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My Language Learning Log (TAC14)

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sabotai
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4365 days ago

391 posts - 489 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, French

 
 Message 49 of 151
29 September 2013 at 3:22am | IP Logged 
And so here we are again.

I changed the title of the log because I've been spending as much time with European languages as I have with Asian languages.

Spent a lot of time this summer experimenting with some ideas. Some I liked, some I hated. Some I liked but then grew to hate. In the end, I did change my methodology quite a bit.

That thing about hating Korean lasted a few weeks. I'm back into the swing of things. But I started over from square one. One reason was because those 1000+ sentences I had SRS'ed, I wanted to do over again with the scriptorium method I wrote about a few posts ago. Very happy with how that's working for me. Of course, the most efficient way might be to do scriptorium, read them for a few days, and then put them into SRS. But I'm happy with how this is working out as is.

The second reason was because I was having trouble keeping up with some of the dialogs at the end of the first books for Yonsei and Sogang. I was too concerned with rushing through them. I took on more than I could chew. I was a bit obsessed with getting through the books as fast as I could that I left my listening comprehension a few chapters back from when I stopped. So I decided to just start over.

A few things I learned over this summer. I try to use too many resources at once (a lesson I've learned a few times over the years). For now on, 2-3 at a time. Not the 5-6 or more that I was doing. I need to spend more time on each dialog in each sitting, but over fewer number of days. Before, I kept listening to a dialog for 12 days, a few times, or maybe just even once, each day. Now, first I read the dialog every day (didn't do that before) making sure that I understand it, then listen for at least 2 times while reading the TL transcript, and then at least 2 times without it. And I do this for 6 days.

After the 6 days, then I take from the dialog any useful sentences for scriptorium, as well as any sample sentences from the chapter that dialog comes from. Usually it's the majority of the dialog, but I leave behind any of the small, extremely common sentences (like "Hello." and "Bye.")

Once the sentences are done using the schedule I talked about a few posts ago, I type them up and put them into Learning With Texts. Over the summer, I tried doing active drills on paper and it just doesn't work the same for me. I tried a few other ideas but in the end, Learning With Texts did what I wanted. Well, not entirely, but there is no perfect solution out there. I have this vision in my head for how I want to actively drill myself, but I just can't seem to put it into words or figure out how to do it myself (whether making my own program to do it or to create some pencil and paper system). So until I do, using LwT and using cloze deletion with it is my best option.

I start off just drilling words. I check the texts regularly to see if any combination of words that I'd like to drill as one "term" are finished (like in French "ne suis pas" or "J'ai" to start off with). I create terms of 2 or more words at that time. Just started this back up again after my latest pencil-and-paper system failed. Until I get this perfect vision that's stuck somewhere in my brain figured out, I'll be sticking with LwT.

Anyway, current progress

Korean
Sogang 1A: Currently on Chapter 5 (of 6)
Korean Grammar In Use: Unit 3.8

I'll go through Yonsei 1 again when I finish with Sogang 1A and then maybe go through the Yonsei Reading book after that. Instead of using them concurrently like I was before, I'll go through them one at a time. And at some point, I'm going to go through Hippocrene's and LL Spoken World.

French
Assimil 26
French Pod: Finished all the newbie lessons, have several Elementary lessons done

Once I'm finished with Assimil, I'm going to go through Teach Yourself French and then Yeach Yourself Improve Your French.

German

I've been taking sentences out of Assimil, Teach Yourself and Living Language. I want to get all of them into LwT before I get back to using more advanced materials.

Japanese

Many false starts, but I'm done with the dialogs from JPod101 Newbie (again). I'll be starting up with Beginner season 1 (the first several dozen lessons are as basic as the newbie lessons). Like with German, I started the sentences over again so that I can get them into LwT.


Wunderlust - We all have it, we all fight it. I fortunately have tons of free time. Well, most days. Some days not so much. But what I'm going to do is allow myself one wunderlust language a month to spend 20-30 minutes on a day. One, because it's fun. And that's all the reasoning I need.

My Wunderlust language for October will be Greek.

Edited by sabotai on 29 September 2013 at 3:26am

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KidRoberts
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2618 days ago

19 posts - 27 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Afrikaans

 
 Message 50 of 151
29 September 2013 at 6:29am | IP Logged 
I have a really bad problem with wanderlust and I REALLY like your idea for combating it.
I'll have to try that...
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sabotai
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4365 days ago

391 posts - 489 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, French

 
 Message 51 of 151
29 September 2013 at 6:23pm | IP Logged 
KidRoberts wrote:
I have a really bad problem with wanderlust and I REALLY like your idea for combating it.
I'll have to try that...


