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Spanish B1 in 9 months

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Mike_405
Newbie
United Kingdom
NoneRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 761 days ago

13 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 25 of 60
19 November 2015 at 8:10pm | IP Logged 
Do keep us updated. I'm also using assimil Spanish with ease and find it the best resource I have come across.
Tell me more Spanish version 9 or 10.5 is great for intermediates/advanced learners maybe you could check that out. Rosetta stone purchased the company tell me more and offer a online version of the program as an "advanced level". I picked up a cheap version 9 copy from ebay.

Regards, Mike.



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 828 days ago

50 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 26 of 60
26 November 2015 at 10:09am | IP Logged 
Back guys!
I haven't quit yet, though I really felt like it at one stage, and I reckon I took a
full break of 1-2 weeks. It wasn't so much out of any sense of difficulty, I was just
worrying that I was wasting my time with this whole language learning thing- that I
was going to end up with a perpetually bad accent/ grammar etc, and studying
autonomously would not get me anywhere. I was also having trouble dealing with my non-
language related workload- life, in other words.

I should add that I have more than 9 months now to "get to the B1", more like an extra
year and a bit now, and I think I am going to need this time.

But alas, I am now halfway through Assimil though, and have translated the first
couple of first lessons from the active wave. I find that I am sort of enjoying this
now. I will definitely finish Assimil regardless of whatever else happens- I am too
far in now and I find reading and listening is working fairly well for me (more
details later.)
I find that I can understand quite a bit of each new lesson as I look at it- Pareto's
principle in action I guess-the same words seem to repeat themselves & I now need to
use the non-TL translation less.
My technique when using the book each day is something like this:
*listen to the new lesson a few times to get familiar with it.
*Open the Assimil book, I read out each line once, and compare it to the translation,
in order to get the gist of what the TL dialogue lines mean.
* Listen to the audio while reading the target language around 5 times (although I
perhaps I need less repetitions now) I talk along with (shadow) while reading the
target audio.)
*switch over and listen to the audio while reading the TL around 5 times.
*listen to the audio once while not looking at the book, in order to test my
comprehension.
*Listen to the audio several times while attempting to 'shadow' it. I am generally not
too successful at this, but I am getting better with practice.
*Do a quick review of the past 3-4 lessons, then call it a day.
When doing the first few active lessons, I had a pretty easy time of things. However,
I can see that there are a lot of lessons that are going to be quite difficult to
translate in the future, and I am going to require a few "waves" through in order to
get the contents of the book well established in my head.

TO be honest- I gave up Michel Thomas, I just couldn't bear to listen to his advanced
lessons. I finished the foundation course when I didn't know any better, and it took
me to a stage where I could deal with Assimil (when used alongside Pimsleur.)
The method seems to work well for some people, but I just found them too annoying-
after around 5 minutes of listening, I would feel like throwing my Mp3 player across
the room. But don't take my word for it, a lot of people seem to swear by his method-
differnt strokes for different folks, I guess. Personally, if I had my time again, I
just would have used Pimsleur and a beginners book of verbal conjugations in order to
give me that introduction to the language.

I have looked at quite a few different resources now, and I feel that I have have a
much better idea of what I am doing now, compared to when I started.
You guys might think I am some sort of psycho, but I had a look into the FSI basic,
and

Another useful book I found was the Living Language advanced course- fast flowing
dialogues and it treats the grammar systematically.

One thing I did not realize, going into this, is the massive amounts of input I am
going to need if I am going to develop good comprehension abilities, as other people
have said.

I am not much of a TV or movie watcher, even in English. But, maybe I am missing out
on something here- when I ask other people I know who have learnt their second
language as adults, their answer is usually that they watched a lot of television.
My recourse for this, as many other members of this forum have had success with, is
probably going to be with audiobooks and perhaps a spaced repetition system. THe
listening-reading method, in other words. Other people, David Snopek comes to mine, as
do some of the other forum members here, seemed to have alot of success with this
method. I also understand that it is going to take a large amount of time- but this is
something I really want to give a try. I will probably start off with el
principito
& Harry Potter y la piedra filisofal and move on from there.
The next big step, and it is one that I am going to take sometime sooner or later, is
talking to actual people. I am sort of itching to do this, but I am going to sound
stupid at first. I reckon I am gonna start with a short in-person course, where there
are low expectations. Or perhaps online tutoring, where I never have to actually meet
the tutors in real life.

THe last point I will make is that I realize that I will certainly plateau, working
working on my own, and if I want to get halfway decent, I am going to have to spend
significant amounts of time immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment.

