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Spanish B1 in 9 months

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Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 769 days ago

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

 
 Message 49 of 60
07 March 2016 at 6:25am | IP Logged 
Before I go on hiatus, I will reiterate
that I have started reading harry potter y la
piedra filosofal.
my reading plan into the immediate future is to
get through like 1-1.5 million words worth of
listening and reading, including the novels:
*senor de las moscas.
*The translations of Harry potter books 2 and 4
*El principito
*El hobbit
*The Assimil "using Spanish series." I have put
this on hiatus, but I will definitely get back
to it.
I will use other resources in the distant,
although I am not sure exactly which ones right
now. I am aware of Gloss, and have recently made
a Lingq account. I'd like to find a decent novel
at a similar level, but by a Spanish speaking
author. I don't think I could cope with 'cien
anos de soledad.'

At this stage, I will be using the Hugo products
'in three months" and "advanced" designed for
Spanish learners, concurrently to my reading and
listening activities, as opposed to the Audio-
lingual based FSI/DLI courses. I know these
courses are excellent and get good reviews on
this forum, and I really feel like I am missing
out on something by not using them (though maybe
I will in the future,) but my experience with
other 'listen-and-repeat" courses, such as
Pimsleur, haven't been great. The Hugo series
appears to employ a similar format and appears
to be comprehensive enough (I have purchased
both volumes,) but with less drills.

I've sort of been busy, and can't get access to
online tutors. But I really actually <I>want</I>
to start speaking now: if there was a local
conversation class being run near me, and was
not extremely expensive I would use it, but
alas...

Edited by Digitalis on 18 March 2016 at 5:27pm



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 769 days ago

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

 
 Message 50 of 60
18 March 2016 at 5:19pm | IP Logged 
At this stage, I've purchased both the Hugo 3
months and advanced book. But I feel I have a
bit more experience under my belt now and can
trust my own judgement a bit more. Assimil's
Using Spanish has enough grammar translation
style exercises & therefore it may not use
either of these two volumes.
At this point, I have definitely made the move
onto using native materials. I've nearly
finished
reading Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal,
although I still have hours to spend listening
to the audio. I don't have 100% comprehension
while reading
but certainly enough to know what is going on.
My
reading comprehension is definitely getting
better too.


Assimil's Using edition does
indeed seem comprehensive enough that it may
even be the last textbook I use. Again, I still
have access to DLI, FSI, Hugo's Spanish and as
many grammar workbooks as I could possibly want.
If I find that working
with a tutor isn't benefiting my speaking skills
enough, I won't hesitate to pick any one of them
up, but I
do not feel obliged to use them anymore, at
least not in the short to medium term.

Edited by Digitalis on 18 March 2016 at 5:26pm



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 769 days ago

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

 
 Message 51 of 60
30 March 2016 at 12:59am | IP Logged 
I have essentially finished with Assimil's "with
ease." I also managed to get my hands on a few
graded readers with audio- they should be useful
as another form of content. I will start back on
using Using Spanish, although I am putting my
other textbooks, such as the Hugo Series, FSI,
DLI other grammar workbooks on indefinite hold.

I think I also crossed a huge milestone in that
I finished reading Harry Potter (the first book)
and have such. I have had a look through a few
other threads in this forum, whose authors seem
to be having difficulty making the jump from
structured courses to native materials.

What did the trick for me was reading and simply
"skipping" over those parts of the book that I
did not understand. Having read Harry potter
before in English alongside almost finishing
Assimil got me to the point where I could "get
the gist" of the plot while reading, while
missing many of the finer details and not
knowing many of the words. I read a chapter a
day, and towards the end of the book I felt that
my comprehension of the text wss improving. I
have since started listening and reading to the
book and audiobook simultaneously- many of the
earlier words and constructions that I had
trouble with seemed much clearer and I could
follow the plot far more closely.

It's more a psychological barrier really- just
get used to the fact that you will be reading
texts in your TL without full comprehension for
a long time, and this is perfectly ok.
1 person has voted this message useful



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 769 days ago

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

 
 Message 52 of 60
06 April 2016 at 5:42am | IP Logged 
Well, I've finished Harry Potter now, and I am both simultaneously rereading harry potter. I tried the little prince a few months back, and managed to get through it with some comprehension. After rereading it now, there are still some grammatical points which I am yet to nail down, but I followed it far more closely. I have an account over at lingq, and have recently found out about lwt, but that is aside.
I still plan on getting through a large amounts of words, most of them offline and for which I have target language level audio, but my reading ability is not going anywhere fast- the more I read, the less I realize I know. It's going to be a grind from now on, just a matter of putting in the hours with progressively harder materials. I think I am going to start with one of the grammar books I spoke about, just to nail down my many weak points.

I have also taken a few online general score at A2 above online test (I cleared the A2 exam on the Cervantes website online last night) now, although I certainly don't feel like an A2 although I do not feel fluent at all. My ability to express myself in the written form still feels shockingly bad, I'd be mighty pressed to write a paragraph.


Edited by Digitalis on 11 April 2016 at 11:04am



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 769 days ago

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

 
 Message 53 of 60
11 April 2016 at 11:37am | IP Logged 
Halfway through the second Harry Potter, have also finished a graded reader. For my extensive reading, I am doing no dictionary work. I just plough through, while simultaneously blistening to an audiobook. Pretty much pure extensive reading. I am now starting with the book "Hugo's Spanish in three months.

