: 1:30

A little lower on input last week, but most of this was intensive input, so it was high quality time.

iTalki
Lessons: 10
Last Week: 0

No session last week as Eldo was out. However, we are scheduled for this week.
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