Lately I’ve been wondering why I lost motivation to continue blogging about language learning, and I think I have the answer: I was tired of arguing about language learning theories and about the science behind language acquisition.
The weird thing is, I took several linguistics classes in college and loved them. You know how you love to hug a puppy? That sickening amount of love. But arguing with strangers on the internet about how to learn a L2 the fastest and best way possible? Nope, that’s an absolute boner killer.
In my opinion, theorizing language learning takes the fun out of it.
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In the beginning I immersed in French and in Korean, and it was good. I experimented with all the popular and unpopular language acquisition methods, I lived, taught, and studied in Korea, I hung out with French people in Cambodia, I interacted with people from all over the world in my many travels, I’ve read plenty of 4chan’s /int boards, and I’m ready to put my head on the chopping block and give you the Good News:
Reading has no place in language acquisition. [click to continue…]
Week one got off to a good start! I was able to make good progress on my goals and sneak in some extracurricular activities.
So what were my goals again?
Watch at least 60 hours of Spanish television within two months = 1 hour of television per day. I might bump this up to 100 hours of input if I feel the need.
Read four books within two months = 1 book every two weeks = 21 pages per day (if I read books of around 300 pages each).
What were my frustrations and what really well? Sit back and read on!
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A lot has happened since I stopped posting almost two years ago. After graduation I was busier than ever. I found a job which wasn’t even close to the field I studied, so my education began from scratch once again.
Now, two years later, an amazing job opportunity has found me and this December I’ll fly out to Málaga, Spain to start working at a big software firm. This is so freakin’ cool I can hardly comprehend it. I mean come on, I’ll be living in Málaga for the next few years!
Working for some evil tech company is okay, but living in Spain again will be absolutely epic. The thing is, I graduated from college two years ago and since then I’ve hardly used any Spanish. Have I now forgotten Spanish? No, but it isn’t perfect either.
To get ready for my new job I need to get up to speed with Spanish, pronto.
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Me, but less sexy
Hey party people,
Yeah, I know, the site has been sitting idle for a stupid long time. Ramses is busy doing whatever Dutch people do (drugs, taking growth hormones, being snarky, listening to bad electronic music, etc.), and I’ve been busy with my experimental foray into learning an L3 at a university. I was going to write a scathing article about exactly why and how much it sucks, but I’ve changed my mind. It won’t convince anyone of anything, it’ll just dig the trenches even deeper on each side. Rather than saying why someone is wrong, I think I’ll just keep doing what’s right, and anyone is free to come along for the ride. Life’s much easier this way, and oddly enough I think this actually helps more people see the light. [click to continue…]
TLD Booster Packs
Collections of 10 essential / useful / fun links for your L2!
- Series Yonkis – Basically has all the shows you’ll ever want to watch.
- Tele directo – More and more Spanish broadcasting stations offer live streaming. If that’s your cup of tea, this page is a great portal to start.
- Taringa – An Argentinean site with pretty much any content you’ll ever be interested in. Also contains quite a few links to shows and music.
- Marca – Seriously, being able to talk about sports is essential in Spain. Marca is simply the go-to place for everything that comes close to being labeled a sport.
- El País – If you don’t know El País and study Spanish you’ve probably been learning it under a rock. Essential stuff to read, with a capital E!
- xkcd en español – The best webcomic for geeks, but then in Spanish.
- Subcultura – More comics. In Spanish, of course.
- Univision – For all you yanks who happen to be telenovela lovers. For everyone outside the US, use Mediahint to get access.
- Antena 3 – One of the biggest television stations in Spain with a great website that enables you to watch some of the best shows in Spain.
Add your best Spanish sources in the comments!
There are worse things to be.
So my sister used to be a nurse. She quit because she hated living in a world of blood and piss and feces, which I find ironic because she loves Sex and the City. A neat thing about nursing is that it’s a job that, for whatever reason, draws a large pool of attractive, international young women. One of these attractive young women I met was Russian; I think her name was Xenia Onatopp. Xenia spoke English like a native, and barely had an accent. She must have read lots of English books and possessed at least an intermediate writing level given her near-native spoken fluency, right? I bet she was highly literate…right?
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So yesterday after my stupid class I was going to go home and actually learn some Korean, when suddenly a cool South American dude was like “Hey Matt come to this international student event! There’ll be food and presentations from lots of countries, and I’m going to play a Michael Jackson song on my guitar!” Never one to say no to the possibility of finding Indian food in Korea, I went along with it. I ate many foods. I met people from all over the world. I watched presentations and sexy dances and videos until 8pm. It was fun… until I realized what had actually happened. [click to continue…]
If time is the currency with which we buy skills, then school is a mom & pop shop and Anki is Amazon. No wait, that doesn’t quite do justice to the disparity; school is a mom & pop shop, and Anki is that dude selling stolen Bose stereo systems out of his van behind the 7/11. You still have to spend money (time) getting what you want, but you get it at a tiny little fraction of the ‘normal’ cost. [click to continue…]
Here we go again
So I just finished my second week of Korean language school at a Korean university. I’ve got praise, I’ve got complaints, I’ve got tips, and I’ve got syphilis. Let’s talk about the first three! [click to continue…]