I would say that I now have approximately 170,000 words under my belt. I have managed to get my hands on the audio for both Juego de tronos and the third Harry potter now.
I am using Lingq. as opposed to Assimil's Using Spanish for intensive reading and "vocabulary work- I sort of gave it up. I feel that they both work on the same principles- making texts comprehensible and then internalizing them. I have given ANKI up for the moment, I know some people swear by bit, but I find SRS systems sort of annoying, and certainly not a cure-all for memorizing vocabulary.

I'll also say that making the move to using native materials was an excellent choice- you;ve just got to take the leap at some stage. I am putting in more hours now, seeing as I am working with materials that are interesting.

Now that I look back, my reading comprehension has increased heaps! I can pretty comfortably read Veinte Mundos articles that looked like a forbidding walls of text when I first started. I can log onto El mundo and read a newspaper article. I'll say that I've found the news website "Euronews" to be incredibly useful, it has news with text and audio narration.
I'll say that although I started studying Spanish for travel reasons, most of the resources I used and am using are designed for Peninsular Spanish. I find that most of the news I read is related to Spain.



Edited by Digitalis on 24 April 2016 at 10:57am

1 person has voted this message useful



Mike_405
Newbie
United Kingdom
NoneRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 702 days ago

13 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 54 of 60
25 April 2016 at 11:03pm | IP Logged 
I see your making excellent progress. I have decided to do the version of Spanish with ease you did. Perhaps I'm not giving the new version enough credit as I understand a lot of what I have read so far.

About native materials, what audio-books do you recommend for someone who has finished with ease.

Keep going! Have you tried online webcam tutoring.

Thanks, Mike.



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 769 days ago

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

 
 Message 55 of 60
12 May 2016 at 7:33am | IP Logged 
Mike_405 wrote:
I see your making excellent progress. I have decided to do the version of Spanish with ease you did. Perhaps I'm not giving the new version enough credit as I understand a lot of what I have read so far.

About native materials, what audio-books do you recommend for someone who has finished with ease.

Keep going! Have you tried online webcam tutoring.

Thanks, Mike.


Hey there Mike!
I've sort of given up this log, although it served its purpose in motivating me to get through Assimil, but I've moved over to LingQ now. I will probably update my log over at the language learner forum later, after I get a bit more accomplished and actually have some important things to say.
I would also like to discourage you from using me as a source of advice- it would appear that I am only one or 2 steps ahead of you in terms of my progress. Most of the other posters here are better language learners than I will ever be- try to check out their logs, I got a lot out of them.
I'd also recommend having a look at the Learn Any Language wiki, most of the content seems to have been uploaded by the poster "Serpent." I found it extremely useful- she has done a really good service in uploading all that information.

In terms of courses, I have access to several advanced ones, but am going to delay using them for a long while, perhaps I might not even use them at all. I have immediate plan's to get through the one of those "Hugo's Spanish in three months," (which actually seems surprisingly rigorous) and then focus almost exclusively on listening, reading and speaking.

WRT audiobooks, try Ivoox. Have a squiz at the Learn any Language page if you want reading strategies- that's where I got most of my own advice from.

Edited by Digitalis on 12 May 2016 at 7:42am



Digitalis
Groupie
Australia
Joined 769 days ago

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

 
 Message 56 of 60
24 May 2016 at 5:33am | IP Logged 
Ok guys, a new progress update, if anyone is still even reading this log.
I cant believe it, but as of today, I have just finished reading and listening to the first 5 harry potter books. When I first started, I used the "LR method" of listtening and reading to TL2 materisla at the same time. To be honest, Harry Potter was way above my level at that stage, but I was at least at that 2,000 words+ few grammar rules level, there were many cognate words to help me out and I knew the plotline of the Harry potter books quite well, having both seen the movies and read the books previously inĀ English.
In terms of vocabulary study, I went through some content on lingq and made a few of hundred flashcards out of the first book.

My results- I can now start working exclusively with native materials, and I feel confident in obviating dialogue based learning materials.
I have looked into several other books, such as El hobbit, El Almquistra and even Juego de Tronos (a little harder) and I now feel quite confident in reading them with some dictionary help. I can read articles taken from Spanish newspapers, although I feel a bit uncomfortable with the vocabulary used. When I say I can "read" these materials, I ma not implying that I know every word (which will take a lot more reading and some specific vocabulary work, I think.)
But I can definitely follow the story lines quite closely and my level is sufficient enough to actually enjoy them.
I have tried watching TV, and again, I can follow episodes of either Pokemon or Southpark, but again not with full understanding (not my usual taste in tv though.)

When I look back, I was listening and reading intensively for a few hours each day over the last month or 2, but I feel like I've made enormous progress.
I will say that the gains that you will make in listening and reading will not necessarily cleanly translate over into your ability to speak and write the language- if you want to get good at speaking, you are probably going to have to speak, a lot.

In terms of my plans from now, I still haven't got through that Hugo Spanish in three months guide, that is next on the agenda. I will still continue to read and listen, a lot- both using lingq and paperback novels. I reckon I will have to get some formal instruction in an intensive school one day, or at least work through an FSI manual. I'm going to focus now on getting input and speaking now.



Edited by Digitalis on 24 May 2016 at 5:34am




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