To keep myself accountable i have decided to set myself some goals for the next fortnight
Log two hours of skype calls with native speakers
read two chapters of Harry Potter and log all unknown words to flashcards.
Complete up to lesson 20 of Assimil
Memorise chapters 14-16 vocab of New Practical Chinese Reader
Find and organise Skype partners
Complete up to chapter 30 of Assimil
complete Michel Thomas basic review and advanced.Find and organise Skype partners, log >1 hour of skype calls
My method is pretty similar to a lot of other language learners at the early stages, engulf myself with beginning stages of the language. This does not mean jumping straight in and trying to read Chomsky in another language it means, doing chapter 1 of a book a million times over until you could recite after being abruptly woke in the middle of the night. The methodology however is not set in stone for the most part I have a similar method to the one Josh brilliantly explains here. However I incorporate more writing into my routine because that’s just how I find I learn most effectively. I do this by attempting to write the target language dialogue from the English and then importing anything I get wrong into an anki deck or whatever SRS system I’m using at the time. All this being said I don’t think the method is the most important part of language, it’s sustained effort, on days where I don’t feel like doing a lot i make sure to at least do a couple of cycles of an anki or memrise deck that I had been struggling with.
A quick note on digital flash card systems, while it may seem the more convenient option, it’s a very passive system. I find the best way to use technology in studying of any form is to not let it be an isolated learning experience. The easiest way in my opinion to prevent this from happening is to either say the word or phrase out loud, but make it part of a larger sentence or phrase, same goes with writing it, because it’s all good to know how to say ‘savoir’ and how to translate it but until you try and use it you can have no clue on how to use it in a sentence or if it behaves differently in different circumstances.
For Chinese written practice I’ve tried to take a leaf out of professor Arguelles book and make sure that when I’m writing I’m also talking out loud because with a pictorial language like Chinese I’ve noticed if I don’t practice them together it almost becomes learning two languages; written to English, and spoken to English which is a Dangerous path to go down.
Hello to all this may reach, this is my first post on my journey to hopefully becoming a polyglot. At this moment in time I would consider myself fluent in two languages English and Indonesian, this blog will be my record of myself trying to learn French and Chinese(mainland China Mandarin). However I will be taking two different approached to learning the languages, first with French i will be trying to teach myself and this blog will hopefully serve as some sort of motivation to continue in my learning, Chinese will be a combination of self study and university study. I hope to share my experiences along the way hopefully meeting some people who share similar interests and we will help each other in communicating with the broader world.