A day in the life of a LingQ user

I was asked to describe a typical day learning languages on LingQ. Here goes.

The first thing I do is to download my sound files to iTunes, from where I can download them to my MP3 player. The source of the sound files depends on the language. It depends on how far along I am in the language and the wealth of content in our library for that language. The source of the sound files will be either the library or online material, podcasts or radio stations etc…

The next that I do is to select the texts that correspond to these audio files. I either choose them in the library or import them from my online sources. I then go through these texts quickly, LingQing all blue words. I will usually spend about 30 minutes doing this. This corresponds to at least an hour of listening for later. I will then start listening to this material while preparing breakfast for my wife and me. I will listen again while cleaning up.

If I am in a period where I am focusing on a language, I will probably have an online discussion lined up with a LingQ tutor, perhaps 30 minutes starting around 10 o’clock.

I will have reviewed most of my incoming email by that time, and now start actioning any emails as required. I also try to answer comments on our forum, create blog post, create YouTube videos etc… as part of my effort to generate more interest generally in our community.

If I have lunch at home I will listen to my language material over lunch. If I have lunch out, but on my own, I will probably read on my iPad, or leaf through a grammar book while eating lunch.

I usually go to my office in the afternoon. I listen to my language on the way to the office in the car, about 15 minutes. I listen again on my way home, around 5 o’clock.

I usually have a short workout or go for a run after coming home. This is another opportunity to listen to my language. If I have time before dinner I will read at LingQ on my computer, because it is easier to save phrases on the computer rather than on the iPad.

My wife prepares our usual gourmet dinner, after which I clean up the kitchen, listening to my language.

After dinner I try to read in the language, either a book or on my iPad. I usually have prepared a number of lessons for the iPad. This means that I’ve gone through and created LingQs for all my unknown words. Unfortunately I normally don’t get to read them all. I might also leaf through a grammar book before going to bed.

The above describes a heavy language learning day. There are days when I play golf, have business meetings, meet with friends over dinner, read other things, watch television, spend time with my family and grandchildren etc. and therefore have less time to spend on my language learning.

I would be interested in hearing about that typical day in the life of other LingQ users.

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Can LingQ help with the gourmet dinner part?


If you show up in Vancouver, you are invited.

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That’s very kind. :slight_smile: I’ll bring my favorite bib.

One less chore? No more taking the garbage out while listening to foreign podcasts? Gosh!

pretty busy day!

I’m a bit less organized than this. But basically, I like to read the newspaper or other literature with the help of LingQ. I also like to practice hearing using Yabla (not related to LingQ, sort of a competitor I guess). I like to tune in radio stations using the Internet. The iPad has a great sound for that purpose. Long gone are the days of scratchy shortwave!!! And I think it is very important to go through a grammar systematically, because the adult mind craves order and structure. The grammar should be more of a textbook than a reference book, so that there will be more practice available in it. LingQ is great for massive input, but one must make substantial efforts toward production, or out-go. I don’t think you can count on it just materializing.

I usually download a few audio files to my Ipod and listen to them about 100 times each or until I have them pretty much memorized. Eventually I try to repeat what I hear as I hear it (otherwise known as the shadowing technique by Dr. Arguelles). This of course is done after I’ve made linqs for all unknown words. This usually takes up the whole day.

Thanks Steve for the interesting post about how to successfully learn a language and how to successfully maintain a marriage. I think I would contribute some of my recent experiences.

The way that I learn German has changed a lot since I started using LingQ. When I was at a lower level, this was what I used to do.

I would wake up in the morning (hopefully) and import the text from Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten from Deutsche Welle (around 6 minute news report produced daily by them that comes with text and audio and is spoken slowly) into LingQ. I would read that on my iPad while drinking my first cup of tea and make all my LingQs. I would then review the LingQs once with the flashcards and then go make breakfast while listening to the audio. I would listen to it over and over while making breakfast and eating it and then on the way to work. On the train, I would have time to listen to it and read it simultaneously (using the iLingQ app) once and then review the flashcards again. By the time I get to work, I will have read the text twice, studied the flashcards twice and listened to the audio around 10 times. In the evening, before I went home from work, I would import a few newspaper articles into LingQ and read them, and then probably find an in interesting discussion in the LingQ library and read that before loading the audio onto the iPhone app and listening to it on the way home a few times. At home I would probably either pick a new discussion from the library, read it and listen to it a few times, or watch Austrian TV for a couple of hours.