I'm in the process of trying to lose weight and exercise regularly. This is my....17th or 55th (I've lost count) time over the last decade to do so.   Every time I tried before I simply cut off everything I wasn't supposed to eat or drink. A month later, I failed.

I read a book called Mindless Eating and in it it says that prohibiting yourself from your cravings completely is a recipe for failure. I allow myself 2-3 items per week (a piece of cheesecake, a bottle of peach iced tea, etc.) to fulfill my cravings. Which is also about how many times I exercise per week. Doesn't get rid of the cravings completely, but I get just enough to keep me from going crazy and binging on thousands of calories of chocolate and cheesecake.

Taking a similar approach to my wunderlust. In the past, it would cause me to drop a language completely to focus on it. My approach now is that as long as I do my French and Korean for the day, I can indulge myself on a bit of wunderlust. Just as long as it doesn't hinder my progress in my main languages.
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oruixo13
Triglot
Newbie
Australia
Joined 2902 days ago

33 posts - 35 votes
Speaks: FrenchB2, Spanish*, EnglishC1
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 52 of 151
29 September 2013 at 11:28pm | IP Logged 
what happened to your Chinese?
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sabotai
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4365 days ago

391 posts - 489 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, French

 
 Message 53 of 151
01 October 2013 at 5:24am | IP Logged 
oruixo13 wrote:
what happened to your Chinese?


Kinda dropped it because I wanted to spend more time on French and German. I haven't stopped completely, but all I do now is study the characters a few times a week. Reading is a big part of my process and with Chinese, after a few weeks, I would always hit a wall when I'd get overloaded with too many new characters, so I want to learn a good number of them before getting back into it completely.
1 person has voted this message useful



sabotai
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4365 days ago

391 posts - 489 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, French

 
 Message 54 of 151
30 October 2013 at 11:28pm | IP Logged 
sabotai wrote:
In the end, I did change my methodology quite a bit.
...
Of course, the most efficient way might be to do scriptorium, read them for a few days, and then put them into SRS.
...

Now, first I read the dialog every day (didn't do that before) making sure that I understand it, then listen for at least 2 times while reading the TL transcript, and then at least 2 times without it. And I do this for 6 days.

After the 6 days, then I take from the dialog any useful sentences for scriptorium, as well as any sample sentences from the chapter that dialog comes from. Usually it's the majority of the dialog, but I leave behind any of the small, extremely common sentences (like "Hello." and "Bye.")

Once the sentences are done using the schedule I talked about a few posts ago, I type them up and put them into Learning With Texts.


1) I did decide to give the "scriptorium the sentence, then put it into SRS" thing a try.

2) The last part of the most recent evolution of my methodology is that I ditched having an integrated, complex method at all.

I've adopted the mantra of "Just do something in the language". I still do all of the things I quoted (well most), I just don't stick to just those things or doing them in a specific order.

Here's how I've broken everything up into various activities.

Intensive Dialogs: I listen to a dialog from a lesson a few times, then read the dialog making sure I understand it, listen a few more times, do scriptorium on the dialog, listen a few more times.

Written Sentences: Scriptorium example sentences from lessons, vocab books, etc. (not counting the dialogs)

SRS Passive: Doing sentence reps in Anki. New cards set to 20 max, Reviews set to 100 max. If the reviews get backed up, I simply don't worry about it.

SRS Active: Doing cloze deletion reps in Anki.

Intensive Reading: Reading a passage where I look up every word and grammar point I don't know.

Extensive Reading: Comprehensible reading input.

Dual-Language Reading: Somewhere between intensive reading and extensive reading. I'll use the native language text as a guide for the target language, but I don't dwell on each and every word the way I would with intensive reading.

Intensive Listening: I read a dialog, passage, article, etc. (something I have the audio for) making sure I understand it, then listen to it several times.

Extensive Listening: Comprehensible audio input (listening to something that I could read extensively). Meant to listen to large chunks of audio straight through once (with or without transcript), as opposed to intensive listening where I listen to a short passage, 3-4 minutes max, several times. I also count LRing under this.


