Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

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tai
White Belt
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N), English (C1), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=16007
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Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tai » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:02 am

I have seen a lot of language logs on this forum as well as HTLAL. I really admire you polyglots out there and hope some day I can achieve partially what you have accomplished. It seems that keeping a log for what one has done in language learning / general learning is one of the keys to one's success. Seeing the language log from fellow Hong Konger @kelvin921019 here made me feel this is much closer to reality and ignited my desire to finally give language logging a go.

(If things go well, I will probably start one of the many things that I have heard and believed good for my life but have not taken up the determination to do, which is journaling for other learning and daily life in general. I have always struggled at writing since young, lacking creativity. I still remember the school writing classes in which I had to put together a 600 - 800 worded piece of text within 45 minutes. It just feels hard!)

As a Hong Konger, Cantonese is my native language, with English my L2. I have started learning English from school since I was sent to an English-medium kindergarten. Traditional grammar-based approach in primary school. Things really started to take off in secondary school. For 2 years, we had to watch English TV programs at least weekly as an English class exercise. To force us to actually watch it, we had to submit TV program reports and then talk back to the class what you've watched. There was not much room to fake it when you had to talk in front of your peers. :lol: In addition, a private tutor was hired by my mom to drill me on the language - loads of reading comprehension, grammar cloze, vocabulary cloze, etc. Perhaps doing FSI drills would be similar? Upon university graduation, I went for IELTS once and got 7.5 average (8, 9, 7.5, 6). Low C1-ish? I also got a chance to have worked for 7 years with colleagues from England and Scotland. But I don't feel I am good at it, considering I could only understand the jokes and casual chats between themselves marginally. Similarly, Mandarin Chinese was taught in primary and secondary school classes.

German
In university, I have taken a certificate course in German for 2 years. My German teacher was a nice old man from mainland China. I think he quite liked me as a student. But at the end, I could barely understand a word in my speaking exam when Paul, a native German and the head of the German language division, spoke to me. My teacher helped to rephrase and repeat Paul and I eventually passed. I hope someday I will resume studying German, for my love of the Alps. :D

Spanish
I have been dabbling with Spanish since Dec 2019. First on Duolingo (I played a few Spanish lessons for a month in 2014, only coming back daily starting from Dec 2019), then listened to the new Glossika. I have been doing both daily for roughly 9 months now. This week I am starting Assimil Spanish with Ease and today I am on Lesson 5. I plan to do these 3 things daily. Duolingo is too slow to a lot of experienced users here. But to me, it still feels difficult. I plan to use it as a game when I want to waste time. I thank it for getting me started in Spanish. Perhaps at some point I'll add in NHK news podcast / Duolingo podcasts when I feel ready. I may have a poke at FSI or other course if time allows.

So seeing that Spanish is the first one that I am self-studying, I decided to keep a language log for it and to push myself to work on it daily.

P.S. Writing all the above has spent me an hour or more in total. I can't help but wonder why organizing my thought for writing is so difficult. Hope it will get better!
21 x
I hope I can successfully learn something this time.
Assimil Spanish with Ease: 43 / 109
Language Transfer: 22 / 90

tai
White Belt
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N), English (C1), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=16007
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Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tai » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:17 am

A few days gone and I am still continuing with the methods available to me. Not much big revelation or changes due to the lack of time, but trying to keep myself consistent and focused, so I feel that I should post to my log at least weekly.

Spanish
Assimil Spanish with Ease - lesson 7/109
Glossika (new) - Spain 412 sentences, Latin America 339 sentences
Duolingo - 20-30 minutes (roughly 1 crown) per day


I really find the "mechanical" voice of Duo quite difficult to decipher at times. I have lost so many hearts over le vs les when the voice has skipped the final -s. I am not sure if this was intentional - I recall I read somewhere that in some places of Latin America the -s will often be skipped by the speakers.

