from Reddit: "Resources that you should(usually) avoid like the plague(and why)"

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Postby Cavesa » Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:48 pm

Also one more thing: I appreciate that Kraut (and not only Kraut, I can remember some great findings of Reineke's for example) often brings bits of interesting articles and texts from other places for discussion. It is certainly a valuable kind of input. Some are great, some I don't like, but I think we should all appreciate this activity. However, may I have two complaints about the thread titles?

1.Please, create some sort of name, or abbreviation, for discussion about an existing text or an existing article, etc. Because this thread is not our discussion about "resources that you should avoid like the plague", it is a discussion about an already existing document with opinions of another learner on resources that we should avoid. That's different. I think all these discussions should be marked somehow, for clarity. Not sure what to include in the title. Like "external opinion:resources blah blah" or "a voice from the outside: resources blah blah". Or something shorter and more precise, if you can think of something. But I'd really appreciate a clear distinction between these two types of a discussion. Because when tapping on this (even as I saw Kraut as the author), I was hoping to find a lively discussion, where members of the forum share their personal worst experiences with resources :-D

2.Please, could we have (and stick to) a rule against caps lock in the thread titles?
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Postby Le Baron » Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:05 pm

I'm a bit of a convert to Anki now after having barely used it before. I previously found it boring and no better than reading wordlists on paper. However... I had this 'Easy Reader' Spanish text which I finished some months ago, but lots of words and constructions needed to be looked-up and investigated. I did this from the notes I had made whilst reading it.

Then I thought it might be a good idea to build an Anki package containing all this material from this book which had given me problems. So tricky words on their own, but then the same words in the sentences where I had found them and got stuck. Then all the useful fixed expressions contained in the book (many of these were listed and translated in a glossary). Then all the little grammatical obstacles I ran into, again in context within the sentences.

And I've been running through this. I built a package per chapter. They're not huge so it's not an avalanche of material. After going through chapter 1 package to the point where I felt it was sticking I moved onto chapter 2 material, but I also restarted chapter 1 of the book. Et voilà ! I'm not running into obstacles, maybe one in the entire chapter. Soon fixed. Then I proceeded to chapter 2 of the book (and onto ch 3 of the Anki material). Same result...

Now it might be argued that all I'm doing here is learning by heart the contents of that particular book; a microcosm. I agree, but the contents of that book also contains quite a lot of the same language used in normal life, in articles and so on. So when I was reading an article online some weeks later lo and behold I bump into the constructions and words now nestling into my neurons. Reinforcing it further. More books equals more language and more reinforcement of what has been already learned.

So yes, Anki is not a magic wand it is a tool. It might not be the right tool all the time (advice: torque wrenches are also not for knocking in nails, really). You can use a tool well or poorly or when you don't even need a tool like that. Furthermore expecting it to do all the work is a mistake. Michaelangelo didn't just buy a hammer a chisel and wonder why his statue of David wasn't happening.
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Postby sfuqua » Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:19 am

I guess I answered this thread because the Internet seems to be full of people who don't know anything, and who are completely sure of themselves. This is true of many topics besides language learning. I am a retired teacher of middle school students, and I can assure you that most 14 year olds have more sense than most Internet experts. Perhaps many of the kids who don't have more sense already are Internet experts. :D
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Postby Nogon » Wed Jul 28, 2021 5:26 pm

kanewai wrote:
rdearman wrote:You don't need SRS to learn vocabulary and you don't need a washing machine to clean clothes. But they make it a lot easier.

To push the metaphor even further ... you can probably figure out how to use the washing machine on your own, even if it's a foreign brand where all the buttons have symbols that you've never seen before, but you'll figure it out faster if you read the manual.

Depends on whether you first have to learn the manual's language or not. 8-)
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Postby cpnlsn88 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:51 pm

The right attitude to Anki or other SRS approaches is not avoid it like the plague or you must use it, but simply here is something you might find useful and here are some pitfalls to avoid or ways you can improve your experience if you do use it.

I'd be prepared to accept it shouldn't be the main event and I'd easily accept a) they're not for everyone b) not for each language you might learn or c) for the entire time you're learning a language.

My main advice is don't spend a lot of money on something believing it will make you fluent, change your settings in Anki to avoid doing too many reviews, make sure it's not too burdensome on you (if you hate it do something else).
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Re: from Reddit: "Resources that you should(usually) avoid like the plague(and why)"

Postby JosedechMS4 » Sat Aug 14, 2021 9:40 am

Hi all,

I was curious what would come up if I searched my username, and this thread came up. I'm the guy that wrote that article.

I always like hearing others' perspectives, and I actually really enjoyed reading this thread!

Everything said here has been very eye-opening, and many of the concerns that have been stated here will be addressed in the guide if they haven't been already. Thanks for the excellent feedback, guys, please let me know if you have any further concerns/comments/disagreements about what's written in it. (And be as brutally honest as you want/need to be, I'm happy to take a few punches if it'll make my guide better. It's a work in progress.)

EDIT: Already made the edits in the guide. They are quite drastic and many of the concerns stated on this thread. Some things I did not change because I either didn't get to it, didn't think it was important enough to change, or simply stand by my original statements. Please take a look if you'd like. You'll see the new edits summarized at the top of the document. Thanks for the feedback, guys!
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