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Moses McCormick’s admirable achievement

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
221 messages over 28 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 ... 5 ... 27 28 Next >>
billywer
Newbie
United States
Joined 4259 days ago

4 posts - 4 votes
Studies: English*, Spanish, Greek

 
 Message 33 of 221
23 February 2009 at 4:38am | IP Logged 
Hello Moses! I just want to tell you are are a great inspiration!I just started to study languges.Where I live(New York
City) is probably the greatest places to learn another language.Reading your statements I do not feel I'am too old at
forty years old to learn other languages.I just wish I would have started sooner!Actually because I have been around
spanish speakers from half of my family.I'am finding learning Spanish extremely easy.Cantonese not easy.Yet I see
myself mastering it.My goal is to study two languages at a time.I will make sure they are not related though to
avoid confusion.So far my goals are Spanish,Portuguese,Catalan,Sicilian,Italian,French,Mandarin, Cantonese,and
Japanese.I think I could accomplish this in twenty years or less.Thanks for your input and posts!        Billy
1 person has voted this message useful



Stephen
Groupie
Australia
Joined 4915 days ago

61 posts - 63 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 34 of 221
24 February 2009 at 9:18pm | IP Logged 
Hi Moses
Kudos to you.
This is an exceptional achievement.
It's inspiring to see such success in language learning.
I am particularly interested in your points made on this discussion. I'm not exactly sure about this, but I think you employ something very similar to Pareto's law or the 80/20 rule when it comes to language learning. I conclude this as your success is unquestionable and secondly you admit to cutting out of your learning the peripheral material and going straight to the stuff that will assist you. In this way you are undoubtedly one of the 20%(ish) of language learners who achieve more language than the whole of the 80% put together. Or another way of saying this is that the inefficient of us (the 80%) learn only around 20% of accumulated language knowledge.

Your method resonates strongly with me and in fact I started the other week to make a list up of what I wanted to learn initially, like salutations, my hobbies and interests, emergency language etc

I am also glad to see you like the Teach Yourself Books which in other subjects I am a fan of.

You are of course correct in your thoughts about interactions with natives: we are, as a rule, far to shy and self conscious generally, which handicaps us.

I am interested to know specifically how many hours per day of study, on average, you need to get to an intermediate level say over three months. Obviously this would not be comparable to other people and reflect your own methodology and talent, but nevertheless would be insightful to know.

Anyway, I wish you continued success.

Edited by Stephen on 25 February 2009 at 5:00am

1 person has voted this message useful



jondesousa
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/Zgg3nRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4768 days ago

227 posts - 297 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

 
 Message 35 of 221
24 February 2009 at 11:38pm | IP Logged 
Hi Moses,

I am sorry that I haven't been posting much lately. I am also extremely surprised at the relatively limited response by students in asking questions about your study techniques, etc.

I would like to probe a little more if you don't mind. I notice that you stress the concept of output in the language through speaking, writing etc. I bring this up because I have frequently read about a contrary theory proposed by Stephen Krashen where he suggests that massive levels of input should precede any serious output and that output should be approached only when the learner is more than comfortable with the material. Could you elaborate on your methods of output, specifically, could you show an example of what you might write in a journal entry, etc. An example in Japanese would be very beneficial to me, but a few examples may be helpful to more students. Could you also consider explaining a bit about how you feel the method you employ works well compared to the Krashen hypothesis (or theory, I'm not sure)? I know that Prof. Arguelles has had this out previously with other students before, but I would like to hear an alternate arguement.

I personally am trying to strive for more output myself as I feel that lack of output has really stunted my growth in Japanese. I feel that I can barely explain or understand anything when I have studied quite a bit.

With regards to Japanese (again, I know this is more for my personal benefit and I understand if you don't wish to spend all of your time on one specific subject) could you explain a little more of your methods in detail (ie. where you chatted using Japanese, how you approached Japanese speaking people in chat rooms, etc.) as well as any other study techniques or resources you would recommend for this language? I have found it extremely difficult to speak with many Japanese people. On a recent trip to Japan, most people would smile when I greeted myself in Japanese, but they would immediately switch to English and would essentially ignore my plea for practice in Japanese. I would really appreciate any specific help you can give me in these regards.

I am sure I will have more questions at some point; however, these questions have been nagging at me and I am hoping that they might also interest other students to ask some poignant questions which I may not be thinking of that could benefit everyone. I apologize if this seems somewhat rambling. I will try to more cohesively formulate my thoughts and requests for my next post.

