Ani's 2018 Log

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Ani
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby Ani » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:15 am

Well I've decided on "happiness through consumerism".

I had to stop by a book store for a kid today and took a pass through the langage books. There was an irresistible copy of Harrius Potter (Latin) on the shelf.

I also got my copy of Sputnik 1 textbook & workbook today. I decided a few days ago that maybe my problem with Russian is that I haven't bought anything shiny and fun. They look pretty good. Somewhat easy in the beginning so it's great to see I did actually learn something last year, but plenty new I'm sure. I did read a review that it was hard to use without a text for corrections, but there seems also to be some kind of exercise with corrections on the website so I'm not sure.
One thing really nice about the workbook is that it teaches and uses cursive all throughout so it will be really good practice.
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby smallwhite » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:33 am

Ani wrote:
... no way I could have spoken for 10 minutes... on the socioeconomic effects of environmental policies...

... "speaking French" to me means being able to defend my position, quickly cite books or research that I've read, calculate/discuss statics and probabilities...

... I *do* have complex discussions on super obscure topics all the time and maybe a lot of my frustration comes from not being able to do that in French...

... I'm not in accustomed of being tested all day anymore...

I see you know exactly what you want to achieve and what you need to work on. The visibility is better on your mountain that on a lot of ours. Looking forward to seeing you successfully completing these tasks, working on past papers and whatnot.
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cjareck
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby cjareck » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:16 am

Ani wrote:Well, don't do what I did :) I think the key to FSI is doing at the right stage. I started very early and ended up doing lessons ~10x each trying to learn everything, rhythm, intonation, etc etc. About a year and a half ago I tried again and got through a bunch but I was still overdoing everything and using it as writing practice. I copied basically everything from the first 7 units for spelling improvement. At that point I needed the text because I'd miss words from the dialogue. I think if I had just let myself go faster all would have been well.
Now I just tried again this week and I think FSI might be great for activation, but a lot of the units are very easy. I don't need the manual anymore because my listening is strong enough so I will probably just listen once through everything that's left. I think Systematiker did a very fast pass through FSI last year or the year before and said it was very helpful for activation.

OK. Thanks for the reply. At first, I was doing FSI Hebrew just by listening to the lessons a few times (maybe up to ten) but I didn't learn much that way. Now I put each drill into Anki and when I listened to the old lessons I really knew what was going on ;) So it activated me also ;)

By the way, I am impressed by your homeschooling of your kids and, even more, for the ability to teach them a foreign language. I am trying to teach my oldest daughter (11) English, but it is always a disaster...
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby Ani » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:43 am

cjareck wrote:By the way, I am impressed by your homeschooling of your kids and, even more, for the ability to teach them a foreign language. I am trying to teach my oldest daughter (11) English, but it is always a disaster...


Oh thanks. The jury's still out on whether I'm actually succeeding with any of them :) It's really hard to teach a child a language if you start after age 3 as far as I've seen. That's not to be discouraging, just acknowledging a tough task. The benefits are huge though as you obviously know, even from the memory & perseverance standpoints.
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby aaleks » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:00 am

Ani wrote:
aaleks wrote:I might be wrong but as I understand it the exams were designed in the first place as some standard for university applicants or job requirements - this is why they are so academic. And this is one of the reasons why I'm not so eager to take one of them. I just don't want to spend time on writing essays*, or rehearsing speaking topics, about the things I know little to nothing, or just not enough to give a speech. I would've needed time to prepare to such an exam had I taken it in my native tongue because those topics are definitely not something I'm speaking about on a daily basis.

*this link to a thread where an English learner posted his works while preparing to a C2 exam https://efl-forum.ru/boards/viewtopic.p ... 009#p33029


That guy is pretty high level. Sentences that kind to make me tired :)

One of the things though is that I *do* have complex discussions on super obscure topics all the time and maybe a lot of my frustration comes from not being able to do that in French. A couple nights ago DH and I had a.. debate.. about whether on average women were less capable of engineering because of their disinclination to analytical reasoning. I could barely structure my arguments in my native language so I don't know why I'm upset I couldn't do it in French but "speaking French" to me means being able to defend my position, quickly cite books or research that I've read, calculate/discuss statics and probabilities... I'm such a long way away from that.


My problem with the topics is not their obscurity but that they reminds my school essays when you had to write something about something you were either not really interested in or just didn't want to share your real opinion. For example, the classical for Russian schools (at least it was when I was in school) essay "Что такое счастье?"/"What is happiness?". I remember I wrote that it's hard to tell because for each person happiness means different things. According to our teacher back then this was a wrong answer :roll: . In other words, I just don't like to be forced to speak about something otherwise I would not.

