dimanche 25 janvier 2009

1 Month of TAC

I suppose it's technically 2 months of TAC since I started closer to the Nov 24th starting date.

Looking back, what do I think?

TAC has showed me how much free time I actually have (now that I'm trying to put it into studying French) that I was totally wasting doing random stupid crap on my computer.

My level of French input is way up. I feel like I can sustain this level. I would like to get more incidental French, I think, and that would come from using fewer English sites.

Similarly, with all the reading I've been doing, it's obvious my passive comprehension is _way_ up. I'm able to read novels with basically no problems. And I know that some of this vocab is slowly working its way into my active.

Some quick numbers: averaging 4-6 unknown words/page (which I think is reasonable) and assuming ~300 words/page, that works out to 98% comprehension. Which, according to the internets, gives me a vocabulary of 8000-9000 "word families". Although due to all the cognates with English, it's probably higher than that. On the other hand, more surfing on the Internet suggests to me that my _active_ is maybe in the 4000 word range? I thought these were some interesting numbers that probably mean NOTHING AT ALL. End Digression.

However, there is a downside to mostly understanding everything. "Mostly" understanding means that it's too easy to just lets the bits I don't understand slip by. Instead, I should be running after them and hunting them down so they don't escape a second time.

This goes along with needing to do more "pause and think" reading. Laoshu505000 mentions always having a notepad while in chats, or when reading or listening. I think AJATT mentions something similar, of being aware of the language that's going on around you and being on the lookout for sentences where ever they may come from. This is something I need to do.

However, the tradeoff is that this isn't "fun". It's work. It would make watching "Les Invincibles", for example, the equivalent of doing a chapter study. I'd rather just watch the show. So, back to having to find work/fun balance. My decision (with the internal debate now having been removed before posting) will be to have the notebook in front of me on which I'll collect sentences and vocab that will go into my SRS. The shows need to still be fun to watch, and it needs to not be a chore (which is why I'm not worried about 100% comprehension like for my chapter studies.)

The chapter studies are going great. There's lost of good stuff in there. I think I'll be happier once I start getting my sample sentences into my SRS. I initially said I'd be batching inputting the sentences, but I think that was just me justifying not doing it immediately. Inputting sentences is now part of the whole "chapter study" thing. Tomorrow I'll catch up and put all 50~ or so sentences in.

I have some more conversations recently but I need to make this "learning moments", not just random chatting moments. Having the notebook would make capturing those incidental learning moments easier. Like David Allen says for GTD, it has to be easy or you won't do it.

Production is still lacking. Aside from the small chats, I think what I really need are more lang-8 posts. I still feel hard pressed to find something "interesting" to write about. I think my goal will be: at least 2 days a week (concrete days, not random, and to be decided upon soon) I will write a lang-8 post. I'll have to do some brainstorming to come up with some ideas, but I know that I don't want to use the livejournal writers block (well, maybe as a last resort), and I also don't want to blog about my daily life.

Finally, my TAC logs are dangerously close to being "too long; don't read".

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