The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
hedgehog.chess
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby hedgehog.chess » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:02 am

If someone has problems with finding free native materials for some less popular languages (Mongolian anyone? :) ), there is always jw.org. There are plenty of brochures or even books in so many languages, some even as audiobooks. So there shouldn’t be much problems with creating parallel texts and doing some L/R. Of course if you don’t mind reading religious texts and treat them just as learning material.
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Elsa Maria
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Elsa Maria » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:33 pm

iguanamon, thanks for the effort you have put into setting up this challenge and its clarifications. I am very excited about it :)

I would like to follow those who are participating. I just read through the previous posts, but I may have missed someone:

rdearman: Setswana (pure) Czech (library)
Elenia: Portuguese (library)
LunaMoonsilver: Polish and Mongolian (pure)
Snow: Brazilian Portugese
Spoonary: Modern Greek
Elsa Maria: Dutch (pure)
Systematiker: Czech and Ukranian
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reineke
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby reineke » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:57 pm

reineke wrote:
Finding free and legal resources is not a problem.
A1-A2 courses in 50 languages:
https://www.50languages.com/

Learn 48 Languages Online for Free:
http://www.openculture.com/freelanguagelessons

FSI/DLI
https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu


The Vocabulearn series and the Learn in your car series are available for free on Spotify. The list of languages includes French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin and Hebrew.

How to Use Spotify for Language Learning

"The quality isn’t exactly Pimsleur, Glossika or Assimil..."

Oh, come on! Anyway, a neat guide:

http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/how ... -learning/
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Systematiker » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:48 pm

Log created at https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7742

Pure Czech, with-streaming Ukrainian
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Spoonary
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Spoonary » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:00 pm

I have just written a post on my log where I attempted to define what exactly I am aiming for when I say A2. You don't all have to go read it, I'll summarise it here, but I just thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss a little bit.

Basically, I find the CEFR level guidelines to be too general and not very helpful when trying to define what kind of level I have in my target languages. Do you all know exactly what you're aiming for when you start a challenge to reach A2 (or higher) in a certain amount of time, or is anyone as unsure as me? :?
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iguanamon
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby iguanamon » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:59 pm

I like your Greek specific A2 post in your log. Good topic, Spoonary! I chose CEFRL to have something to aim for in this challenge.
Wikipedia wrote:A2 Waystage or Elementary]
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Yeah, this is a bit vague but let's look at it in the context of A1 and B1
Wikipedia wrote:A1 Breakthrough or beginner
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they have.
Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help...

B1 Threshold or intermediate
Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

I think the A1 and B1 descriptions are much more clear than the A2! A1 and B1 seem fairly clear to me but A2 kind of looks like "no man's land".
Here's what Benny at Fi3m.com says
Benny Lewis wrote:...This is a hotly debated topic, and you'll never find a perfect consensus for what any of the levels on the European Common Framework look like. That said, if you look at the various definitions, you can find some common threads.
To me, A2 is the level where a conversation can finally happen, as long as you accept that it will be slow, and you will have to use “crutches”.
As a total beginner, you know next to nothing. You have what seems to be a mountain of vocab and phrases and grammar rules ahead of you. But then, before you know it, you’re at A1. Here you can introduce yourself, and you can ask and answer direct questions (but you’ll start to get lost at any conversation past that).
Enter level A2. This is where your conversational flow begins.
Here, you can have (messy and imperfect, but effective!) exchanges with people that last several minutes, even if you’re still turning to your dictionary now and again. The other person will need to be patient with you, but they will get the gist. ... Even if you choose to stop at A2, you’ll find that what you’ve learned is really useful. Far from being a simpleton who can only talk about the weather, the A2 level is your window to being able to get to know new people, tell them about yourself and learn about them. At level A2, you can make friends. You can enjoy comics and cartoons. And you can laugh and even feel at ease in the language.
There will of course be a lot of things you still can’t do. You may not be able to talk with a random in-a-hurry native speaker, but you can absolutely find patient speakers who love talking to learners and will be very friendly and helpful, and you will feel yourself having real conversations with them.
Once you’ve hit A2, you can now truly communicate your thoughts, questions, or ideas to a whole new world of people. How cool is that? Very worthy as a project in and of itself!source