I have seen these names on the forum when looking for Duolingo alternative, just put down here in case I want to refer back to them later:
Clozemaster
LingoDeer
Speakly
Kwiziq
Seedlang (German)
I don't think I have the mental resources for them though. when using computer or phone for these, it is very tempting to switch away.

Today is the day I hit the first revision lesson in Assimil. I have been re-listening to the audio of the previous lessons with my eyes closed during commute in the past few days, whenever I feel "enough" with the Glossika audio. I still don't feel certain if I have been using Assimil correctly - I have keep re-reading the instruction extracted from Dutch with Ease. I prefer the Assimil dialogs to those Glossika ones, in terms of the wording they phrase the speech. And to my surprise I have met the haber + participio form in Assimil before Glossika. Maybe I'm just too slow outside of Assimil. I start to worry I will get drowned by Assimil if other methods cannot catch up.

For this reason, I would like to grab a course with Spanish grammar to read upon it on the coming weekend. I've found one such book with Chinese (traditional) base to Spanish that I bought some time ago. I had headache reciting the case and conjugation tables in German, but at the same time I am the type of person wanting to know more about the "rules" working behind. I seem to feel more (false sense of?) secure to know "this word is Nominativ / Akkusativ / Dativ / Genitiv / etc". Will see how it goes.

Finding more time outside of work continues to be a challenge. I am a bit OCD to browse people's experience on this forum and HTLAL, but I should stop looking for more "courses" or "methods" and just follow through the ones I have.
5 x
I hope I can successfully learn something this time.
Assimil Spanish with Ease: 43 / 109
Language Transfer: 22 / 90

tai
White Belt
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N), English (C1), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=16007
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Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tai » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:27 pm

Spanish
Assimil Spanish with Ease - lesson 21/109
Glossika (new) - Spain 472 sentences, Latin America 399 sentences
Language Transfer - lesson 14/90
Duolingo - from time to time, Lv 2 tree all gold


In the last week, I have started to settle into this pattern on a working day:

Commute to work - 7 minute walk + 30 minute train + 10 minute walk
My 7 minute walk from home is the perfect time for the first or second round of Assimil audio listening, without reading the book. Once I get onto the metro, I have 30 minutes nonstop study with Assimil, reading English then Spanish with audio a few times, up to the point I got off the metro. The following 10 minute walk will then be back to audio only, by that time I can test my understanding of the dialog by listening to the audio only.

Lunch hour
Being able to finish Assimil in the most awake moment in the morning sometimes leave me feeling lost during my lunch hour... which I tried to fill up with Glossika or occasionally Language Transfer. Usually Glossika can drive the message home more easily, as I can focus more easily on base sentences in my native Cantonese.

Commute home
Last week I started listening to the Language Transfer Complete Spanish, at a pace of 1 to 2 lessons per day. Usually I do this during my commute back home from work, with a few Duolingo rounds if I still have time. First feeling - the female "student" get a nice and easy accent (a bit similar to the female voice of Glossika Spanish in Spain) that I don't mind adding it to my daily dose of language learning. However, I seem to feel I’m not getting the most out of it. Should I write down all the words that were covered?

Audio course would be quite important for me at this stage as I have long hours of work. (I miss my last job!) But I feel that I should squeeze in more time and methods to write things down as I still don’t have much feeling of having absorbed a lot of things.

[Edit: Added back the progress as of Sep 27 for each program and fixed typos.]
2 x
I hope I can successfully learn something this time.
Assimil Spanish with Ease: 43 / 109
Language Transfer: 22 / 90

tai
White Belt
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N), English (C1), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=16007
x 51

Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tai » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:55 am

Spanish
Assimil Spanish with Ease - lesson 23/109
Glossika (new) - Spain 482 sentences, Latin America 409 sentences
Language Transfer - lesson 15/90


Today (Sep 29) I am on Lesson 23 with Assimil. But the content in Assimil really escalates very quickly and now I have already run into imperfect and preterite. I am amazed by how it can so concisely squeeze all these into a series of dialogs that last only 2 minutes each. But this is just short "deceptively" and I feel that it can easily spend me 1-2 hours per lesson per day very soon. Take today's lesson as an example, I still cannot discern and pick out words one by one out of the whole stream of speech even after doing the whole 10 learning steps from Dutch with Ease. This has happened since around lesson 19 or 20, so technically I have not finished the lessons since lesson 19 and have started to accumulate "learning debts" pretty quickly if it's not dealt with. Part of this may be because I have not encountered the new tenses in my Duolingo game plays so far, so I could not recognize those forms quickly enough.

