on 2015-06-06 10:48 (UTC)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] piranha
ok, i shall write something about it. it's mostly about conquering my own fears and internal distractions. more the latter lately than the former, though fear used to be a big one.

duolingo -- i'm planning to create an account to give their french a whirl (they don't have a japanese course yet). i admit, i scoff at their notion that you can learn a language in those moments in between where you are not busy. uh, no. unless all you ever want to know is how to ask "where's the nearest restroom?" it takes more dedication than that.

i've been on memrise for a few days, which is kinda fun, but being that it is a glorified flashcard program, i don't expect that it will all by itself do much for me. i don't expect any site to do it all for me, but the advantage i have is that i know what it takes to increase real language skill, and i can pull the pieces together from different sites.

memrise does spaced repetition vocabulary drills where they deliver their own vocabulary. so far it looks to me like it's geared towards the sort of stuff you should know if you want to travel to the country in question. even though i am an intermediate french speaker, i am on purpose taking french from the very beginning, so i can assess what they do. gamification is a decent motivator.

i use anki to create my own vocabulary drills. i use google images for pictures worth at least several words. and for sample sentences from real life (the basic google images display does that very well, though they are hiding it now).

rhinospike gives access to native speakers recording/transcribing audio. this is really great for minimal pairs (pairs of words or phrases in a language that differ in only one phonological element). i am totally convinced that starting with minimal pairs will be a winner for any language that has "strange" sounds. i wish i had known about this years ago.

lang-8 provides native speakers correcting my writing.

i have native speaker pronunciation audio from various textbooks. the same textbooks provide a curriculum for progressing in a language. i can pick the main progression from one and use exercises from others. i have collected a lot of language textbooks over the years. ;)

i have grammar books (the trend is towards not caring about grammar and just speaking speaking speaking, but that's not me; i learn better if i know grammar).

i'll probably sign up with italki or some other site that facilitates connections between native speakers who want to practice with each other over skype.

i have lots of audio for pseudo-immersion, background music and talk radio and movies.

i've got frequency lists. that's something that never even occurred to me before; i've always complained about the silly sentences in textbooks (whoever will care that i have a pen and whether it is placed on or under the table?). frequency lists allow me to learn the most common words in a language first, so i can read native papers and magazines zooner.

most of this is very introvert-geared. it's all stuff i can do by myself without having to take a class. only the skyping requires some scheduling and interacting with other people, but i expect this to be less demanding than finding native speakers locally and getting together with them. and since the other person also wants to learn something from me (if the arrangement is reciprocal), this is less fraught with imposition, and instead seems rather a fair system.
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piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

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