Benny goes on to further detail this in contrast to A1
What you CAN’T do yet (and shouldn’t expect from yourself) at this level
Understand half of what the other person says to you. At this point, you’ll likely recognize about 1 out of every 3 words.
Pronounce new words correctly on the first try.
Have a conversation with anyone – you will be ready to talk to patient natives who are used to conversing with foreigners for now
Have a conversation about anything – like I said at the start, this level means so much more than always talking about the weather, but you can still talk about many topics. The trick is that you have to be prepared to talk about that, and study the vocabulary in advance. Conversations about random topics come later.
Have perfect conversations. They will be messy right now, but you will be able to convey a lot of ideas.
Produce grammatically correct sentences. Our goal at the A2 level is communication, and this requires some “Tarzan” sentences. I’d recommend tidying up your grammar at the B levels, not before.
Understand the radio or news. You can start to enjoy cartoons or material made for learners.

So it looks like the bare minimum to be able to have some fun with the language, patient native-speakers being key. Benny says you can't listen to the news yet at this level, but I would disagree. If a learner is familiar with national or international news already, I think a lot of the news can be understood.

Interested to read more responses.
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Spoonary
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Spoonary » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:56 pm

Thank you for that post, Iguanamon. Putting those oh-so-general A2 descriptions in context really helps. Also, good old Benny to the rescue! I used to follow him pretty closely actually, until I noticed the limited scope of his methods and stopped. :roll: Still, it's in these early stages of language learning that his advice is most useful, so thank you for reminding me he exists :P
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kujichagulia
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby kujichagulia » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:15 am

This challenge is so "iguanamon" it's not even funny. :lol:

I'd love to do this challenge! I already do the FLC route to an extent with my Portuguese studies (DLI, some YouTube-only videos, internet radio, news articles and blogs online, podcasts, etc.) and to a lesser extent with my Japanese studies. The less money spent, the better. So this challenge is definitely up my wheelhouse!

I've always been fascinated by how far a person can go using free resources to learn a language. Learning a language without having to spend tons of money opens doors for many people in the world.

If it weren't for the timing, I would already be in this challenge! I'm on a mission to get my Japanese and Portuguese studies back to high-quality consistency, and until I have proven I can do that, I worry about adding a third language. But then again, who knows? Maybe a new challenge is what I need to get back to consistency.

I was thinking about starting French sometime, anyway. French was my first love when I was a kid, and I'm still interested in it, so if I did a FLC challenge, it would probably be French. There are other languages I'm interested in, however: Spanish, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, and maybe Catalan?
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reineke
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby reineke » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:29 pm

You know, libraries often charge a nominal fee that's usually lower than phone/internet subscription. I see that VPN/internet is ok. Good VPN iis not free. Netflix - the first month is "free"
Used book stores and library events is the closest you can get to "free". Eh...draw your own conclusions.
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LunaMoonsilver
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:48 pm

reineke wrote:You know, libraries often charge a nominal fee that's usually lower than phone/internet subscription. I see that VPN/internet is ok. Good VPN iis not free. Netflix - the first month is "free"
Used book stores and library events is the closest you can get to "free". Eh...draw your own conclusions.


I mean, that's true, but it also depends a lot on where you live. I'm taking my challenge as pure because, honestly, using the library to learn a language isn't free where I am. It's free to join and free to use a computer with internet there, but it's £1.50 per three-week loan of a language course, £4.25 per inter-library loan and £0.25 per item reserved. Not overly expensive, but all those small charges add up and I know that using a library I'd need a lot of those inter-library loans because there isn't much in the way of language courses (aside from phrasebooks) in my local one. If I can find resources that can be freely used online, then the only thing stopping a person going to the library and using them would be time--something that's a problem for all of us.
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