Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

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StringerBell
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:17 pm

ITALIAN

2019 in review:

-I did the Practice Makes Perfect Italian Grammar book
-I did the EdX Italian Course
-I transcribed one full season of a TV show
-I read a few books: 5 in the series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Noi Siamo Infiniti), 200 pages of il Sentiero della Speranza.
-I’ve been continuing to read articles, listen to podcasts, and watch dubbed TV shows.
-I also resumed chats with my LEP which I’ve been doing 2x/week.
-I did some writing, though not much.

Overall, I think this was a very good year for Italian even though I don’t feel like I’ve made any improvement.

Plans for 2020:

Of the 4 main skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing), listening is the only one I’m satisfied with. Since my listening comprehension is exremely strong, I’m not going to intentionally work on increasing it. That said, I’ve been really enjoying the “3 Parole” series put out by Podcast Italian as a bonus for Patreon members. Each episode of 3 Parole is an in depth discussion on 3 difficult/infrequent vocabulary words or phrases used in an Avanzato episode. I’ve found this extremely effective for remembering the meaning of new words and how to use them.

This year I’d like to improve reading, writing, and speaking. This is my plan of attack:

1) IMPROVE READING:

Read 5,000 pages in one year. I’m planning to do quite a lot of this challenge using R-L (read in English+listen in Italian, then read+listen in Italian). I will only count the pages that I read+listened in Italian toward this goal.

My hope is that this makes reading novels in Italian at least somewhat enjoyable, because as of now I don’t enjoy reading books in Italian at all. The biggest problem is that I am missing a lot of infrequent vocabulary. My understanding of grammar and various constructions is decent, but it could use some improvement.

As of now, I’m planning to use audiobooks+books for 12-14 novels. After that, I will just be straight up reading with no audiobook. I have enough books for 2 Super Challenges in my possession, so I guess it’s time to stop collecting books and start reading them.

2) IMPROVE WRITING:

Write 50,000 words in one year. (The Output Challenge goal) This works out to 200 words per day for 5 days a week (with 2 weeks off). I’m planning to choose one format and write multiple entries until I feel more confident using certain verb tenses. I realized after writing 10 How-To descriptions that I was starting to be more consistent with my use of imperative verb forms.

I plan to use new vocabularly words from novels in my writing: either incorporating them when responding to prompts or generating independent sentences to reinforce the meaning of these new words. I’m hoping this proves to be more successful for me than Anki.

3) IMPROVE SPEAKING:

Ha ha! This is kind of a lost cause, but I’m not going down without a fight. Just regular “talking more” doesn’t seem to lead to any improvements, so I’m going to try a more targeted approach. I’m going to record myself speaking on a regular basis. I may attempt to discuss the same topic multiple times to see if that leads to improvement. When possible, I’ll get some feedback on mistakes I’ve made and then record myself talking about the same thing again, trying to incorporate error correction.

I don’t have high hopes (or possibly any) when it comes to improving speaking, so I don’t expect to see much change in this area. I will aim for 10 minutes/day of recorded speech, but I’m not going to committ to that officially. I will just do it as much as possible and see where that gets me.

POLISH:

2019 in review:

I crapped out somewhere around August, and since then I’ve been on hiatus with Polish. I still have a strong love for and desire to learn this language, but I no longer feel like speaking it is within reach. That said, I am not ready to give up on it yet and in 2020 I want to renew my committment to improving Polish.

Plans for 2020:

My main focus this year will be reading, since I think I have a chance at improving this.

IMPROVE READING:

Read 5,000 pages. I’m planning to do quite a lot of this challenge using R-L (read in English+listen in Polish, then read+listen in Polish). My goal is to complete this within a year, but I’m ok if it takes a bit longer. As of now, I am not capable of reading books in Polish at all so I’m very curious to see if R-L is able to help me make a big jump.

LISTENING:

Honestly, I think my listening comprehension is decent. I don’t have trouble following native speakers at normal speed, the limiting factor is whether I know the words they are using or not, so this skill probably doesn’t need too much improvement. I’m going to aim for 150 hours of listening (the Super Challenge goal). A large portion of this will come from listening to audiobooks (while reading in English), but I will also return to watching Rodzinka.pl episodes without subtitles (plus whatever I can find with subtitles). This is really more about maintenance than improvement.

THINGS THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT (BUT I AM CHOOSING TO IGNORE): SPEAKING, WRITING, GRAMMAR

I will continue to chat with my Polish LEP, but I don’t think I’ll attempt to improve anything of these skills this year (or ever). My plan is to wait a while and assess how the reading challenge is going. If it’s going realy well, I might decide to do a tiny bit of grammar, but I don’t want to committ to that seeing how I reacted the last time I tried to learn Polish grammar.

