samedi 17 janvier 2009

TAC Log for Jan 15/16

Did nothing on Thursday, just a short phone call to a Fedex to try to get a package rerouted. The woman answered in French ('cause I had "press[ed] 2 for French"), and I responded in English because it was late and I was tried. She switched to English, then I remembered that I had called the French line and there was no reason I shouldn't be able to do this in French, so I switched back to French. Then so did she and we carried on from there in French. Man, so complicated, so complicated..

Friday I listened to my podcasts and the radio a bit.

I think the slower vocab acquisition is probably due to me not reading 'carefully', but really just glossing over the words I don't know without really _trying_ to understand or even remember them (even without an unknown or partially guessed translation). My earlier books I was progressing a bit more slowly with. I don't know if the "careful reading" approach would work for me for a first pass through a novel. I'm not saying I'd look up each word, but just make a mental note of things "for future reference". I think the same thing probably goes for my SRC podcasts: there's a difference between listening to them for understanding and having the bits I don't recognize just pass in one ear and out the other, and listening 'carefully' so that hear the pieces I don't understand so that they make an impression on me. Obviously, careful reading is slower, and careful listening prevents multitasking (like listening to the radio while I'm just sitting at my computer doing something else, like writing this post for example.) I guess I should try to listen more carefully when possible, rather than just "having it on in the background." Obviously the random immersion is nice, but as for learning density..?

My goal of having more skype conversations has totally failed. I haven't had a single one. Not sure how to fix that. Gotta find people. Back to the language mixxer I guess.

Discussions in #learnanylanguage made me want to try anki. I think in general I'm happy with mnemosyne, but there are a couple of issues at the moment. One, mnemosyne only has a seven day learning cycle. Every card will get showed at least one a week. For my goal of the 2400 vocab items in my language course (on top of any items I learn from my chapter studies), this quickly becomes infeasible. Anki has a more intelligent scheduling algorithm that also deals more nicely with large card imports. (So if I imported the entire course I wouldn't have 2000 scheduled reps the next day.) I might play around with anki on the weekend and *either* look into using mnemosyne for some and anki for the others, or maybe switching entirely over to anki. We'll see..

Went to a store today and totally failed to discuss with the shopkeeper in French. A bit of prep on my part could have avoided that, but I think I just didn't feel like speaking French. (OTOH, I didn't really speak English either .. my wife did all the talking..) That probably counts as a "take advantage of French speaking opportunities" failure.

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