samedi 29 mai 2010

current activities and future plans

Grammar is going well. I read through Dover's "Essential Dutch Grammar", a thin 100-page volume. It's just detailed enough with being overwhelming, and manages to have example sentences and decent explanations.

I keep looking at TY Dutch, even though I've decided I don't like it. My 100%-completion mindset wants me to learn everything in this "simpler" course before moving on to the more advanced "Spoken World Dutch". I'm just have go to cold turkey and hide it somewhere in my apartment so I stop pulling it off my shelf. Or give it to someone.

I've done a teeny bit of speaking recently. Not particularly happy with my performance but (making excuses...) I think this is to be expected. I haven't started the active wave of Assimil -- I've only been reading and listening. I'm waiting to get through all 83 lessons before moving on to the active phase of speaking and shadowing. At this point my plan is to move on to using Spoken World for the academic side of things while I practice the Assimil dialogs. I also need to fit in where my audio books and other dialog sets go in all of this.

I've asked a couple Dutch questions on Sharedtalk. That's going slightly better than expected, but 1) they're not real conversations 2) google translate is probably doing most of the heavy lifting.

I'm trying to get all the Assimil translated sentences from the exercises and review notes into Anki. Once that's done that should bring my total number of cards up to about 2000. Still undecided about single-language cards and production. AJATT and Antimoon both suggest only having your target language on the cards: the answers should be definitions or grammar points written in your L2. I'm also uncertain about production: languages aren't 1-1. So, the best I could do would be to give the translation I know is on the other side of the card. Memorized: yes; learned and internalized: not sure. I'll also need to start doing the cards en->nl, but that needs more thinking.

I didn't get "enough" lang8 posts done this month. I'll write one or two more this weekend.

My wife has started learning Dutch with Assimil. It will be interesting to watch her progress and hear her thoughts. Everybody else I know that has used those courses is a language geek, so it's not exactly a randomized test sample.

As I read over my study plans I keep hearing Benny's voice in my head. Not sure what to do about that though.

2 commentaires:

irishpolyglot a dit...

Not sure what to do with that (Benny's voice)? Keep studying, it *will* help.

But SPEAK and do it sooner than what you said here. You say "I'm waiting to get through all 83 lessons", but even after that there will be other excuses - you'll get a harder course and wait until you finish that.

I'm glad to see you've started speaking - even what you did on Sharedtalk is a step in the right direction.

Frustration is inevitable, but if you keep at the speaking aspect (while studying) you'll make progress quicker! :)

Once your wife has learned a little you can start speaking together. Don't worry about getting it right or speaking perfect!
Best of luck!

Bakunin a dit...

Damian, as an alternative to Benny's 'SPEAK and do it sooner' method, check out the following post that quotes a few theories and studies related to the idea that you learn to speak by listening:
http://effortlessacquisition.blogspot.com/2004/06/silent-period-teaching-methods.html

A simple argument in favor of a silent period goes as follows: you need to firmly establish language patterns before you can use them correctly. And you establish these patterns by observing them over and over again in different circumstances, not by producing them.

To the contrary, when you produce L2 too early, you're very likely to borrow pronunciation, grammar, meaning, usage etc. from your L1 (or some other L2 you know). In doing this, you hardwire these borrowed patterns instead of the correct ones. Undoing this at a later stage might be difficult, or at least inefficient.