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Learning a language for 6 weeks

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Sprachprofi
Nonaglot
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Germany
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Speaks: German*, English, French, Esperanto, Greek, Mandarin, Latin, Dutch, Italian
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swahili, Indonesian, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese

 
 Message 1 of 195
06 April 2007 at 5:08am | IP Logged 
Inspired by the idea in the "Help Picking a language for a Younger Sib" thread, I'd like to see if I can find enough crazy polyglots for this experiment.

Here's the idea: everybody will learn a language they haven't studied at all yet for 6 weeks, everybody at the same time. Afterwards, we test our vocabulary, grammar, comprehension etc. to see 1) in which languages were we able to make the most progress and 2) which methods worked out best.

This is also a good opportunity for people who don't know which language to learn next to try out one and see how they do, or to try whether a new method will work out well for them.

For testing purposes, it would be best to have several people for each language. And we should probably agree to study a more or less equal amount of time during those 6 weeks, so that results are more comparable. I was thinking 21 hours total, that would translate to 30 minutes per day or 3,5 hours per week. I don't think it should be more intensive than that, because some people might have a busy job or other languages to study, too ;-)

What languages? The original thread suggested to compare "easy" languages, so that would probably mean Esperanto, Indonesian, Swedish or the like. However, if you'd like to see how well you'll do in a different language, that's fine, too. Please post here if you're in.

I would be ready to try this for Indonesian, Swedish, Swahili, Portuguese, Russian or just about anything ;-)


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patuco
Diglot
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 Message 2 of 195
06 April 2007 at 5:36am | IP Logged 
I wouldn't mind trying it for Swedish or Swahili but I've got a couple of questions:

1. What courses, methods, etc would we use?
2. How would we test our vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, etc. afterwards?
1 person has voted this message useful



Julie
Heptaglot
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PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 3 of 195
06 April 2007 at 5:37am | IP Logged 
I like this idea very much, I would love to do it :) The participants could also share the experience during the whole experiment, exchange the ideas and try to pick up the best methodes :).

However, we have to figure out a good methode to check our progress and, specially, to compare our effects as we would be native speakers of different languages and we've learnt different foreign languages as well. (I'm sure for example that learning any Slavic language would be much easier for me than for you. I guess we both would do much quicker progress in Portuguese than people who don't speak Spanish etc.)
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Frisco
Triglot
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United States
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 Message 4 of 195
06 April 2007 at 5:38am | IP Logged 
Although I should be focusing on my current languages, I don't think I could resist such a challenge. Who knows, I might end up learning that language better than the ones I'm lazily studying now. I'm in.
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Julie
Heptaglot
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 Message 5 of 195
06 April 2007 at 5:53am | IP Logged 
Yeah, that's a challenge :)

I was thinking if, in order to eliminate our different backgrounds, we could do at the very beginning a test which checks at least our reading comprehension of the target language.
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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
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 Message 6 of 195
06 April 2007 at 6:06am | IP Logged 
I accept the challenge! If there is online material for the languages, so much the better. I think I'll go for Esperanto or Portuguese (which I have access to at home) or maybe something else. "Easy" for me, with some knowledge of Spanish.
1 person has voted this message useful



Sprachprofi
Nonaglot
Senior Member
Germany
learnlangs.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4705 days ago

2608 posts - 4866 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Esperanto, Greek, Mandarin, Latin, Dutch, Italian
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swahili, Indonesian, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese

 
 Message 7 of 195
06 April 2007 at 6:32am | IP Logged 
Great! :-)

Patuco: everybody would be free to use whatever course or method they want. Part of the idea is that we can try to see how effective they are, in comparison.

A starting test would be a good idea, I think. For the final test, I was thinking of
a) posting a list of basic vocabulary, so everybody can test how many words they know - I wonder whether that should be an active or passive test.
b) posting a checklist of grammar topics, or alternatively a cloze test (harder to create)
c) posting an easy text, same text in all languages, for reading comprehension
d) if possible, post an easy soundbite for listening comprehension

Depending what languages get chosen, we might also be able to use Transparent Language's online evaluation quizzes.

So let's summarise what people are in so far and which languages were suggested:
Sprachprofi: Indonesian, Swedish, Swahili, Portuguese, Russian, other
Patuco: Swedish, Swahili
Julie: ?
Frisco: ?
Jeff_lindgvist: Esperanto, Portuguese, other

Julie wrote:
However, we have to figure out a good methode to check our progress and, specially, to compare our effects as we would be native speakers of different languages and we've learnt different foreign languages as well.

I don't think we can eliminate that entirely, but if we all studied languages that should be "easy" for us, we should get comparable results. Also the comparison of different people who learned the same language and the initial test should help us.
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Raincrowlee
Tetraglot
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United States
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 Message 8 of 195
06 April 2007 at 6:41am | IP Logged 
Ah, too late. I would participate, but I have a head start. I added Esperanto to my routine about two weeks ago because of the thread you mentioned, and I've been working on it steadily since. I was going to see how far I'd get in six weeks, just for laughs, but I'm not in a position to add yet another.


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