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Arekkusu’s TAC 2012 Team ne nur

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 217 of 407
10 October 2011 at 6:01pm | IP Logged 
Sprachprofi wrote:
I'm at an advanced level in French and I'd love some pointers on key areas I should
improve.

Sprachprofi, if you feel I might be of assistance, let me know...
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 218 of 407
10 October 2011 at 7:23pm | IP Logged 
This Thanksgiving weekend was an opportunity to revisit my learning goals and strategies for Japanese. I
analyzed my relative abilities in all 4 skills, and noted what's been working and what hasn't been working so
well. I wrote down what's been annoying me and what's been encouraging.

The conclusion I came to was no surprise: my biggest problem is vocabulary. It's what makes serious
reading laborious, what limits more serious discussions from taking off. It's the one thing that annoys me
and that I really want to change: I need to improve the way I learn vocabulary.

I know I really dislike SRS, so that's not the answer. I also know I do encounter new words in context when
I read, watch TV shows or participate in discussions, so I don't need new ways to expose myself to words.
However, there is something inefficient about the way I retain vocabulary. After an analysis of how I study, I
realized that there are too many distractions and I don't have enough time to properly ponder new
vocabulary.

The first thing I did was to find a new place to work. I don't like to be isolated from others, so shutting
myself in a room is out of the question, and it's obvious that sitting in the living room while others are
watching TV -- even if I'm not interested in the show -- is too distracting. So I moved a little table in front of
a window in the dining room; it's bright, I'm not isolated, but yet I'm not able to see the TV. The table is
small, which limits potential distractions or clutter. It's a dedicated area where I can study vocabulary.

I also got myself a big pad of 11x14in paper. Each page will contain up to 10 new words every day. I figure
that if I can keep that rhythm up, I should be able to almost double my vocabulary by the time I reach my
4th year of study.

I have no idea if this will work, but it's the first step in establishing a system that will allow me to reach my
goal.

Have you taken time recently to reconsider your language goals?
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 219 of 407
20 October 2011 at 6:26pm | IP Logged 
The idea that's most been on my mind lately is the relationship between creativity and language learning.

I assume that this isn't much of an issue for people who study only so they can read in the language, but I've been realizing that language learning is actually my main outlet for creativity. That's why I focus on speaking, because I'm continuously creating sentences and ways to express ideas and opinions. This challenge is what drives me.

For a good 10 years, I stopped studying foreign languages. To fill this gap, unknowingly, I first painted, then dabbled in photography and later composed and performed as a singer-songwriter. When I lost interest in singing, I went back to studying and started with Japanese.

As I stopped to reflect on where I'm headed with regards to Japanese, I realized that some of the technology I used for language learning actually inhibited my creativity. I'm still trying to find new practical ways to put this realization to use.
1 person has voted this message useful



g-bod
Diglot
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5071 days ago

1485 posts - 2002 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, German

 
 Message 220 of 407
20 October 2011 at 10:48pm | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
Have you taken time recently to reconsider your language goals?


I think I started the year wanting to thoroughly master reading in Japanese but it is now looking like listening and speaking will be the winners of 2011 and I am quite happy with that.

There's nothing like a busy schedule to focus the mind but the reality is my free time is very limited right now. I just wish I had more time for Japanese study.
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 221 of 407
31 October 2011 at 5:10pm | IP Logged 
I'm considering participating in the local Japanese speech contest again this year.

The problem is always the same -- what shall I talk about?

If I chose the easiest or most interesting topic for me, I'd be talking about language, or stepping out of your comfort zone, or the relationship between embracing vulnerability and success in language learning, or else something about how we could all benefit from coaching in language learning... but I keep talking about the same stuff all the time. Not to mention that Japanese judges don't really care about that sort of stuff. Although to be honest, I don't actually want to win this time -- going to the national finals is too much of a bother and too much stress. I'm not getting any younger.

So then what could I talk about?

This morning, I was thinking that perhaps I could talk about something I never thought I'd talk about. Of course, I don't know what that is. I could pick something I know nothing about, learn about it, then talk about it! I don't know... the influence of sculpture on politics in the 16th century? The world-wide decrease in criminality in the 20th century? The expansion of the universe and dark matter?

What would you talk about?

Edited by Arekkusu on 31 October 2011 at 5:10pm

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Lexii
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4311 days ago

162 posts - 194 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 222 of 407
01 November 2011 at 2:55am | IP Logged 
Interesting question, Arekkusu. How long does the speech need to be? How long do you have to prepare? Can you talk about virtually anything you want? Are there any off-limits topics?

If it were me, I might consider doing a review, perhaps of a current movie, book, TV show or game. Or maybe a how-to: how to bake a fantastic cake, how to change a tire, how to do online banking.

Maybe I'd consider doing a mini-travelogue, like highlighting the best delis in my area (and why I think they're the best), or 50 places one should see when visiting my town.

Perhaps I could explain the meaning and customs of a particular holiday or share my opinions on a particular aspect of parenting (methods of discipline, options for education) or on the pros and cons of renting versus buying in today's real estate market.

My topics aren't as grand as yours but I hope perhaps they'll help you decide. At the very least, maybe you can chalk them up as topics you definitely don't want to talk about :).
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 223 of 407
01 November 2011 at 3:29am | IP Logged 
@Lexii

The speech needs to be 5 minutes long in the advanced category. There is no limit as to the topic per se,
but I suppose they do prefer topics that have something to do with Japanese or Japan. You can talk about
whatever you want, but you do have to consider who the target audience is.

If I could really do whatever I want, I would probably teach something, as you suggest, except that you
don't have access to anything (like a blackboard) and explaining how to do something using words alone
can be a bit limiting if you are trying to teach something complex. But it might be possible to work around
this and find something that can indeed be taught...
1 person has voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4423 days ago

4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 224 of 407
01 November 2011 at 8:14am | IP Logged 
I guess we tend to underestimate competition as a motivating factor. You are much better at this in the US and Canada. In Norway you are allowed to compete in sport, but if you had a competition like this in languages, they would probably bring in all the newspapers.


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