Saturday, December 3, 2016

Týden 1 meta

I know I said I would not write in English, but I think it will be really helpful for me to "journal" about my progress, and obviously this is something I should do in English. Then I can later read back through what I was thinking and feeling. It will be motivating to see my progress over time, and doing it in a public way allows for some helpful comments and feedback.

This is my very first week studying Czech "seriously." It is not my first exposure to a language with marked case. But Arabic has three cases only, and it is mainly in the written form, which was really never my forté, to be honest. I was always light years ahead of my peers in spoken ammiya. Why? It was still just as difficult, if not more.

Because it was fun. 

I know myself pretty well. I am an auditory learner. I like communicating with real human beings. My brain shuts off when it sees tables and charts of case endings and grammatical structures. The problem with cases is the "100 screens" problem.

At any given moment, I have probably 30 tabs open in my browser (which is not good, I know). At some point, I don't need more tabs. I need more screens. I need to have all of the things memorized, and all at once. And I simply do not yet.

With the internet, I have the world's largest library at my fingertips. I also have several physical Czech language textbooks. Still, rote repetition of three word sentences like, "To je matka," or, "Dáme si maso," or, "Díváme na fotku," - these are certainly necessary, but they are also really mind-numbingly boring, in any language, and even more so with the temptation of interesting, exciting, beautiful, real, authentic language.

When I was in 5th grade, during spelling tests I wrote the spelling words on one piece of paper, and on another piece of paper I drew an ongoing comic strip representing each of the spelling words in each new frame. It was a creative challenge to try to imagine a story connecting July, control, practice, naughty, straight, comet, statement, meteor, galaxy, ethnicity, commercial, financial etc. It was a hilarious game, even if I was the only one laughing.

My point is that it is really necessary for me to enjoy the language learning experience, or I will quickly become discouraged and lose interest.

This cannot happen for me with Czech. I must learn it.

What motivates me:
people, relationships, ideas, laughter/jokes
seeing my progress over time
feeling good about myself

How do I like to consume language?
talking/joking with friends in person
writing back and forth with friends, especially via social media
listening to people pontificate (like my brother. It's not a conversation, but I like his monologues anyway, haha)
listening to the radio
watching movies
listening to audiobooks
reading (good) novels
In general, top-down learning is more fun for me than bottom-up learning.

I also know that the minute I start making a "schedule" for myself, that is the minute I will start to lose interest. I need structure, but it has to be "free." Otherwise, I will rebel, haha. Fortunately, I like to work hard and I am absolutely committed to this goal.

If I can trudge through find a hilarious way to gamify (at least) one grammar concept per week in a bottom-up way (this week, třeba, I learned about třeba), that leaves the rest of the week for exploring Czech from a top-town perspective. I can spend the rest of the week picking from the five different communication categories in the NCSSFL-ACTFL Global Can-Do Benchmarks (what a horribly dull name). What can possibly go wrong. Haha.

Grammar Practice
Vlog or blog a Czech grammar concept.

Interpersonal Communication
Texting with a native speaker.
Speaking with a native speaker over skype or something. I would love to do this so much.

Presentational Speaking

Presentational Writing
I really enjoy highlighting new, interesting words, putting them into a flashcard generator, practicing the flashcards, and creating interesting sentences for my blog.

Interpretive Listening
Listening to the radio and explain what I think it was about.
Listening to a song.
Watching a movie.

[Interpretive read-a-long-ing]
Listening to a story, fairy tale, or article and reading along with a text in real time.

Interpretive Reading
Reading an article and explaining what I think it was about.
Reading a text out loud.


Here is how I did in week 1:

Well, I figured out what the heck třeba means in at least two cases.

Interpersonal Communication
I had some texting/emailing conversations. It was really difficult. I felt really stupid. So I went ahead and started helping some random guy in India with his English, until he wanted to start sexting, which was highly disturbing and sad/enraging to me on many different levels. It makes me distrust the entire male species.

Presentational Speaking
Well, it looks like that is the biggest omission which I shall have to try to fill later this evening.

Presentational Writing
I wrote a lot of example sentences and made a lot of errors, some of which were hilarious. It was fun and interesting, and gives me some perspective on what works and what doesn't work.

Interpretive Listening
I wrote a dictée that I did not completely fail on every word. So there's that.
I watched Beauty and the Beast in Czech and loved it. Like, really loved it.

Interpretive Reading
I started doing this with the radio stories, and keeping track of what I understand. It's interesting.

Interpretive Read-a-long-ing
I listened to and read out loud that fairy tale, "hrnečku vař!" and yes, I am totally fully aware that it is 150 year old Czech. But it is also really fun and interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment