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My confusing method

 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
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Serpent
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 Message 17 of 38
29 June 2015 at 8:27pm | IP Logged 
smallwhite wrote:
Indeed it's not a race, but if one is learning much slower than others then that may mean one is doing it incorrectly.

Or it may mean that you're comparing yourself with those from a different league. For a first time language learner, the OP isn't slow at all.

And I agree with Cavesa, iguanamon and others. Don't focus too much on the CEFR. Setting a deadline for A2 is good if you want to take the actual exam, or if you don't plan to progress beyond that (although then it's better to reach at least B1).

(This feels like it may be some Benny influence again. But I don't remember him posting anything like "My goal is A2, so I need to learn X words". Discard any subgoals that are irrelevant to you.)
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Serpent
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 Message 18 of 38
29 June 2015 at 8:29pm | IP Logged 
smallwhite wrote:
I read about someone (not even an English native) passing C1 after a 10-month intensive course,

In many ways that's an advantage, though. This means they already spoke their native language and English.
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rdearman
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 Message 19 of 38
29 June 2015 at 8:49pm | IP Logged 
I was listening to a book today about motivational research, and it is a well proven psychological fact that a longer term goal of "mastery" will provide more motivation and more engagement than a short term focus on a specific goal like "A2". You're more likely to succeed if you put your target as a complete mastery of German, regardless of how long it takes.
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Serpent
Octoglot
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 Message 20 of 38
29 June 2015 at 10:07pm | IP Logged 
That's actually becoming old-fashioned. And interestingly, a few years ago the tendency on HTLAL would be to say "don't worry about achieving a native-like level, start with a smaller goal". But now we see people taking that too literally and worrying about their exact place in the range of A1-A2 or A2-B1 or B1-B2.

I'm not sure if there's a correct answer here (at least if you don't plan to take an exam at A2-B1). Balance is always the key. Thinking on your own is always the key. Don't rely on textbooks and teachers, nor polyglots and forums ;)

All I can say is, don't take CEFR literally. If you care about it, focus on its spirit rather than the exact descriptions or things like the number of words to learn. Go through checklists and see which skills you have, and which are holding you back - and also which are irrelevant, now or permanently. Look at the lists above your level and see what skills are relevant now, even though you're not supposed to pursue them yet. It's not even as rebellious as it sounds - published materials do that too. For examples there's an EU-produced online course for Polish and Ukrainian (made for Euro-2012) that officially says it teaches A2-level touristy stuff and B1-level football stuff.

Basically, if you want to do something specific in L2, don't ask for anyone's permission. Ask whether that's realistic, not whether you should do it. And - I can't stress this enough - read about other people's experiences to form your own ideas of what's realistic.

Edited by Serpent on 29 June 2015 at 10:12pm

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smallwhite
Pentaglot
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 Message 21 of 38
29 June 2015 at 11:53pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
smallwhite wrote:
I read about someone (not even an English native) passing C1 after a 10-month intensive course,

In many ways that's an advantage, though. This means they already spoke their native language and English.


I knew you would respond to my post.

You seem very eager, to imagine and assume that this person speaks English. Fact is even I don't know. I will edit my post.

I'm getting this feeling that I'm the only one here whose posts only apply to 3rd-or-above language learners. Like everyone else's posts are always universal to anyone, except mine. My posts must be qualified, by myself or someone else, usually Serpent.

At least for those posts that don't conform.
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Serpent
Octoglot
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 Message 22 of 38
30 June 2015 at 2:42am | IP Logged 
If this was an FSI course then the instruction would be in English, no? And there aren't many adults who learn German without ever having tried to learn any English...

I'm all for abstract discussions, but do you really remember what it was like to speak only your native language?

Thanks for the links, btw :)

Edited by Serpent on 30 June 2015 at 2:43am

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smallwhite
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 Message 23 of 38
30 June 2015 at 3:24am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
If this was an FSI course then the instruction would be in English, no?


And now you're imagining and assuming that this person and his class were taking the FSI course, which they weren't.

Serpent wrote:
but do you really remember what it was like to speak only your native language?


I remember learning my first L2, English, which is very different from my L1, Cantonese Chinese. I remember coming first in an English exam in Australia for Australians. So there is certain bull that I don't believe in regarding learning one's first L2. I'm glad no one gave me any when I started out, and I don't intend to give out any.

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1e4e6
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 Message 24 of 38
30 June 2015 at 3:30am | IP Logged 
I would say that if you actually do have a certain date for a CEFR exam or some sort of
qualification, then that is when a CEFR goal is quite tangible and important. Otherwise
go at a comfortable pace, but it is true that if for example, a learner is still A1 after
10 years after daily learning, then something is going quite wrong somewhere.


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