At the same time the obscurity of the topics is the problem :) because some of them sounds to me like "The influence of the full moon on the spawning of penguins in the African desert."
So even though I prefer learning language(s) on my own and the way I like if one day I have to take a language exam I would considering to hire a tutor who's familiar with the exam's format or at least work through a prep book(s) from cover to cover.

I couldn't do it in French but "speaking French" to me means being able to defend my position, quickly cite books or research that I've read, calculate/discuss statics and probabilities... I'm such a long way away from that.

Well, I often feel a bit dumb when I'm writing something in English :D . Let alone cultural differences*, even though I don't see that there are many of them tbh but still I feel the need to think and rethink, and rewrite, and reread, and delete eventually :mrgreen: what I have written :) . There's really a lot to learn besides the language itself. I wish I could write in English as I do, or did**, it in Russian.

*I hope I didn't write something offensive in this post. I'm sorry if I did.
**English has affected my Russian writing a bit, so now it's worth than it used to be.
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby Xenops » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:06 pm

I just wanted to say that I'm in your fan club, and I think you are awesome. :D Stay-at-home moms have it tough, especially when there's more than one kid. And teaching them different languages! Goodness.

Some thoughts: even if your kids don't become fluent in two languages, I think the early training will help rather than not. An example is a couple of Japanese boys I tutor for ESL: ages 7 and 9. Even though they have have only been in the U.S. for one or two years, the 7-year-old barely has an accent. The older brother is easier to tutor, but he sounds like a Japanese boy learning English. I also wonder if my taking high school Spanish has given me an advantage, even at such a "late" age: I think my Spanish/Mexican accent sounds more Spanish than gringo, whereas I feel like I still sound like an American when speaking Japanese or French. If I dig up Spanish again, I will record myself so others to prove it true or not.
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby Ani » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:34 pm

smallwhite wrote:
Ani wrote:
... no way I could have spoken for 10 minutes... on the socioeconomic effects of environmental policies...

... "speaking French" to me means being able to defend my position, quickly cite books or research that I've read, calculate/discuss statics and probabilities...

... I *do* have complex discussions on super obscure topics all the time and maybe a lot of my frustration comes from not being able to do that in French...

... I'm not in accustomed of being tested all day anymore...

I see you know exactly what you want to achieve and what you need to work on. The visibility is better on your mountain that on a lot of ours. Looking forward to seeing you successfully completing these tasks, working on past papers and whatnot.


Hmm.. I really didn't realise that until you put it all together. Thanks :) I guess I do know what I need to do.


aaleks wrote:*I hope I didn't write something offensive in this post. I'm sorry if I did.

Oh my gosh no. I like talking with you. And if you ever feel like you need to change your thoughts to give the right answer to "what is happiness" you can always PM me to chat :)


At the same time the obscurity of the topics is the problem :) because some of them sounds to me like "The influence of the full moon on the spawning of penguins in the African desert."
So even though I prefer learning language(s) on my own and the way I like if one day I have to take a language exam I would considering to hire a tutor who's familiar with the exam's format or at least work through a prep book(s) from cover to cover.

Well, I often feel a bit dumb when I'm writing something in English :D . Let alone cultural differences*, even though I don't see that there are many of them tbh but still I feel the need to think and rethink, and rewrite, and reread, and delete eventually :mrgreen: what I have written :) . There's really a lot to learn besides the language itself. h I could write in English as I do, or did**, it in Russian.


Yeah definitely, to pass a test I'd need to read a lot that I don't have interest in. Like, I want the level of discourse, but not on those test subjects. Practing talking about traffic in Paris, even basic political stuff, effects of global warming, etc are not the kind of subjects I enjoy and the PC answers aren't always what I want to say.

If it's a means to a skill, I'll go for it I think, but as a means to an end (test certificate I don't really need) I wouldn't necessarily want to put up with it either.

Xenops wrote:I just wanted to say that I'm in your fan club, and I think you are awesome. :D Stay-at-home moms have it tough, especially when there's more than one kid. And teaching them different languages! Goodness.


Thanks! Yeah hopefully I'm doing ok with the kids. Time will tell I guess. At least most of them seem to be like basically nice people so I'm trying to take comfort in the idea that even if I'm bad a lot of things, we might be doing ok in the important ones.
I do think the language exposure is helpful. Just memory work is so good for your brain. I don't think I have any crazy ideas about how much they're going to learn without any further support but I think it's good.


*******

And I did it. I went to a picnic and I made friends and I talked in French a bit to some people. It was big for me. And my French wasn't even horrible -- quite decent compared to many of the other L2 French speakers, and would have been even better if I weren't nervous. I think I'd get a solid level up if I were more comfortable so that's another good goal :)

And my new friend says her in-laws feel kind of isolated being here for a long time with only her to speak with so we might arrange some play dates or get together soon which would be super cool.
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby Ani » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:32 am

Goals for the second half of the month:

Resume Super Challenge Tracking & try to update record based on app history.

