Wednesday, February 27, 2008

An Ear for Languages

Since I thought Polish was Icelandic (of all things), I decided I should hone-up on my listening skills - an area I slack on in all of my languages. I brought along all my Polish books to my sister's and have worked out a plan for the dialogues:
~Listen 5x w/out looking at the transcript (to get a feel for what the speakers are saying).
~Listen and repeat 5x while this time looking at the words (to visually match sounds to letters).
~Listen and repeat 5x again w/out looking at the words.
I also like to do the reverse. Instead of waiting for the speaker, then mimicking them, I'll speak first and see if they match me.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A New Learning Idea

I love languages, but I've never been the type to dive head-first into the learning and it's a very frustrating trait to have. I listen passively, I read a paragraph (or worse yet, a sentence) and figure, "That's enough for today," I attempt to write once in a blue moon...oy vey! :)  Honestly though, I don't think it's that trait so much as it is I don't make use of what I've learned, no matter how small the amount, which is a great segue into the next topic...

One thing I've tried a couple of times is to write words, phrases and even brief grammar notes on a dry-erase board. I have a small one on my fridge and really should use this tactic more often, because once the books are closed, I rarely look again at the notes I took that day, but this dry-erase thing causes me to see those writings everytime I walk in de keuken. I can picture myself subconsciously repeating these new words/phrases throughout the day. As they enter into my lexicon more readily, I can erase them from the board, write them in a notebook (for safe keeping, in case they do fade from memory, although I hope enough repetition will make this event unlikely), then move on to the next set on a new day. I'll give this a more serious whirl and report back on whether it worked for me.