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Time Management

  Tags: Time to learn
 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
33 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 3 4 5  Next >>
quendidil
Diglot
Senior Member
Singapore
Joined 4852 days ago

126 posts - 142 votes 
Speaks: Mandarin, English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 1 of 33
27 October 2007 at 10:47am | IP Logged 
EDITED to remove irrelevant questions. (and I also added some new queries as well)
[and a bit of personal contextualization of my questions, forgive me Professor, I neglected to read the notice at the top of the forum]

Since the original poster has decided to delete his thread, I shall start a new one here.

Professor Arguelles, during your learning phase of each language, how did you plan your time? Specifically say, did you write a to-do list or a timetable for the followind day's activities every night? How would you advise a student or someone who is not working in the field of languages to plan his time for language study? How did you incorporate your daily recreation time (if you had any) into your schedule?

I ask this as a 15 year old student, who is oftentimes quite busy with school work and other school-based activities. At the moment I'm just trying to get my Japanese up to advanced fluency, enough to enrol in a Japanese university and to comprehend and know how to reply to a native utterance with no pause (more than JLPT 1 standard), but I definitely want to master at least, in no particular order, Greek (both ancient and modern), Latin, Sanskrit, Classical Chinese, German, Korean, Old Norse/Icelandic and Italian in the future. I would like to get a headstart to these languages before I am 20. I have started on a little Latin, having worked through Lingua Latina: Familia Romana once before and Classical Chinese is somewhat comprehensible to me, though many characters have shifted in meaning in Mandarin. Therefore, could you recommend a scheme of study for someone in my situation?

Thanks
Alvin L

Edited by quendidil on 28 October 2007 at 10:40am

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Dogtanian
Diglot
Newbie
Scotland
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Speaks: English*, German
Studies: French, Russian, Greek

 
 Message 2 of 33
27 October 2007 at 11:30am | IP Logged 
I think if you search for Professor Arguelles' old threads you'll find the answers to these questions. I seem to remember a description of a monastic lifestyle in Korea, and the mention of ever so slightly more than two languages...

Perhaps someone could provide a link as I'm afraid I'm not sure where those posts are.


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gidler
Senior Member
Finland
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 Message 3 of 33
27 October 2007 at 1:21pm | IP Logged 
Dogtanian wrote:
Perhaps someone could provide a link as I'm afraid I'm not sure where those posts are.

Here.
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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4979 days ago

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Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 33
27 October 2007 at 1:23pm | IP Logged 
Professor Arguelles' description of his time as a "Language monk" may be of interest. While he was living in Korea, he woke up at 2am, and studied for 7 hours before going to work, which was also language-related, followed by 3 more hours after.

He has studied more than two languages simultaneously. According to his description of his linguistic background:
ProfArguelles wrote:
During the first part of this period, when I was learning lots of new information, it was not uncommon for me to work on 30 different languages each day in 20 minute time slots.



I don't recall reading about daily recreation time, although the description I linked to mentions listening to language tapes while running, and of reading engrossing books, which perhaps qualify.

Edited by Volte on 27 October 2007 at 1:27pm

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quendidil
Diglot
Senior Member
Singapore
Joined 4852 days ago

126 posts - 142 votes 
Speaks: Mandarin, English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 5 of 33
28 October 2007 at 8:02am | IP Logged 
gidler wrote:
quendidil wrote:
Whoa, but I think many of those 30 languages could have been maintenance, no? If he really worked on 30 new languages everyday, I've got to say that's really amazing

No offense, but try reading the whole post before asking. I gave a direct link to it yesterday.


No offence to you either, but I personally found that post was mostly about the languages the Professor has learnt, the time management component is quite marginal. I shall quote the most relevant portion below for easier reference.

ProfArguelles wrote:
Between the ages of 32 and 36 or 37, from 1996 � 2000/2001, is when I really became a polyglot. I lead a monastic existence, obsessively studying languages all day, every day. Initially, of course, I focused on Korean and, after I got grounded, on Classical Chinese and Japanese in a comparative context. However, I also ranged very widely through the world of languages. I had a decent salary and no debts or expenses, so I ordered materials for the study of absolutely everything that I could find and thus built a personal language resource laboratory for over 120 different languages. I went through these with the goal of learning at least one language of each representative type or from each language family. During the first part of this period, when I was learning lots of new information, it was not uncommon for me to work on 30 different languages each day in 20 minute time slots.

This period came to a close when I belatedly sat down with a calculator and did some serious time management projections. Developing structural knowledge and conversational ability in a language and refining and maintaining that ability can be achieved with just 15 or 20 minutes a day, each and every day, over a period of years. However, developing deeper knowledge and above all enjoying reading the literature of a language requires more like an hour a day, and there are all too few of these. Thus, I resolved that I had to stop learning new languages in order to focus on using and strengthening the ones I knew already. Indeed, I had to abort a great many, and in some cases this involved a very painful amputation.

