Welcome to Part 4 in a series of articles in which I show you exactly how I’m learning foreign languages every day.
In these articles I talk about how I’m using my Core Study Time – a 30-45 minute period at the start of every day which I set aside for intensive study.
Before you read this, you should go back and check out the previous posts in the series:
The aim of this routine is to use the Glossika Language Training product to build familiarity with your target language.
Glossika is an innovative language training product that is becoming increasingly popular among language learners.
What is it?
Well, it's basically a long list of sentences!
But what makes it special is the way these sentences are chosen.
You see, every language has certain grammar patterns that crop up over and over again.
Once you learn these common grammar patterns, you have a good grounding in the language.
Then, as a language learner, there are certain phrases you can expect to hear over and over again. (Think: “How long have you been learning Japanese?”)
Once you recognise these common phrases – and know how to reply – you can cope easily with many familiar situations you'll find yourself in.
In a nutshell, Glossika gives you all this foundational stuff on a plate… which is awesome!
All you have to do is learn it!
And that's what this post is about.
Glossika sentences come in groups of 50.
This can be overwhelming at first, but I like to see this as an opportunity.
You see, when you're faced with a bunch of new language, it's a great opportunity to test your ear and see how much you can understand. (Even if you don't understand very much.)
Simply, this forces you to push yourself and understand as much as possible without any help.
This is good training for when you encounter real people.
So, the first thing I do is simply listen to my chosen set of 50 sentences over and over again, on repeat.
I'll only stop once I feel I've understood as much as I can, and there's nothing more to be gained from repeat listening.
Time spent on this: 1-2 days (dead time).
Once I've tested my ear as much as possible, it's time to knuckle down and study what I've been listening to.
Now, rather than simply listen to the sentences, I'll listen and read at the same time.
This helps your ear make sense of the sounds, by giving it some written words to “anchor” on to.
At this stage, I'll also look at the translations, so I know what everything means.
This takes concentration, so I'll do this in my core study time – not when I'm walking around.
Time spent on this: 20-30 minutes
From the 50 new sentences, there will be some words or phrases you don't understand.
This is a good thing, as it's an opportunity to learn some new stuff!
What I like to do is to identify the stuff I don't know, and write it down in my notebook.
This would typically be around 10-12 new words or phrases, but it will vary depending on the content.
(Sometimes, there may be some language I don't think is very useful, in which case I might just ignore it altogether. It's all part of taking ownership of what you're learning.)
I like having an organised collection of the stuff I want to learn. It makes it easier to pick up my book and focus on learning it later.
I'll then use the method described in Core Study Sequences Part 2 to memorise the vocabulary.
Time spent on this: 1-2 days
Everything that's happened up to this point, I see as the groundwork – the preparation for what comes next. 🙂
It's also probably the step that most people skip.
What is it?
Well, up until now, I've been listening and learning.
But I want to be able to use this new language when I'm speaking, too.
One of the cornerstones to my approach to language learning, is that you can't simply “assume” you'll remember the important words when you need them.
You have to actively train yourself to recall vocabulary and say it “on demand”.
This is the hard part, but also the part that will bring you the most results.
Luckily, Glossika has your back here!
In the audio that comes with the course, there is one track that gives you this:
So, over the next few days, as I'm out and about, I'll use this track to train myself to say the sentences in the target language.
This is not easy, and takes a lot of time and patience.
But once you can say all 50 sentences aloud, with confidence, and “on demand”…
You're on fire!!! 🙂
Time spent on this: 2-3 days
After following this routine for a couple of months, I saw big progress in my Cantonese.
It's certainly not a “lazy” language learning method, and you really have to apply yourself and concentrate on what you're doing.
But if you give it a try… and really try, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Would you use this routine yourself? What problems would you have?
Please do share this post on Facebook or Twitter if you found it useful, then leave me your comments or questions below!
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