Edited by Digitalis on 13 January 2016 at 7:17am



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 828 days ago

50 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 27 of 60
26 November 2015 at 10:27am | IP Logged 
By the way? How is Assimil working? Pretty well, I think.
I was watching the first "easy street Spanish" videos on youtube, and I could actually
understand a bit of what they were saying without the subtitles, and more with the
subtitles. Not much, but a bit. A lot of the comments on this video were saying things
like "they speak so fast, I can't understand a word."
I reckon that after I get through Assimil and LL advanced, I will be able to tackle these
videos head on. The same thing goes with other random interviews I saw on youtube. I also
watched the video "Spanish for kids - La Ratita Presumida" both when I first started and
very recently, and I can understand a lot more of it now. Videos like this are probably
what you can expect to tackle once you finish Assimil, at least for languages like
Spanish.



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 828 days ago

50 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 28 of 60
26 November 2015 at 1:54pm | IP Logged 
Mike_405 wrote:
Do keep us updated. I'm also using assimil Spanish with ease and
find it the best resource I have come across.
Tell me more Spanish version 9 or 10.5 is great for intermediates/advanced learners
maybe you could check that out. Rosetta stone purchased the company tell me more and
offer a online version of the program as an "advanced level". I picked up a cheap
version 9 copy from ebay.

Regards, Mike.

Thanks for the reply Mick.
Honestly, with regard to courses, I though they would be the be-all-end-all when I
started, but I think that after Assimil + Living language advanced, I will have enough
of a basis to start dealing with native resources, such as audiobooks, and I plan on
doing exactly that. I still don't know what exactly I will do with regards to
grammar study. But I will have a look into the program "Tell Me More Spanish." What
does it involve?

There are about 5 or 6 I want to get through, and I will definitely use some other
input, such as Youtube videos or some cartoons. I agree with your comment about
Assimil, I really like it. I haven't finished yet, obviously, but I have gotten to the
point where I am seeing quite good results. I agree with DBag's earlier though, it is
a slow burner, it's sort of like a weight lifting program at the gym, where it takes
like 2 months to start seeing results if you go consistently.

However, I will reserve the bulk of my comments on Assimil until I finish the active
wave completely, and start having conversations with people, where I can perhaps give
some of the people on this forum an idea of where they will end up after finishing it,
for someone who is new to language learning.


Edited by Digitalis on 26 November 2015 at 1:55pm



Peetpeet
Diglot
Newbie
CanadaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 752 days ago

9 posts - 5 votes
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German, Spanish

 
 Message 29 of 60
30 November 2015 at 12:18am | IP Logged 
Spanish has sooo many resources. Literally so many. A quick search can get you
watching all of your favourite English shows in Spanish. Telenovelas abound. If you're
into online shopping, you can easily order a few Spanish novels and children's books
off of amazon. I though French had a lot of resources, but I find Spanish has about
twice that. There are several videos on youtube that can give beginner basic
conversation with skits. And as someone said previously, as cheesy as it is, Destinos
is awesome.

One of my favourite things to do when taking the plunge into a new language is to
watch a weather channel in that language. There are many visual cues as to what is
going on, AND you know that they are going to talk about the weather, which makes it
relatively easy to figure out some of what is going on, even if it's just a little.
Sure, the weather can get boring really fast, but you can watch it for 10-15minutes
and pick up something from it (even if you're unaware you picked up anything.) Also,
since it is about the weather, you don't have to worry about too much slang. And they
tend to speak more clearly.

Take some recipe cards and cut them relatively small, tape them on objects around your
house/apartment with the Spanish word of the object on it. Throw un/una or el/la on
the card too, if you want to make the gender of the word really stick. Example: Tape a
small paper to the lamp with the words "Una lampa" on it. Put it somewhere easily
visible. If you want, you can even make them big enough to write a few Spanish
sentences on the back involving the object you put it on. (If you happen to see a
sentence involving a lamp in a textbook or something, throw it on there.)

Want to go the extra mile? Change your phone language to Spanish. Your facebook
language to Spanish. Your computer language? Spanish. Some video game consoles also
have the option to change the language and some of the games will play in the new
language, so you can try that too. (RPGs are great! They're more text-heavy so they'll
expose you to much more.)

Take it slow though. I wouldn't recommend changing your computer to another language
until you really feel comfortable in that language. If something were to go amiss, you
might not understand what the computer is telling you is wrong. Small steps. Phone &
Facebook first.

Don't overwhelm yourself, but don't be afraid of pushing yourself a little bit
sometimes. :) Learn your limitations, and then work to overcome them! You got this.



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 828 days ago

50 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 30 of 60
07 December 2015 at 5:34pm | IP Logged 
Well, I finished lesson 56. I am just over half way through the passive wave, and I
have translated the first 10 lessons were not hard. All in all, I expect to finish the
passive wave completely in 2 months, and will be done with all the beginner materials
that I plan on using in around 3 months. I've been idly watching a few Destinos
episodes as well, I let them lapse for a while, I have trouble watching TV in general,
even in English. I much prefer to listen to the radio, use the computer or read books.

In terms of new courses, the most immediate plans I have include booking a tutor over
Skype and buying a comprehensive grammar book & bilingual dictionary- I might go for
Barrons, Schaum's or perhaps the "practice makes perfect" series- they are all cheap
and seem good.
I will try to keeps things fluid with regards to my future plans, but I plan to put in
a good 6 months of extra work, at a minimum, after getting through LLA and Assimil.




Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 828 days ago

50 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 31 of 60
15 December 2015 at 2:46pm | IP Logged 
Peetpeet wrote:
Spanish has sooo many resources. Literally so many. A quick search
can get you
watching all of your favourite English shows in Spanish. Telenovelas abound. If you're
into online shopping, you can easily order a few Spanish novels and children's books
off of amazon. I though French had a lot of resources, but I find Spanish has about
twice that. There are several videos on youtube that can give beginner basic
conversation with skits. And as someone said previously, as cheesy as it is, Destinos
is awesome.

One of my favourite things to do when taking the plunge into a new language is to
watch a weather channel in that language. There are many visual cues as to what is
going on, AND you know that they are going to talk about the weather, which makes it
relatively easy to figure out some of what is going on, even if it's just a little.
Sure, the weather can get boring really fast, but you can watch it for 10-15minutes
and pick up something from it (even if you're unaware you picked up anything.) Also,
since it is about the weather, you don't have to worry about too much slang. And they
tend to speak more clearly.

Take some recipe cards and cut them relatively small, tape them on objects around your
house/apartment with the Spanish word of the object on it. Throw un/una or el/la on
the card too, if you want to make the gender of the word really stick. Example: Tape a
small paper to the lamp with the words "Una lampa" on it. Put it somewhere easily
visible. If you want, you can even make them big enough to write a few Spanish
sentences on the back involving the object you put it on. (If you happen to see a
sentence involving a lamp in a textbook or something, throw it on there.)

Want to go the extra mile? Change your phone language to Spanish. Your facebook
language to Spanish. Your computer language? Spanish. Some video game consoles also
have the option to change the language and some of the games will play in the new
language, so you can try that too. (RPGs are great! They're more text-heavy so they'll
expose you to much more.)

Take it slow though. I wouldn't recommend changing your computer to another language
until you really feel comfortable in that language. If something were to go amiss, you
might not understand what the computer is telling you is wrong. Small steps. Phone &
Facebook first.

Don't overwhelm yourself, but don't be afraid of pushing yourself a little bit
sometimes. :) Learn your limitations, and then work to overcome them! You got this.

Sorry for the late reply, peet-peet. I think you are right, with regards to resources.
The amount of stuff I have seen online is staggering. I am not much of a TV watcher,
with regards to the telenovelas (though I will make some exceptions), but I personally
cannot wait to have a crack at reading audio-books- I read David Snopek's article on
Natural language learning, and I will get around to reading Stephen Krashen's book on
the topic of comprehensible input soon- this is something that I definitely want to
try.
I will make an exception by watching the news/weather, I am an unrepentant current
affairs junkie. Radio/podcasts are something else I like.

I have taken up destinos a bit again, but I am having a really hard time getting into
it. I felt the same way about Michel Thomas, which a lot of other people seem to find
useful.



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 828 days ago

50 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 32 of 60
18 December 2015 at 4:32pm | IP Logged 

Merry christmas and a Happy new year!,
I'm up to lesson 63 of Assimil with ease now. Looking through the rest of the Assimil
books, Lessons 63-77 look like a slog- Assimil really steps it up after lesson 50. I
am going to finish the rest of Michel Thomas soon. After I get through the next 14
lessons, I am going to start reading the audio book "El Principito."
I have been listening to native material as a sort of side project, I think it is
going to take me ages to adjust my ears to Spanish speech patterns, as Dbag said
before in this thread.
Another thing I will mention is that Assimil seems to severely vocabulary- you think
you are making good progress with it, until you look at a book written for young
children, like El Principito, and there is still a lot that you do not know, althought
I reckon I could get through it with a translation to use as a reference- one thing I
am seeing is the way that thoughts are expressed in Spanish is unexpectedly different
to that of English.



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