Last Sunday I have started following Luca's bidirectional translation method on Assimil Lessons 1 - 6. My current plan is to group the revision lesson with the Luca's bidirectional translation of the 6 lessons studied 2 weeks before on a weekend. Initial results seem to make me feel better. I saw 1 or 2 words that I simply could not recall in step 2 for L1->L2. On coming weekends I may see myself failing to construct the whole sentence and I worry that my take on this method may break down at that point. Do people need to do a revision of the target language immediately before the translation, in order to make the translation time meaningful (i.e. at least one can write out something instead of in a constant struggle of recalling nothing)?

(Quote here for my future reference - https://www.lucalampariello.com/use-translation-learn-language/
1. Translation of a L2 (target language) text into your native language. This is done to help you fully understand the content of the text.
2. Retranslation of your "new" L1 translation back into L2. This helps you correct your own mistakes, see gaps in your comprehension, and to think the the target language.
)

On Language Transfer... I don't know if I am actually learning or not, it feels a bit too effortless to be like studying, but we will see. Especially a few days later, I could not explicitly recall all the stuff that was covered in the lesson (as a gauge on whether I have learned anything). I will keep going and experiment how I can better utilize it.

[Edit: Better formatting.]
3 x
I hope I can successfully learn something this time.
Assimil Spanish with Ease: 43 / 109
Language Transfer: 22 / 90

kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N4)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby kelvin921019 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:10 am

Hi there and welcome! :lol:
1 x

tai
White Belt
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N), English (C1), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=16007
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Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tai » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:49 am

kelvin921019 wrote:Hi there and welcome! :lol:


Hello kelvin921019, I have been a long time reader of your log and have taken your Spanish experience as reference!

Looking forward to your sharing on Japanese, one of my next target languages! :D
2 x
I hope I can successfully learn something this time.
Assimil Spanish with Ease: 43 / 109
Language Transfer: 22 / 90

kelvin921019
Orange Belt
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
English (C2)
Chinese (Written: Native; Mandarin: Fluent)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N4)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
x 380

Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby kelvin921019 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:43 pm

tai wrote:
kelvin921019 wrote:Hi there and welcome! :lol:


Hello kelvin921019, I have been a long time reader of your log and have taken your Spanish experience as reference!

Looking forward to your sharing on Japanese, one of my next target languages! :D

Great to hear that my log did not bored you to death! :lol:
Feel free to PM me if you have anything to ask re my log.
Surely I will try to keep updating the log. Finger cross that my motivation to update my log won't die down way before my motivation in learning language :lol: :lol:
2 x

tai
White Belt
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N), English (C1), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=16007
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Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tai » Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:58 pm

Spanish
Assimil Spanish with Ease - lesson 31/109
Glossika (new) - Spain 507 sentences, Latin America 449 sentences
Language Transfer - lesson 20/90


Today (Oct 7) I am on Assimil Lesson 31. I would have loved to progress with a much faster pace on Assimil and Glossika over the last four days of holiday + weekend, but reality did not allow me to do so. On the bright side, at least I have kept up with my target of daily Assimil lesson and Glossika session.

Recognizing words from the stream of speech in Assimil is still an issue for me, especially when facing the various verb forms. Lesson 31, Las cuatro estaciones, being more poetic in content, seems to feel much longer than 29 and 30.. One day ago, I was still feeling a bit happy that both of them were easy to finish!

Glossika just felt much gentler in its slope but I know I will easily feel bored by its initial repetition of the same sentence if I attempt to increase my daily dose with it.