I also set long term goals for each. Now, everyday, I just do what I feel like. If I don't want to do any dialogs, I don't.   If I don't feel like doing Anki reps, I don't. If all I want to do is scriptorium a few dozen sentences and intensively read for a few hours, I do.

Some of them work well together. For example, with dialogs, I do the intensive dialog work, and then when I feel like it, do intensive listening with them on another day. Or, I'll take a book and intensively read a few pages. Then, use it for intensive listening. Most recently, a graded reader for German has given my 9 pages of intensive reading and 6 minutes of intensive listening. But I don't do any systematic, complex chain of events with them all.

I also keep track of how much time I spend on each language. More of a curiosity to see how it matches up with the FSI numbers.

Goals and Current Progress

German (For German, I credited myself with some dialogs, sentences and hours done. I wasn't going to do intensive dialogs for early Assimil or Teach Yourself lessons)
Intensive Dialogs: 150 of 300 dialogs (50%)
Intensive Listening: 154 of 1,500 minutes of material (10.27%)
Extensive Listening: 0 of 10,000 minutes of material (0.00%)
Written Sentences: 3,149 of 20,000 sentences (15.75%)
SRS Passive: 119 of 10,000 sentences (1.19%)
SRS Active: 101 of 10,000 sentences (1.01%)
Intensive Reading: 9 of 1,000 pages (0.90%)
DL Reading: 0 of 2,500 pages (0.00%)
Extensive Reading: 0 of 5,000 pages (0.00%)
Minutes Studied: 10,300 of 45,000 minutes (22.89%) (45k minutes = 750 hours)

French
Intensive Dialogs: 112 of 300 dialogs (37.33%)
Intensive Listening: 109 of 1,500 minutes of material (7.27%)
Extensive Listening: 0 of 10k minutes of material (0.00%)
Written Sentences: 733 of 20k sentences (3.67%)
SRS Passive: 171 of 10k sentences (1.71%)
SRS Active: 0 of 10k sentences (0.00%)
Intensive Reading: 0 of 1k pages (0.00%)
DL Reading: 0 of 2.5k pages (0.00%)
Extensive Reading: 0 of 5k pages (0.00%)
Minutes Studied: 3,700 of 36k minutes (10.89%) (36k minutes = 600 hours)

I have been keeping track of my time doing various activities, and after guessing on a few others, in order to reach all of my goals in these two languages, it would take about 1,000 hours, overshooting the FSI number for both of them by a few hundred. For Japanese and Korean, I upped a few of the goals by quite a bit. I tweaked them to get them to come out to be about 2200 hours when done.

Japanese
Intensive Dialogs: 161 of 1500 dialogs (10.73%) (+1200 from Ger/Fre)
Intensive Listening: 153 of 5k minutes of material (3.06%) (+3.5k from Ger/Fre)
Extensive Listening: 0 of 10k minutes of material (0.00%)
Written Sentences: 150 of 30k sentences (0.50%) (+10k from Ger/Fre)
SRS Passive: 96 of 10k sentences (0.96%)
SRS Active: 0 of 10k sentences (0.00%)
Intensive Reading: 0 of 1k pages (0.00%)
DL Reading: 0 of 5k pages (0.00%) (+2.5k from Ger/Fre)
Extensive Reading: 0 of 10k pages (0.00%) (+5k from Ger/Fre)
Minutes Studied: 5,120 of 132k minutes (3.88%) (132k minutes = 2200 hours)

Korean
Intensive Dialogs: 80 of 1500 dialogs (5.33%)
Intensive Listening: 76 of 5k minutes of material (1.52%)
Extensive Listening: 0 of 10k minutes of material (0.00%)
Written Sentences: 583 of 30k sentences (1.94%)
SRS Passive: 118 of 10k sentences (1.18%)
SRS Active: 0 of 10k sentences (0.00%)
Intensive Reading: 0 of 1k pages (0.00%)
DL Reading: 0 of 5k pages (0.00%)
Extensive Reading: 0 of 10k pages (0.00%)
Minutes Studied: 2,445 of 132k minutes (1.85%)


I don't keep track of the work done with my wunderlust language. For Greek, I only got a few days in. Just enough to learn the alphabet and how to say hello and goodbye. For November, I choose Thai.

