One reason why way too many people pour endless hours into learning a language and have nothing to show for it, is because their learning approach is flawed. As an engineer, I try to apply a very different mentality to language learning. Now, I don't mean the problems at the end of the chapter, I mean something at a bigger scale.If you are not speaking the language after putting in considerable time into it, (and speaking is one of your goals for real) this is the only possible explanation in my mind. In engineering, programming etc., sometimes there is one block of code or one feedback loop that is slowing the entire process down.And on that second day, while going through a few chapters of my course book, the one thing that was taking me the most time was trying to figure out the new letters and how to read them.
Chapters in a huge course like that is an almost endless process, and in the early stages of learning a language, I need something solid to work with, rather than gradual improvement of learning the language in general.
After the second day, I thought seriously for a bit.
My second day, I got into using my course material and got through several chapters.
But it was really starting to feel like busywork that wasn't helping me directly enough with my upcoming spoken session.
As you'd expect after learning for just a week, as my first video it's painfully slow, so patience is required if you're actually going to watch more than a minute! Follow the steps that the guru in that one best method told you to?
Today's post explains the process that got me to making this video, and an essential aspect of the steps behind this 3-month project. Some of these options are great, and some are just busy-work, to make you feel like you are doing something. Think about what your absolute biggest problem is right now, and try to solve it.
When I started to learn both Thai and Chinese, a LOT of people told me to focus on reading right from the very start, and in retrospect I think this is bad advice.
(In Chinese it's terrible advice; and keep in mind that no Chinese person has ever learned to read before he learned to speak).
I've Skyped other teachers since and it turns out that none of them transliterate the words they write to you, unless specifically requested to, and nearly all their material doesn't have any familiar Latin letters.
Since I'm learning the the absolute beginners ones with a book introduction that implies that this is clearly for English speakers!