Try to log more Super Challenge Material (non specific on purpose.. "some" is ok..)

Continue with italki 2 lessons/week or better
Write my reports for italki tutor 2x week

Do 6 essons in Mauger

Finish Le Problème à trois corps

Finish IOL1 units 1 & 2

Do "some" pages in the Sputnik textbook & consider starting a separate Russian log with grammar summaries and such like member Savon's log.

Jot down what I actually do every day, even if it's sloppy, so I have something to look back on when I am sure I got "nothing done".
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby Cavesa » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:27 pm

Yes, having a different opinion or experience is a problem in school tests. I know this far too well. Even nowadays, I have to accept lies at medschool, when I know that the reality works differently and "stuff that doesn't happen" almost killed a few people around me (and I do not exist btw, following the outdated textbooks and most teachers :-D you are talking to an AI probably).

In languages, it is at least not a life or death issue. But I remember one assignment, the "what is happiness" thing reminded me of it. We were using Harry Potter in our middle school classes (sounds great, doesn't it. Well, not really, when you do intensive reading at the pace of one page per hour and your near senile teacher goes over the first chapter with you eight times, the second thrice and the third once. And when she really sucks all the way out of it by her despicable comments and attitude. And when she still shouts at you four times a week). And we were asked as an open question "What would you see in the Mirror of Erised?" which was pretty personal. My life experience has always been very different from that of vast majority of people and weird to describe, so I chose some evasive nonsense and got a lower grade for getting entangled in it a bit. But I was so glad I did! A friend of mine answered honestly and then was grilled by the teacher about her parents' separation during a break.

The French exams are the best in this! In the DALF, you are not supposed to add much of your personal opinion in the written part. You need to weight it carefully, as you need to stick to your dossier pretty closely, that is part of your assignment. Putting too little personal content in it is usually a much smaller mistake than too much of it. Yes, you need to add some during the oral part but it is not so hard to guess what kind of stuff you are likely to be asked during your preparation.

Personally, I sometimes find it enriching to learn stuff I wouldn't choose myself for an exam. Even though it sucks most times, I agree there. But that is the magic of foreign languages. Even a boring subject can suddenly be much more fun, when it is studied in a fun language

aaleks wrote:My problem with the topics is not their obscurity but that they reminds my school essays when you had to write something about something you were either not really interested in or just didn't want to share your real opinion. For example, the classical for Russian schools (at least it was when I was in school) essay "Что такое счастье?"/"What is happiness?". I remember I wrote that it's hard to tell because for each person happiness means different things. According to our teacher back then this was a wrong answer :roll: . In other words, I just don't like to be forced to speak about something otherwise I would not.

At the same time the obscurity of the topics is the problem :) because some of them sounds to me like "The influence of the full moon on the spawning of penguins in the African desert."
So even though I prefer learning language(s) on my own and the way I like if one day I have to take a language exam I would considering to hire a tutor who's familiar with the exam's format or at least work through a prep book(s) from cover to cover.

Aaleks is probably too young for this just like me (jut guessing here) but it used to be normal in the communist block to hide one's opinions. You had to repeat stuff you didn't believe in and hated just so you would not ruin your life (education, work, and so on). As my parents and grandparents have told me, one of the favourite methods was a kind of a permanent quoting. "Following Marx, the capitalism is ...." and "Following the textbook, the goal of our society is ... " The average people had to become masters of balancing between personal integrity and social acceptability. The funny point was, that the teachers were in a similar position, except for those agreeing with the regime. So, they were accepting these evasive methods.

And "The influence of the full moon on the spawning of penguins in the African desert." that sounds like a medical physiology test question at my faculty! :-D (but really. The "why doesn't a flamingo freeze on a lake" was a real question of one of the examiners)
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Re: Ani's 2018 Log

Postby aaleks » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:07 pm

Cavesa wrote:Aaleks is probably too young for this just like me (jut guessing here) but it used to be normal in the communist block to hide one's opinions. You had to repeat stuff you didn't believe in and hated just so you would not ruin your life (education, work, and so on). As my parents and grandparents have told me, one of the favourite methods was a kind of a permanent quoting. "Following Marx, the capitalism is ...." and "Following the textbook, the goal of our society is ... " The average people had to become masters of balancing between personal integrity and social acceptability. The funny point was, that the teachers were in a similar position, except for those agreeing with the regime. So, they were accepting these evasive methods.

Cavesa, no, I'm not so young :) . I was born in the USSR, and even became a little soviet pioneer (girl) as all kids did back then at age of 9-10. I was a teenager when the country felt apart. But it's true - I don't remember too many bad things about the time. First off all I was just a child, and then the time I remember is the mid-late 1980's. Things already started changing. I've ones mentioned before that I didn't even fully understand the words of pioneer's oath (even though I still remeber it!) :roll:
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