See you next month where I explain how I changed everything up again.
2 persons have voted this message useful



sabotai
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4365 days ago

391 posts - 489 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, French

 
 Message 55 of 151
14 November 2013 at 6:03am | IP Logged 
So I've been toying around with my goals. Here's how they are now. I've only studied German over the last 2 weeks, so I'll just update on that.

German
Intensive Dialogs: 172 of 300 dialogs (57.33%)
Intensive Listening: 13 of 750 minutes of material (1.73%)
Extensive Listening: 36 of 15,000 minutes of material (0.24%)
Written Sentences: 3,625 of 10,000 sentences (36.25%)
SRS Passive: 549 of 10,000 sentences (5.49%)
Writing and SRS Drills: 153 of 25,000 sentences/cards (0.61%)
Intensive Reading: 11 of 250 pages (4.40%)
DL Reading: 8 of 1,000 pages (0.80%)
Extensive Reading: 0 of 2,500 pages (0.00%)
Minutes Studied: 11,355 of 45,000 minutes (25.23%)

What changed:

I dropped my goal for intensive listening. I also dropped counting listening to dialogs again as intensive listening (which is why ~150 minutes disappeared from it). After "Intensive Dialogs", I'll use them again for extensive listening.

I upped the goal for extensive listening (sorta). I'm now counting the entire time I do it. The reason is because I'm counting LR (listening to the same material 3-4 times) and pure extensive listening (listening to it once) under it.

Dropped written sentences goal to 10k. 20k seemed a bit overkill after thinking about it.

Writing and SRS Drills: A combination of three things.

1) Writing entries for Lang-8 or some other practice website. (number of sentences I create)

2) When an SRS Passive card is "retired"*, I then try to make Cloze Deletion cards. If I can cloze delete a whole word, I create a card for it. I also create cards where I partially cloze delete a word, typically a der/die/das word where I leave the "d" visible (so I know a der/die/das word goes there), the same with the forms of ein (I leave the "e" visible). I also take out a verb or adjective/adverb and display the dictionary form. "Er [sein] zu kalt.", "Ich [wohnen] in Berlin.", "Ich habe das Bier [trinken]" (and I'll also get "Ich habe d[...] Bier getrunken." from that sentence), etc. Each card counts as one so if I get 5 cards out of a sentence, I count that as 5.

3) And SRS Deck of various types of drills taken from FSI, Practice Makes perfect, etc. I set the options for this deck so that I don't see the drills often. If I set a new card to "Easy" the first time I see it, I don't see it for 2 weeks.

I'm still experimenting with various ideas for active use.

I dropped the reading goals as well. More overkill on my part.

*I retire SRS Passive (recognition) cards when their Interval reaches 2.5 months or longer, and that will usually happens after an interval of 1-1.5 months. If I haven't seen the sentence in over a month and get it right, I'm pretty sure it's done it's job and I can retire it.

My cloze and drill cards are the same.
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sabotai
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4365 days ago

391 posts - 489 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, French

 
 Message 56 of 151
20 November 2013 at 6:50am | IP Logged 
So, one more biggie change. I think this will be the last change because it's the last area where I've included any kind of systematic review.

I lose a lot of time typing things up for Anki. In fact, based on my stopwatch (app on my iPod) I generally take 2 minutes to type up content for Anki for every 1 minute I actually spend doing SRS reps. Wouldn't it make more sense for me to spend those 3 minutes intensively reading or doing more scriptorium?

I've taken systematic review out of my listening. I don't spend hours listening to the same content over and over again anymore. I've come around to the same thinking of those that say "if it's important, it'll keep coming up". Constantly reviewing old material was always what caused me to get bored with a language or just generally feel fatigue with language learning. But I was convinced that I had to do it.

And now it's constant, systematic review of sentences that's on the chopping block. For now on, I will just do scriptorium. To make up for the dropping all SRSing, I'm taking the scriptorium up to 30,000 sentences. Obviously I'm not going to check for repeats. In fact, I'll probably intentionally repeat some sentences.

So that's that. Previously I noticed that reviewing dialogs was dragging me down. I've noticed this before with SRS, but really it's any kind of massive review. Even with the system I was doing where I reread sentences I scriptoriumed several times, it was a drag at times. I think I'd rather just scriptorium a sentence 1-3 times than read it on paper or on a PC screen a dozen times or more. So that's what I'm going to try. Constantly pushing forward. Never going back.

Edited by sabotai on 20 November 2013 at 6:51am



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