LATIN:

2019 in review:

I had a really great routine doing Scriptorium with the Cambridge Latin book. Even with a very limited knowledge of Latin, I’ve been regularly coming across new words in both English and Italian that I know from Latin, which has been really motivating. Unfortunately, once I finished the Cambridge book I then started reading Lingua Latina, which I hated. This led to me falling out of my routine.

Plans for 2020:

Latin is a “dabbling on the side” language for me, so I don’t want to create much in the way of goals. I’d like to get back to spending ~20-30 minutes/day 3-5 days per week on Latin. I’m going to read through the Cambridge Unit 1 book as a refresher, then jump into the Cambridge Unit 2 book. I’d like to continue doing Scriptorium, since I found it both enjoyable and effective.
9 x
Italian: Read 5,000 pages : 2045 / 5000
Italian: Write 50,000 words : 9100 / 50000
Season 4 Lucifer Italian transcripts I created: https://learnanylanguage.fandom.com/wik ... ranscripts

StringerBell
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:05 pm

Quick update on home "immersion":

As most people probably know already, it's not going well. Last year, I had high expectations that I was going to speak Italian 100% of the time and try to simulate an Italian immersion experience with my in-laws/husband to give my speaking a much needed improvement. That failed spectacularly.

I decided that the problem was my expectations, so this year I opted for a no-expectations policy; whatever I could say is great, no pressure, yada yada. Well that doesn't seem to have made any difference, as I feel like I'm mentally struggling in the exact same way. Could it be that expectations are not the problem, but I just am not capable of speaking another language?

I started out not too bad (not great, but not struggling so heavily), but I spiraled down in my usual pattern of struggling more and more until I reached a point where making basic masculine/feminine/plural agreements just aren't happening. Rather than saying most of the things I'd like to be saying, my responses are limited to a few words at a time, often not even in complete sentences. Not because I'm lazy and can't be bothered to finish a sentence, but because I just get completely lost and can't figure out how to end it.

It feels like I just started learning Italian a few months ago, not 2.5 years ago. By this point I have hundreds of hours of speaking under my belt, so this isn't some new thing I just started attempting. This year, I can't blame my attitude. In fact, I'm at a total loss as to what I should blame.

So it appears that the "speak more" advice has once again backfired; I continue to get worse and worse the more I try to speak.

Since I haven't yet been able to find anyone who has experienced this, I'm not sure what to do. At this point I can only try to pretend the problem doesn't exist and throw myself into my reading/writing challenge next year. That feels unsatisfying, because I don't really care at all about reading or writing in Italian, my only reason for learning it is to be able to communicate, but I'm not sure what else to do.

Any suggestions?
3 x
Italian: Read 5,000 pages : 2045 / 5000
Italian: Write 50,000 words : 9100 / 50000
Season 4 Lucifer Italian transcripts I created: https://learnanylanguage.fandom.com/wik ... ranscripts

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Bex
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Bex » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:43 pm

Maybe reading/writing will help. I have found after the SC that my "feel" for my L2 has improved a lot.

I haven't spoken much at all this year but somehow I feel more comfortable speaking now than I did at the end of 2018, which I can only attribute to the Super Challenge.

I think time with L2 is key even if it's not exactly the input/output you're aiming for. If you're avoiding speaking and can increase your time with L2 using other measures, then it's probably worth making the change; just so you can increase L2 time.

If what you're currently doing isn't helping you achieve your goal then maybe reading/writing is worth a shot.

Just my 2 cents... Happy New Year x
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StringerBell
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:52 pm

Bex wrote:Maybe reading/writing will help. I have found after the SC that my "feel" for my L2 has improved a lot.

I haven't spoken much at all this year but somehow I feel more comfortable speaking now than I did at the end of 2018, which I can only attribute to the Super Challenge.

If what you're currently doing isn't helping you achieve your goal then maybe reading/writing is worth a shot.


Thanks, Bex! I also noticed that after doing R-L with a novel a few weeks ago that I was more likely to think in Italian, but that quickly disappeared. Maybe I just need a lot more.

Bex wrote:If you're avoiding speaking and can increase your time with L2 using other measures, then it's probably worth making the change; just so you can increase L2 time.


I'm not avoiding speaking; I'm making a concerted effort to speak as much as I can, but the more I do it, the worse I get. :oops:

BTW, your SC effort was very inspiring!
1 x
Italian: Read 5,000 pages : 2045 / 5000
Italian: Write 50,000 words : 9100 / 50000
Season 4 Lucifer Italian transcripts I created: https://learnanylanguage.fandom.com/wik ... ranscripts

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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby rdearman » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:20 pm

Ahh. Your Italian is probably better than mine and I have been doing it for 20 years give or take. Give yourself a break.
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