That was my daily routine for a couple of months. It was very effective. I also took, and sometimes still take, lessons with teachers from italki (which I started using before LingQ), but this was not a daily thing.

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I’m not very good at routines, or rather I’m not very good at sticking to them. This might be why I like using lingq, and it is definetly the reason for why I like input based learning.

Lingqwise, I used primarilly the great discussions provided by Serge and Marriane. Basically, I’d load 10 discussions onto my mp3 player, and listen to them on loop while doing just about anything. I’d turn the player off only to pay attention better in class, or to seem less rude whilst I ordered a sandwich at subway or something. Throughout the day I’d glance at the transcripts. In the cases where I did not understand a turn of phrase, or the structure of a sentence, I’d take a look at the French grammar section of about.com

I would also upload books one chapter at a time, and read them on lingq sans audio.

@ Steve - “I then go through these texts quickly, LingQing all blue words.” What exactly does this mean - are you only creating lingQs? No reading/familiarizing yourself with the vocabulary here?

Correct. No reading/familiarizing with the vocabulary.

I see the meaning as I create the LingQ. If I have enough time I will read the article on the computer or on my iPad. If the word is important people show up again in my reading. I will almost certainly listen to the text at least once.

I read a lot on the computer and on my iPad although not always the text that I have just finished LingQing. It all depends on how much time I have. However I am constantly running into my little yellow LingQs and that is how I learn vocabulary.

Do you ever review words separately, like with the flashcard function, for example?

Sometimes, but very sporadically.

Here how I use lingQ.
I read the article, creating a lingQ for every unknown word. I play the audio, and listen while reading along. Over the course of the next few days, I’ll listen to the audio at least once more. That’s it; no vocab review, no messing with lingQ’s after I create them, no re-reading articles.

@Steve - if you lingQ all the blue words all the time, how does your word count go up? Also, you talk about saving phrases - would that be for part of your sporadic review?

I only save those blue words that I don’t know. The rest I either delete or ignore. I encounter my saved phrases in future lessons and in my sporadic review. The act of saving phrases, usually containing some elusive grammar pattern, is part of helping me to notice them and eventually remember them and use them.

I used to have a rule that if there were fewer than 50 LingQs in the document at the end of reading, I would always review then quickly with the flashcards. I don’t do that anymore, to the detriment of my German vocabulary I suspect.

@Steve: There’s no need to download the audio files into itunes in order to upload them in your mp3 , you can just download them and put them directly in your mp3 player ( unless your using that ipod shuffle which you showed in some of your videos ). And I appreciate the way help your wife . I hear that in some cultures the man who helps his wife in house chores is more respected and also the marriage is guaranteed to last longer.

I also find it useful when I finish listening and reading to a lesson several times to start a new one and maybe I’ll come later to study the other one if there are words which I haven’t learned yet .

I’m new to LingQ, but here’s my routine. I move language mp3s to a USB card and plug them into my car. It has a USB port. I listen and repeat for at least 30 minutes, maybe more. I use flash cards, so I review my vocabulary on 3x5 cards when away from my computer. I review my vocabulary on LingQ. When I have reviewed, I import new material into LingQ and create new lingqs for blue words. Then I write the word and translation on 3x5 cards, and I start the routine again. I learn well with 3x5s, so I try to keep a stack with me at all times.

Another thing that I do when I finish LingQing my new words is the following. I look at my list of saved LingQs on the right-hand side. I just imported an article from Echo Moskvi and after saving my blue words there are about 221 yellow saved LingQs. It is quite helpful to review them, to see how many I know, and to remember the ones that I just say.

I think there are many ways to use the tools here, and I tend to focus on certain activities for a certain period of time, and then change and put more emphasis on other activities. Variety is the spice of life.