Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Adapting the Learning Process

I am getting back in the swing of things somewhat with German over the past couple of weeks.  I have been really good about doing my Michel Thomas, however I have not touched Assimil in over a month.  I think that I have subconsciously decided that I will move on to Assimil after I have finished the MT.  In truth this is probably a good thing because it will give me something to do the second half of the year in addition to LingQ.  I am currently debating whether to go back to the beginning of Assimil, or just pick up where I left off.  In my split second decision making process I just went through I will pick up where I left off.  The last two weeks have been particularly good for my LingQ work.

It never ceases to amaze me the way that we continue to adapt and evolve the longer we work on a specific task.  In the case of LingQ I have just recently modified my approach and find that I am getting a lot more out of the program this way.  Before, I went through a three step cycle which was laid out this way:

1.) Listen without reading
2.) Read without listening
3.) Listen and read simultaneously

This way served me well and I thought that this way I could train my listening separate from my reading and visa-versa.  I recently though began listening and reading all three times through a passage and have found that my comprehension overall has grown markedly.  This should not surprise me since the creator of LingQ, Steve Kaufmann, says that you should never read without listening, nor should you listen without reading in the early stages.  The more surprising thing to me is that my brain spontaneously decided to try this approach seemingly out of the blue.  I am currently creeping in on 1500 words known, which is well behind my goal, but I am still happy with progress of any kind.

Vocally, I have had a similar epiphany in the last week.  It has been about a month since my last lesson with JRL and I decided one day last week to listen to the recording of my lesson.  At first I did not really think I was going to gain much other than some reinforcement of the things I was already doing.  After going through the recording I was amazed at some of the things that I had let slip in the last month.  My practice the rest of the week was great and I felt like I made some very big steps forward, all because I listened to a recording of my lesson.  

This was a big time for me in learning how to better learn.  Sometimes progress may come in different areas than you expect, however it will ultimately lead you to your end goal.

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