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Friday, September 16, 2016

Stepping Up: Language Update


I know I haven’t been writing much about how the languages are going, but they are going. I’m still working out the kinks, but summer is coming and daylight is arriving earlier, so I have added in a listening component to my walking. Hearing a language outside language drills and set texts is important.

What languages am I working on?

As anyone who knows me, knows, I like languages, so it was hard for me to shrink what I do down to three to start with: Russian, Chinese and Indonesian. Also, because I didn’t want to give up the others, I kept my DuoLingo languages, but made a few rules.

Right now, my language program looks a bit like this:

DuoLingo: Do a minimum of 5 individual language lessons each day on each of the chosen languages BUT do not stop if a language block is incomplete unless it is the first time working through that lesson block. This takes between 1-2 hours a day. Flexibility: If real-life commitments are particularly, then do one individual lesson in each language, and you are allowed to stop if the language block is not complete – just do one. I find this last thing hard to do, but it does stop me from killing myself on heavy days when other commitments must be given a higher priority. DuoLingo languages are as follows: Russian, Norwegian, French, Portuguese, German, Danish, Ukrainian, Spanish and Turkish. I will add Indonesian to these when the course comes on line; it’s currently in development.

Listening: While walking, have headphones in and be listening to Russian, Chinese or Indonesian, depending on which language is the focus language for the day.

Book Work: This involves using a text book, language cds, translating on-line articles for the focus language of the day.

Progress: I’m still establishing the routine, but I’ve managed to maintain the DuoLingo target since Monday, and to add the listening component in, with a new walking component. Book work has been sporadic with only 2 days managed. I will work on this. Regular study is quite difficult to make time for, but it can be done. I want to add in a language activity design component, where I work up lesson plans and work sheets to go with the focus languages, but that’s a little ways off. I’m qualified to teach Indonesian, but only have a minor in Chinese, and not even that in Russian, so I have a little bit more to do with those.

And that’s that – except for the point that Fridays will be my language update day, starting with progress reports, and later linking to lesson plans, or activity sheets aimed at different age groups. Baby steps.

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