Time Log and Activities
DuoLingo: Lessons 1 Practice Sessions 2, 30 minutes minutes
Memrise: Lessons 2, 20 minutes
Notes in Spanish: Episode 3, 30 minutes
Master of Memory: Quiz to 100%, 15 minutes. Lesson 1 hour 15. Practice: 30 minutes
Writing out vocab and watching youtube – 1 hour
Total 4 hours
How Day 2 of Learning Spanish Went
So as awesome as yesterday was, today has been really hard. I have struggled to get anywhere, and gotten really annoyed as myself in the process.
The notes in Spanish is really nice, it has cool vocab that I will actually use. And not too much, if I was more structured I think I could do 2 a day and not be overwhelmed.
I’m losing patience with master of memory, the basic stuff was awesome in the first one but the second lesson was an hour on the verb to be (ser) and it just wouldn’t go in, I watched it twice because maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention the first time. But no it just wouldn’t do the thing. So I resorted back to what I always do with languages – tables and conjugation.
Then I started thinking, isn’t this exactly what I didn’t want to do. Become obsessed with the correct type of past tense for a situation.
Traditional Learning Habits
I have only really learned languages properly in school. What felt like the same course of German every year until I went to high school, four years of Chinese, two years of Latin, one year of Ancient Greek (yes my interests are specific and highly relevant). But what that really adds up to is 14 years of ‘write this table down’ and ‘memorise this list of prepositions’ and ‘stand up and recite the conjugation of to walk so everyone can judge you for mixing up ambulant and ambulent’ (they’re different moods, cant remember which is which though).
I can still speak extremely basic Mandarin – but I learned it for FOUR YEARS yet I speak more Greek and Swedish than I do Mandarin. Which is still minimal by the way. Because of the WAY I learned them. By living in Greece for four months and being best mates with a Swedish chick and wanting to be able to complain about the loud annoying people around us.
The thing is, 14 years is a big habit building span of time. so my retreat into conjugation tables isn’t that surprising.
Try To Turn Off
So I decided to take a break from active learning and watched a documentary by Connor Grooms on youtube about him learning Spanish in a month. He points out exactly this thing.
So I spent a few hours tonight re-centring and getting away from the “well it’s free I have to finish it” mentality. I will give lesson 3 a go with the Master of Memory and if I feel it is as ineffective as the conjugation of today – I’ll skip it until after this experiment. I need to be conversational not perfect – gotta keep reminding myself!
This is the video I watched with Connor, it is quite good and I really like that he actually shows his mistakes, rather than editing them out. There is nothing worse than someone who is really good at languages pulling false embarrassment – “oh my gahd I used the wrong mood which to anyone other than me and a native speaker sounded exactly the same as the correct one, I’m such an idiot I should just give up languages FOREVER”.
I also checked out Baselang, which is the really cool service Connor launched – it’s kind of like Netflix for language teaching. You pay an amount (about £100) and you have unlimited access to teachers. Legitimately unlimited from 6am to midnight in US time, it would be super cool if he added some associates around the world – he’s a digital nomad so I’m sure its crossed his mind! It sounds amazing and it is probably the thing I would go with for this challenge if I had £100. I will be doing all the free stuff that Baselang offers and letting you know how that goes! The free stuff runs so blogs and a really neat sounds library where you can test your pronunciation of Spanish letters and sounds. Unfortunately a few of the letter sounds are missing from YouTube, so it’s an incomplete list.
And in the spirit of getting those conversations in – I have signed up to go to a Spanish coffee chat in London – in two days time! HAHAHAH LETS SEE SHALL WE.
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If you’re new here, have a read of the Challenge Introduction and see what the hell I’m talking about!