Well, a little gap in my log, but not in language learning. With the test in mind, I have focussed more on German learning, but I have been in a Bengali-speaking environment for the last week or so, which has given me lots of audio practice there.Bengali
This has been an unsettled month, so I've done less writing than I had thought. I have managed some reading, and also spent a week surrounded by Bengali, so I've had some practice that way. I feel ready for some concentrated work on Bengali, and I have a range of sources of varying complexity to go through. Once the German test is over, I'll come back to this.German
I've managed quite a bit of writing, nearly 2000 words this month, averaging alternate dates. I put some through GermanCorrector.com and I'm making less errors than I had feared. My 'ear' seems to have improved somewhat too. To start thinking about the A2 test, I have listened to various videos and rewatched some of my DVDs. This has gone fairly well. Even better, I could manage one of the A2 test example listening exercises without too many problems.
[Last night I was feeling confident with the listening, but then had a reminder today of how hard "real" German listening can be, as three Germans were vigorously discussing something at work today - well, the odd word told me it was German, but that level is too much to even think of at this stage!]
So, for the test, my current assessment is that:
- vocabulary: I think I know "enough" words, generally. I doubt the reading exercise will pose any difficulty. But I should be ready for some of their scripted topics, like Family, Hobbies.
- writing: my concern here is accuracy. I'm not always sure on gender, verb form, or adjective ending.
- listening: this seems to be ok, but can always do with practise.
- speaking: I need to practise this.
And things I will do:
- vocabulary: I have the A2 word list, and will work through it. This should be enough.
- grammar: I will work through some of my German Tutor book, and try to be sure of my verbs, adjective endings etc.
- writing: I'll continue, aiming for something each day. In particular, I'll try to expand the vocabulary I can use actively.
- listening: I'll keep at a variety of listening exercises for a couple of hours a day, from my DVDs to easier pieces from Youtube. I was surprised to find some of my DVDs already have German tracks, so I have quite a few hours of familiar material to go over.
- speaking: I'm doing some exercises on speechling.com to get the tongue moving. I shall also do more reading aloud, and self-talk.
I have 14 days exactly before the test, and, apart from work, I'm left to my own devices for this time. So I believe I can improve any weaknesses. Most of me says the test shouldn't be a problem, but a small part is warning I could come unstuck somewhere, especially in the speaking part. Ramble
I spent the last week in Delhi, and found another reason why I should learn a "bit" of Hindi - after parking the car, and the attendant did not understand my numbers in English. Hindi numbers are very close to Bengali, so we got there. I found the same need, for a "bit" of French this time, in Switzerland last year: on one occasion I could order my food in English, but I barely had time to work out I had to listen for "soixante-quatre" before it was called out. Also I had forgotten the significance of "de terre" after "pomme" when choosing something to eat in a shop... Those beginner level skills can be useful.