vendredi 23 janvier 2009

TAC Log for Jan 22

Picked up "Esperanto Sen Peno", even though I'm not supposed to be starting it for another 5 months or so. My library doesn't have the third dragonlance book, so I'll have to head elsewhere to get it. Or find something (else/better) to read instead. Maybe only having a single book to read will push me on the chapter studies?

Signed up for SharedTalk. Linux Flash support for webcams/mics is totally broken at the moment so it'll just have to be text chat. Not sure if that'll interest me actually, but I figured it's worth a try. Did some anki reps (132 in 26m, according to the stats.)

Noticed more gaps in my vocab: programming and math terms. Basically, my entire undergrad life. I should browse the French wikipedia for a bit and see if that helps.

Met up with a francophone for a conversation exchange. ~90m, split maybe 60/40 French/English. Having not had any _real_ French conversations for a while (aside from business type phone call and some small talk here and there, my computer tells me the last time was a BBQ in the summer of 2007..), it's nice to feel like I can actually communicate in social situations.

I also agree with Steve Kaufmann's argument that speaking practice doesn't teach you the language, but it does show you areas to work on. It may make you more comfortable and confident in doing it, but your actual level of language isn't much higher than before. You really need to be in the learning mindset, and not the "I'm trying to get my point across" mindset. This includes: taking notes on things you weren't able to say and on those things you did say but incorrectly. This is where your learning partner has to be vicious.

As for my conversation, I didn't take notes. I have some vague ideas of things I need to work on (math/cs vocab), but for all the times my verb tenses were totally screwed up? Or my conjugations wrong? Or all the mis-used words? Or missing vocab? All of those would have given me things to work on, and I only have one new vocab word ("picky" == "difficile") and one fixed pronunciation error ("grelotter").

I was glad however that a number of words/expressions from my recent flash card sets came to mind as needed. Certainly proof I'm not wasting my time.

I should go back and read the "making the most of a language exchange partner" thread, and maybe do some more googling before our next meet. I think the trick will be to find the balance between it being "work" and "fun".

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