Thanks again for your patience and guidance,

Jon

Edited by jondesousa on 24 February 2009 at 11:40pm

1 person has voted this message useful



ChiaBrain
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4312 days ago

402 posts - 512 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish*
Studies: Portuguese, Italian, French
Studies: German

 
 Message 36 of 221
01 March 2009 at 4:05pm | IP Logged 
Hello Moses and welcome to the community.
You are a great asset and an inspiration.



1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4320 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 37 of 221
01 March 2009 at 11:23pm | IP Logged 
billywer wrote:
Hello Moses! I just want to tell you are are a great inspiration!I just started to study languges.Where I live(New York
City) is probably the greatest places to learn another language.Reading your statements I do not feel I'am too old at
forty years old to learn other languages.I just wish I would have started sooner!Actually because I have been around
spanish speakers from half of my family.I'am finding learning Spanish extremely easy.Cantonese not easy.Yet I see
myself mastering it.My goal is to study two languages at a time.I will make sure they are not related though to
avoid confusion.So far my goals are Spanish,Portuguese,Catalan,Sicilian,Italian,French,Mandarin, Cantonese,and
Japanese.I think I could accomplish this in twenty years or less.Thanks for your input and posts!        Billy


Hello Billy,

I'm sorry for the late reply. I've been kind of busy.

I'm happy to hear that you've decided to start learning foreign languages. I'm sure you will be good at learning them since you are serious about learning them.

I don't think age matters. Children may be able to learn languages faster, but I think anyone has the ability to learn a foreign language.

I've been to New York several times and I must say, that's a really good place to live, for a person who is into foreign languages. When I went there, I didn't want to come back to Ohio!

Well, good luck on your language studies and if you have any questions,I will be happy to answer them. Take care Billy.

Best,

Moses McCormick
2 persons have voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4320 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 38 of 221
01 March 2009 at 11:30pm | IP Logged 
Stephen wrote:
Hi Moses
Kudos to you.
This is an exceptional achievement.
It's inspiring to see such success in language learning.
I am particularly interested in your points made on this discussion. I'm not exactly sure about this, but I think you employ something very similar to Pareto's law or the 80/20 rule when it comes to language learning. I conclude this as your success is unquestionable and secondly you admit to cutting out of your learning the peripheral material and going straight to the stuff that will assist you. In this way you are undoubtedly one of the 20%(ish) of language learners who achieve more language than the whole of the 80% put together. Or another way of saying this is that the inefficient of us (the 80%) learn only around 20% of accumulated language knowledge.

Your method resonates strongly with me and in fact I started the other week to make a list up of what I wanted to learn initially, like salutations, my hobbies and interests, emergency language etc

I am also glad to see you like the Teach Yourself Books which in other subjects I am a fan of.

You are of course correct in your thoughts about interactions with natives: we are, as a rule, far to shy and self conscious generally, which handicaps us.

I am interested to know specifically how many hours per day of study, on average, you need to get to an intermediate level say over three months. Obviously this would not be comparable to other people and reflect your own methodology and talent, but nevertheless would be insightful to know.

Anyway, I wish you continued success.



Hello Stephen,

It's kind of hard for most people to be able to study a language for at least 6 hours straight. If you could do that, you will see fast results as long as you're studying and practicing the right way.

When I study a language intensively, I try to study for at least 6 hours, Mon-Fri. On the weekends, I would take at least 3 hours to practice/study the other languages I know.
1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4320 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 39 of 221
02 March 2009 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
jondesousa wrote:
Hi Moses,

I am sorry that I haven't been posting much lately. I am also extremely surprised at the relatively limited response by students in asking questions about your study techniques, etc.

I would like to probe a little more if you don't mind. I notice that you stress the concept of output in the language through speaking, writing etc. I bring this up because I have frequently read about a contrary theory proposed by Stephen Krashen where he suggests that massive levels of input should precede any serious output and that output should be approached only when the learner is more than comfortable with the material. Could you elaborate on your methods of output, specifically, could you show an example of what you might write in a journal entry, etc. An example in Japanese would be very beneficial to me, but a few examples may be helpful to more students. Could you also consider explaining a bit about how you feel the method you employ works well compared to the Krashen hypothesis (or theory, I'm not sure)? I know that Prof. Arguelles has had this out previously with other students before, but I would like to hear an alternate arguement.