Since I had begun seriously treading the path of the polyglot in 1994, and since the circumstances I had found on the Korean coast were so propitious, I resolved to stay there until 2004 so that I could see what the results would be of devoting a full decade of my life to learning as many languages as I could, as well as I could. From 2001 to 2004, I spent time focusing intently on building real knowledge and abilities in my �exotic� languages and I also finally began to allow myself to simply enjoy reading in my more familiar ones. I also began to �get a life� by getting married, siring a son, and paying more attention to my career by writing and publishing more.

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4979 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 6 of 33
28 October 2007 at 8:16am | IP Logged 
quendidil wrote:
gidler wrote:
quendidil wrote:
Whoa, but I think many of those 30 languages could have been maintenance, no? If he really worked on 30 new languages everyday, I've got to say that's really amazing

No offense, but try reading the whole post before asking. I gave a direct link to it yesterday.


No offence to you either, but I personally found that post was mostly about the languages the Professor has learnt, the time management component is quite marginal.


The first URL I linked to has somewhat more information on time management, albeit probably not as much as you would like. The relevant excerpt:

ProfArguelles wrote:

During my Korean years as a language monk, I rose at 2:00 AM and immediately began studying. At the crack of dawn, I would go for an hour�s run along the beach, during which time I would simultaneously listen to a language tape, and I would do likewise as I ate breakfast and got ready for the day. I went to my office at 9:00, so I got in seven hours of solid study before that. Preparing for and teaching my classes also involved language work, as did my research projects such as compiling a dictionary and writing grammars. I would go home at 5:00 and study on my own for another three hours until I went to bed at 8:00 PM. On a few occasions I was studying one language (Russian or Persian or Arabic) exclusively, and at other times I was reading a particularly engrossing book, but for the most part I divided my time into segments and adhered to them. One hour time blocks are too long for efficient concentration because you are right, the brain can only take in so much at one sitting. I used 15, 20, or 30 minute segments. I did work continuously, without breaks in which I did something other than study. Switching between various languages was enough to keep my brain fresh and stimulated. On weekends I would not go to my office but would only study at home. Sometimes I could study straight from 2:00 AM to 8:00 PM, but sometimes I would need to stop around 5:00 or 6:00.

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ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
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609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 7 of 33
28 October 2007 at 6:27pm | IP Logged 
I am afraid that writing answers to other posts has once again prevented me from getting to this very important topic. Managing one’s study time is indeed one of the most important elements in the successful acquisition of many languages, so I want to give this as much attention as I can. However, the other questions that have been coming in also have importance and merit. I strive to do them justice in the hopes that I will get through them swiftly and then be able to give this topic a maximum amount of time. Thus far it has not worked out that way, but eventually it will. I do wish Mr. Nephilim had not retracted his original post on the matter. Rather than engage in short exchanges about the subject, I wish those of you who are really interested in the issue would contemplate the links to what I have written on this theme before, try to extract some general principles from the descriptions I have given, and envision applying them to what they already know of their own learning styles so that they will have a better context for understanding and perhaps applying what I will soon enough attempt to describe.
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Farley
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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681 posts - 738 votes 
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Speaks: English*, GermanB1, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 8 of 33
28 October 2007 at 11:01pm | IP Logged 
ProfArguelles wrote:
I do wish Mr. Nephilim had not retracted his original post on the matter. Rather than engage in short exchanges about the subject, I wish those of you who are really interested in the issue would contemplate the links to what I have written on this theme before, try to extract some general principles from the descriptions I have given, and envision applying them to what they already know of their own learning styles so that they will have a better context for understanding and perhaps applying what I will soon enough attempt to describe.


I wish Nephilim had not deleted the topic because I thought it was relevant problem many language learns have. He wanted to know what advice to give language learners who seem to perpetually get stuck at the advanced beginner low intermediate range. The the typical profile sounded somewhat like myself: studied a language in school, learned the grammar but could not read of speak with any proficiency. If I remember correctly Nephilim believed time management was the problem and a language learning journal was the answer. (Nephilim please correct me if I'm mistaken!)

I don't think the problem is time management it has more to do "learning styles" as ProfArguelles mentioned above. If you are in the advanced beginner rut, and you are married, have job, children, a house, family obligations etc, language learning is going to take a back seat. The question for 1-3 aimers is what can I do in 30 minutes a day intermittent schedule that will make the rubber hit road?

I'd like to say some more about the principles and how I applied them. Not because they are that spectacular but just because it took me so long to figure them out. But speaking of time management, I'm already out. I'll try and continue this thread tomorrow.

John




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