Shawn
Community Tutor
Revised Plan of Attack to Learn Languages Quicker

So, instead of spending hours trying to commit verb conjugation tables to memory, reading grammar books all day long, and writing words over and over again, over the next six months I want to experiment with a different method of learning which may prove to be more effective. So I'm planning on doing the following instead:

 

1. Write Two to Three Notebook Entries a Day: I really think in order to learn a language, one has to actually be using it. So every day, I am going to try to do that. Most of my notebook entries will initially be about what happened during my day, but as I pick up more vocabulary, I will start talking about more advanced topics such as the history of the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts during the colonial period in America. There is a saying in American English, and possibly in British English too. The saying is "Use it or lose it!"

 

2. Repeat Topics: In subsequent notebook entries, I will be speaking some about the same topics so that I am getting practice using the same words over again and therefore will be commiting them to memory without actually putting tons of effort in. Isn't it a lot less tedious to use the word "bought" in a conversation about your day in five notebook entries than to repeat it 100 times with no associated context? I am actually already doing this with my Spanish and Dutch notebook entries. I will start off a notebook with something like "Like always, I went to Starbucks after work and bought an unsweetened iced green tea." or "I didn't have time to get an unsweetened iced green tea today because I didn't have time." and then move onto newer stuff. So, now I already have "ongezoete groene ijsthee" and "té verde helado sin azúcar" memoried and I didn't even write them out 100 times or say them out loud 200 times. I merely kept reusing them in notebook entries until they just stuck in my head. That is, I interacted with them on a "personal level."

 

2. Add New Vocabulary Each Time: Along with reusing words in subsequent notebook entries, I will be trying to incorporate 2 - 3 new vocabulary words with each notebook entry. You are never going to build your vocabulary unless you are actively adding new words to the list. I am not even going to worry that much about whether I got the grammar for these words 100% correct either. I will make my best attempt at using them and then leave it up to a native speaker to correct it if it is wrong. That's what they are there for... to clean up and point out your errors. 

 

3. Use Corrections from Native Speakers in Subsequent Notebook Entries: Once someone has corrected an error in one of my notebook entries, I will then be trying to reuse the native speaker's correction in the next five or so notebook entries to get practice with it and to commit it to memory hopefully. So if you are learning English and someone corrects "I must to learn English for school." to "I must learn English for school.", then write some sentences using "must" and another verb in the next five notebook entries and take heed not to include the word "to" between them. You aren't going to get any better if you aren't practicing and taking note of a native speaker's corrections, assuming they are legitimate/useful corrections. :)

 

4. Try to Use a Word in as Many Ways as Possible: I am going to also play around with using a word in as many ways as possible. For instance, for the word "to buy" in English, you might write the sentences:

 

a. I want to buy a new tent for this camping trip.

b. I bought an unsweetened iced green tea.

c. The guy who bought my car emailed me yesterday and claimed the heater wasn't working.

d. Buying a new car can be intimidating.

e. After buying the movie tickets, we got popcorn and grabbed our seats while we waited for hte others to arrive.

 

I think you will be more apt to learn a word if you try to use it in as many ways as possible because you are creating all these associations in your brain for the word.

 

Anyhow, we will see if this works. Wish me luck. :)

May 20, 2014 4:05 AM
Comments · 4

Sounds like a great plan! What language will you be learning? I'm embarking on a French-learning adventure myself. Good luck! :)

May 20, 2014

really its good idea of your to remember vocab,,,shawn thanks

May 20, 2014

I am learning a number of them Sandrah. Indonesian, Dutch, Japanese, etc. :)

May 20, 2014

I need to proofread what I write before I post it! The numbers should be: 1. Write Two to Three Notebook Entries a Day, 2. Repeat Topics, 3. Add New Vocabulary Each Time, 4. Use Corrections from Native Speakers in Subsequent Notebook Entries, and 5. Try to Use a Word in as Many Ways as Possible.

May 20, 2014
Shawn
Language Skills
English, French, Gaelic (Irish), Greek, Italian, Japanese
Learning Language
English, French, Gaelic (Irish), Greek, Italian, Japanese