For LT, I still don’t get how I can benefit from it, except maybe it forcing me to translate into Spanish verbally (without writing) in response to the prompts.

Professionally at work I am not really satisfied these days, with mostly admin workload for long hours. I’m equally frustrated with my lack of progress in moving towards my desired role. I think the best strategy with Spanish is not to overload myself, keeping it as an overall enjoyable experience rather than turning the courses into chores.
3 x
I hope I can successfully learn something this time.
Assimil Spanish with Ease: 43 / 109
Language Transfer: 22 / 90

tai
White Belt
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N), English (C1), German (beginner), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=16007
x 51

Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tai » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:53 am

Last week proved equally challenging on sparing more time for language learning. I would love to continue with the bidirection translation revision on Assimil but family engagement and personal projects, coupled with long working hours on weekdays, means fully filled-up weekends.

In addition, I feel a bit reluctant to start Language Transfer lessons, after filling up commute hours with Assimil and lunch hours with Glossika. Maybe I have not found a time period dedicated to it yet. In fact, I have not touched it for a week, but pleasantly surprised when I hit lessons 21 and 22 last Friday, as the content start to reinforce the verb tenses.

Progress as of today (Oct 19):

Spanish
Assimil Spanish with Ease - lesson 43/109
Glossika (web app) - Spain 547 sentences, Latin America 494 sentences
Language Transfer - lesson 22/90

I feel like there is nothing to be proud of sharing and so have been feeling uneasy towards writing a log here, a forum full of successful learners who would describe their advanced level issues rather than beginners' issues like mine. Anyway, some thoughts:

Today's Assimil lesson 43 has been noticeably a bit longer than last week's, which are already marginally manageable for me. Though after persisting through it using the Dutch with Ease method, my mind managed to crack open the understanding obstacle.

I feel like the key for my understanding is in step 3, reading the dialogs by myself, preferably reading out with actual voice. Besides training the speech organs' muscular control, perhaps there is also an effect on understanding when reading aloud? Maybe a good reason to take reference of how infants murmur when they acquire language. I should revisit psycho-linguistics / psychology of language books when I have the time.
1 x
I hope I can successfully learn something this time.
Assimil Spanish with Ease: 43 / 109
Language Transfer: 22 / 90

User avatar
tangleweeds
Green Belt
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:09 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Languages: English (N)
beginner: Irish, Norwegian
clearing cobwebs: Japanese
on the shelf: French, Latin
wanderlust: Vietnamese
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=705
x 886

Re: Perseverance - learn to stay motivated in language, learning and life

Postby tangleweeds » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:59 am

tai wrote:I feel like there is nothing to be proud of sharing and so have been feeling uneasy towards writing a log here, a forum full of successful learners who would describe their advanced level issues rather than beginners' issues like mine.
Really, there are all kinds of us, and I enjoy reading all kinds of logs. I feel like my log is an endless repeat of getting started on something interesting, getting derailed by health issues, and forgetting most of it, repeat, repeat, repeat. I would get discouraged, only I do notice how much faster/better I re-learn what seemed to have been forgotten.

And you did say
I would love to continue with the bidirection translation revision on Assimil but family engagement and personal projects, coupled with long working hours on weekdays, means fully filled-up weekends.
Combining earning a living, personal projects, and family life really does take a lot of time. Keep in mind how many of us are older and retired, or young, unmarried, and still living at home or barely out of school.

Besides training the speech organs' muscular control, perhaps there is also an effect on understanding when reading aloud?
Pimsleur certainly emphasizes that actually speaking when prompted during their audio courses is key to successful learning.

Maybe a good reason to take reference of how infants murmur when they acquire language. I should revisit psycho-linguistics / psychology of language books when I have the time.
That's an interesting idea. I'd be interested in what you discover when you find the time.
4 x
Irish & Japanese are on vacation for the 11/2020 6WC
Wanderlust: still Vietnamese


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