I personally am trying to strive for more output myself as I feel that lack of output has really stunted my growth in Japanese. I feel that I can barely explain or understand anything when I have studied quite a bit.

With regards to Japanese (again, I know this is more for my personal benefit and I understand if you don't wish to spend all of your time on one specific subject) could you explain a little more of your methods in detail (ie. where you chatted using Japanese, how you approached Japanese speaking people in chat rooms, etc.) as well as any other study techniques or resources you would recommend for this language? I have found it extremely difficult to speak with many Japanese people. On a recent trip to Japan, most people would smile when I greeted myself in Japanese, but they would immediately switch to English and would essentially ignore my plea for practice in Japanese. I would really appreciate any specific help you can give me in these regards.

I am sure I will have more questions at some point; however, these questions have been nagging at me and I am hoping that they might also interest other students to ask some poignant questions which I may not be thinking of that could benefit everyone. I apologize if this seems somewhat rambling. I will try to more cohesively formulate my thoughts and requests for my next post.

Thanks again for your patience and guidance,

Jon



Hello Jon,

That's ok, I've been very busy myself lately.

Well, I'm not familiar with Mr. Krashen's theory, but I must say, he is right about being comfortable with the material before using it. I think it would be pretty difficult to try and practice something you're not comfortable with.

As far as journals are concerned, I will just write about a topic which I know I'm comfortable with as far as grammar. I may write about family, or write about my hobbies. For example, if I wanted to write about my hobbies in Japanese, I would start it with something like this:

皆さん今日は、

私は今日趣味について話したいです。
暇な時は通常妻と一緒に何かをします。
例えば、我々は買い物に行って、映画を見て 、
釣りをします。

みんなさんこんにちは、

わたしはきょうしゅみについてはなしたいで す。
ひまなときはつうじょうつまといっしょぬな にかをします。
たとえば、われわれはかいものにいって、え いがをみて、
つりをします。

Hello everyone!

Today I would like to talk about my hobbies.
When I'm free I like to do something with my wife.
For example, we would go shopping, watch a movie and
go fishing.

Just something like this. As far as construction is concerned,if you don't know how to construct something, it's best to figure out how to do so right away and get practice with it until you feel comfortable putting anything together using that construction.You would want to make your own example sentences using that construction until you get used to it. Once you do that, you could go to the chat rooms and use what you've written about for more practice. I hope that makes sense, but that's usually what I do.

I don't want to compare myself with Mr.Krashen or anybody else because I know everyone has their own method for learning languages. I don't want to say my method is better than his because his method may be good as well.

Usually when I go to a chat room, I would see some people from Japan and when we start to talk, I start off with 'Nihon no kata desu ka?' Then they would be like 'Hai, sou desu' After that they will start asking me a bunch of questions in Japanese and I would just respond to them. Then we'll end up becoming friends.It's the same thing when talking with someone in person. I would use that same method, but start it up in a different way. I would just ask them what time it is, then after that I would ask them where they're from.

Whenever you have that situation where you want to practice Japanese and they'll automatically switch to English, just keep speaking in Japanese. I remember that happening to me before. They will see that you're serious about it, then they will switch back to Japanese.Perhaps they just want to practice English.

May I ask what resources are you using for learning Japanese? I look forward to your reply.

Best,

Moses McCormick
1 person has voted this message useful



Stephen
Groupie
Australia
Joined 4915 days ago

61 posts - 63 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 40 of 221
03 March 2009 at 5:24am | IP Logged 

laoshu505000 wrote:


Hello Stephen,

It's kind of hard for most people to be able to study a language for at least 6 hours straight. If you could do that, you will see fast results as long as you're studying and practicing the right way.

When I study a language intensively, I try to study for at least 6 hours, Mon-Fri. On the weekends, I would take at least 3 hours to practice/study the other languages I know.




Yeah Moses, 6 hours straight is about double of that, which the average undergraduate student spends on their degree daily! :-)

I suppose much comes down to motivation, and I think much of that motivation comes from the learning material you are engaged with.

I have recently acquired a 1960s Assimil German without Toil course and it is by far the best course I have seen that has a 'fit' with my style.

I know you have mentioned that Teach Yourself has been a good source of learning for you. I wonder, have you tried the older TY manuals and books from the 60s and 70s? If so, do you think that the modern one's are as good as them or better?

Cheers

Steve


1 person has voted this message useful



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