Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

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Le Baron
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby Le Baron » Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:44 pm

AllSubNoDub wrote:I won't dignify a response to putting into question Dr. Arguelles's abilities. I also won't try to talk you into tracking (that's your loss). Agree to disagree.

I didn't put his abilities into question, I questioned the wheeling out of people to justify a view and the canonisation of polyglots. I also mark my own progress, but without fanfare. I know what I'm doing.
AllSubNoDub wrote:I will however maintain that if one's goal is to get as good in a language as quickly as possible, or if one has an extremely limited amount of time to devote to study (I hate to say it, but this forum is not what it used to be, and let's just say that a great many of its active members are people [retirees] who have a lot of free time to meander through language learning, while a lot of students and young professionals have moved onto Discord, Reddit, etc.), then tracking is essential to that end.

Well, I'm not a retiree and don't have huge amounts of free time. I also look at Reddit and StackExchange type threads too. They all propagate the same stuff. There are also more people devising systems than actually just reading books and talking. Too much fawning over the latest character writing posts about their 2 months "conquering" Arabic by scientific means. It's not that dynamic and groundbreaking among the students and 'young professionals' either.
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby AllSubNoDub » Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:50 pm

Le Baron wrote:Well, I'm not a retiree and don't have huge amounts of free time. I also look at Reddit and StackExchange type threads too. They all propagate the same stuff. There are also more people devising systems than actually just reading books and talking. Too much fawning over the latest character writing posts about their 2 months "conquering" Arabic by scientific means. It's not that dynamic and groundbreaking among the students and 'young professionals' either.

I'll let you have the last word because that seems to be what you're after. I hope it brings you immense satisfaction lol. :mrgreen:
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby Le Baron » Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:55 pm

AllSubNoDub wrote:I'll let you have the last word because that seems to be what you're after. I hope it brings you immense satisfaction lol. :mrgreen:

Isn't that how folk engineer the last word to make someone look bad? Why would you do that, I have nothing against you? I'm only writing answers. I know people don't like their holy grail of unproven methods and systems being pelted with stones, but the reality on the ground just doesn't match the claims.
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby lingua » Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:11 pm

Lots of good advice here but I would also recommend reading some nonfiction books especially in your areas of interest. It's a good way to build vocabulary that is different than what you find in fiction.

I don't read a lot of pages at the moment since I have time constraints and am spending more time on grammar review but I do read every day in Italian and/or Portuguese. For me the consistency is more important than the quantity once I developed a solid base.
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby einzelne » Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:34 pm

I personally agree with both camps. I don't believe that language is a math problem, still I think statistical analysis and some quantification of language activity is useful. I'm not very strict with this though. It's good to have some log, so the text time you cry in exasperation: "Why am I still not reading German fluently?" You can always tell: "Look you read only 10 books last year. Don't expect miracles!" Similar with statistical analysis: it taught me a lot of things. And I try to set myself certain language goals, usually, it's a minimum amount of pages to read every day. I find that that with such small goals (like read 15 pages, listen to audio 20-30 minutes) I achieve more in the long run. So I would never set myself a goal of reading at least 70 pages a day.

As for reading goals, I don't want to repeat what others already have said. But I think "become a fluent reader in a year and read freely almost everything" is an unrealistic goal (oh, that f-word again!) There are different forms of reading and I think the OP doesn't use the most effective one (again, we've discussed it several times so I don't want to repeat myself). This June, for instance, I had a strong urge for reading English fiction: I think, in less than 4 weeks I read the whole of The Alexandria Quartet and a couple of sci-fi novels. I think I read something like 0.5 million words. Quite an impressive number, isn't it? Has it improved my English? I seriously doubt it. Each of these books had around 400-600 new words but I never bothered to check them, let alone review. So it was a nice experience, low maintenance mode but nothing more. It didn't enrich my vocabulary, my awareness of subtle grammar points or idiomatic use. For that, you need to do intensive reading sessions. So, all these questions 'how many pages per day (or in total) I need to read in order to become fluent?' don't make much sense, unless you specify your reading mode.
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby sfuqua » Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:58 pm

Fluency is not a goal, it is a direction. There is always something new to learn. That is the joy of it. :D
There is always another way to grow.
There is no magic number.
You will never "finish".

Enjoy yourself and remember that you are already there . Have fun :D

There is a ton of good advice in this thread :D

There is nothing wrong with counting pages or words, but there is not magic number which means that you will never see a new word again.

Oh, by the way, I have to remind myself about this myself at least once a week. :lol:
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon Oct 25, 2021 3:33 pm

Lot of good advice in this topic.

I don't have any vague goals such as "reach a certain level in one year" or "be able to speak [language] in six months". No micro goals either, such as "read a number of pages every day", "learn X words every day", "read X books (and then consider myself fluent)". (This being said, I track my language activities, but that's after spending the time. No goals.)

I remember a conversation I had some years ago, with a non-native speaker of Swedish. At the time, they felt comfortable using the language after some years in the country. Then the question came: "You speak a lot of languages - how long did it take before you could speak them?"

I gave Spanish as an example. I shared my story, that I had studied it for a couple of years in high school, that I barely used it for more than ten years, that I brushed it up every now and then, that I sometimes read in the language... and that I probably could use it to the same level as this person's Swedish.

"Oh. So it took you 17 years? Maybe I should study a little bit more..."

This story aside, it's not about the years, not even the months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, pages read... Maybe I actually was proficient (on a basic level) already in the early 1990s, but it took me almost two decades to realize it. :?
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby lavengro » Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:29 pm

iguanamon wrote:The only things I would add to the excellent advice given by Le Baron and All Sub No Dub are to seek out some books with lots of dialog ....

I particularly like using plays for precisely this reason, with the added potential benefit of being able to watch a production of the play after reading to see how of the target language sunk in or has been maintained.

I have long had the goal of reading En attendant Godot in as many languages as possible, mostly just to see whether in some other language version of this play that rascal Godot ever [spoiler alert] shows up.
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby lichtrausch » Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:13 pm

einzelne wrote:This June, for instance, I had a strong urge for reading English fiction: I think, in less than 4 weeks I read the whole of The Alexandria Quartet and a couple of sci-fi novels. I think I read something like 0.5 million words. Quite an impressive number, isn't it? Has it improved my English? I seriously doubt it. Each of these books had around 400-600 new words but I never bothered to check them, let alone review. So it was a nice experience, low maintenance mode but nothing more. It didn't enrich my vocabulary, my awareness of subtle grammar points or idiomatic use. For that, you need to do intensive reading sessions. So, all these questions 'how many pages per day (or in total) I need to read in order to become fluent?' don't make much sense, unless you specify your reading mode.

You seem to be saying that extensive reading is useless for language learning except for maintenance. At the very least, over the course of reading half a million words worth of novels, you must have learned a few new words through context, enhanced your knowledge of some known words through their use in different but related senses, and developed a better sense of some lesser used collocations that popped up during your reading.
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Re: Reading goal for 2022 - need your advice?

Postby einzelne » Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:38 pm

lichtrausch wrote:You seem to be saying that extensive reading is useless for language learning except for maintenance. At the very least, over the course of reading half a million words worth of novels, you must have learned a few new words through context, enhanced your knowledge of some known words through their use in different but related senses, and developed a better sense of some lesser used collocations that popped up during your reading.


Yes, that's what I'm saying. My level of English is high enough to read and enjoy this type of literature without dictionary (more 99% of known words). So, no, I haven't learn a thing and I don't remember a thing (granted I don't need to think about grammar at this point). How can I be so sure? I have a habit to underline every single word and expression which I don't know or don't understand in the hope to make a list or a set of flashcards from them for subsequent review. I never do them:) but if I happen to go through highlighted words randomly, I don't remember a single one. Even in the case of Kindle books which means that I checked them while reading I don't remember a thing next day (which statistically makes total senses since with 99% and more you're dealing with hapaxes).
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