I love watching youtube videos of Steve Kaufmann. I believe his methods of learning a new language suit me best. Reading conversations on topics which are of interest to me helps improve my sentence structuring and keep me motivated. However, as I am at a beginner - intermediate level of learning French, most words and phrases are new to me. This means I spend ages reading over the same simple words and sentences in lessons until I completely understand their use in context and can repeat them without thinking. Although this requires a lot of time and I eventually end up forgetting them.
Therefore my question is - should I work through lessons faster and forget about trying to fully remember lingqs as they will appear in future lesson and I will eventually be able to use them through repetition? Or stick with my current method which causes my lingq count to be low.
Also, can anyone recommended another language learning site which is similar to lingq and may supplement my learning? I am currently using HelloTalk and working towards using italki once I build up enough confidence. I find speaking the biggest challenge for me.
When you say “repeat them without thinking” do you mean pronunciation and reading aloud? Or something more?
For me working through a lesson means reading it all, LingQing everything, not necessarily understanding every sentence, and listening to the audio. As beginner/intermediate I’m more likely to have another look at the lesson sometime later, but that is mostly to listen to it again, not to try to master the vocabulary. Important words should show up again in other lessons.
I would say in short yes, you should probably consume more lessons and make tons of LingQs.
My own method which has been very effective is not to merely passively read content but to take basic grammatical constructions and words that I want to learn right now and then I USE them to construct sentences that are true for me when I am writing them. I am thus not writing abstract grammar drills but instead I am describing what I am doing, seeing, at the moment so the content is very meaningful to me. Initially I write these sentences by hand, then read them out loud and then say them without reading what I wrote. As my knowledge of the language improved, the sentences became more complicated and I used new vocabulary and grammar constructions. When I first started learning Russian it was hard to say things without reading what I wrote but now if I can write something, I can say it without reading it. I never try to memorize anything but the act of writing out by hand – NOT typing – creates a muscle memory of the words and I am learning all words in a context that is meaningful to ME. Moreover, writing the sentences means that I have learned how to spell the words and have learned common syllable combinations unconsciously which in turn helps me to remember words. If I don’t remember something, I just write more examples and variations of the sentences using the words and grammar that I want to know. I have no problem remembering the grammar and word patterns that I select and practice in this way. When I write by hand, I am sounding out the words in my head which does not occur when typing. By the way, there has been much research about the value of physically writing out sentences by hand as opposed to typing and they have found that children learn vocabulary better and are able to more creatively use what they have learned when doing so as opposed to typing on a computer which involves the same repetitive tapping movement and does not have the same effect. Computers are valuable for some things and certainly are faster once one knows the language but when first learning, I strongly recommend writing out the words patterns by hand.
When I read/listen to Lingq lessons, I select high priority words and grammar patterns that I want to learn right now and practice them separately from the computer reviews in Lingq. For me, it is really important to use the language in order to fix the constructions into my deep memory and make them “mine” in contexts that are meaningful to ME. I know that Steve and other users greatly advocate reading and listening but for me, it is necessary to include more active use of the language through writing and saying out loud what I have written. As my knowledge of Russian improved, I also wrote my own versions of what I just read – I either summarized it or wrote a version that was true for my life – e.g., what my day was like, how the seasons were where I live, etc. That is, I USE the language. It’s not easy at first but for me these steps have been essential in my being able to speak with others.
Although I study more ‘by eyes’, I believe that this method of studying ‘by hand’ and first of all ‘by immediate use’ new words and constructions can be very effective, especially by studying such difficult languages like Russian, German or Chinese.