How easy is to figure out what to do at LingQ when you first come to it? I would appreciate hearing your reactiins to the site the first time.
I have written a short introduction. Let me know if you think this is useful.
Your first week at LingQ…getting started.
Start by choosing an easy assignment from the Store in the “For Beginners”, or “Easy Learning” category. Try listening and reading. If you find it too easy, select another assignment from a category of interest. Now download the audio file to your MP3 player and listen to it many times. Just relax and do not worry if you do not understand. Keep listening. That is all you need to do on your first day. Just get used to listening to the language, even if you do not understand. You can try imitating what you hear. Imitate the rhythm, even if you do not hear all the individual words.
Go to the WorkDesk page and read your assignment again. Highlight any words or phrases that you need to understand better, and save them by creating a LingQ. You will notice that the phrase that contained this word has also been saved. When you have finished reading and saving words, use the Flash Card function to review the LingQs you have created. Now go away from the computer and listen to the audio file again several times during your day, wherever you are.Try to make it a habit to listen between 45 minutes and one hour every day, or almost every day. Listen for the words that you saved if you can. But it may all be unclear to you. Do not worry. Keep listening. The more you listen, the more your brain is getting used to the language.
Go back to the WorkDesk and read the assignment again. You can play the audio while reading, just to help you. Click on the yellow highlighted words that you previously saved, and that you have probably already forgotten. Remember that you will need to see and hear these words many times to understand them, to remember them and eventually to use them. When you have read the assignment again, try reviewing your saved words again, using the Flash Cards. At this point you may want to print out the text and your list of saved words to carry with you and read from time to time.
If you understand most of your current assignment, you can select another item from the Store and start again.
Go to the Overview page and you will see a Progress Snapshot of your activity so far, with your targets. Try to push yourself to reach or surpass your targets. Good learners create over 100 LingQs a week! On the Overview page you will see your Priority LingQs list. These are the most important 25 words that you need to learn at any given time. Concentrate on these important words. Go through them using the Flash Cards. As you learn these words, new ones will appear on this list. You will notice a little number on each flash card. This indicates how well you know the word. Click on the number. You can always change the Status, up or down.
Continue to the WorkDesk for more reading and saving of words, or, if you want, you can just take a day off from the computer and keep listening. Your listening should be a little difficult, so that you have to keep concentrating to understand. A little effort is good for learning! As you get more comfortable listening, try to imitate more of the words and phrases that you hear. Listen many times to the same content. Eventually these words and phrases will become part of your spoken language, naturally.
Now you are starting to feel comfortable at LingQ. Why not explore a little more? Go to the Vocabulary page. There you will find all of your saved LingQs. You can sort them in different ways, in alphabetical order, by importance, by status, and by the date you created them. You can search the list and you can even enter a new term and create a new LingQ. You can print these lists, and you can use Flash Cards to review them.
You will notice that there is an area called Tags, but you have no tags. Try clicking on one of your saved LingQs. This opens up what we call the LingQ Widget. At the Widget you can create a Tag for each term you have saved. This is your personal label for this term, something that will help you remember it. As soon as you create a Tag, it appears under the Tag heading in Vocabulary. You can click on each Tag there to find all terms that share the same tag. Then you can review them using the Flash Cards.
What else can you do at the Widget? You can edit your automatically saved phrase. Or you can select a new phrase by clicking on Examples. If you are a Basic, Plus or Premium member you can ask your tutor a question about your saved term.
Since this is your day to explore, why not visit the Forum to see what people are talking about at the LingQ community.
By now you should be starting to get into the habit of listening, reading and reviewing your words. Keep doing it, and it will become part of your regular routine. Most of your learning time is spent just listening on your MP3 player at various times of the day, occasionally repeating what you hear. From time to time you sit down at the computer to read or review your saved LingQs.
By now you may want to try to use the words and phrases you have learned.
For some people it is easier to start by writing, since you have time to think about what you want to say. Go to Write to submit some writing for correction by one of our tutors. You will notice that a list of your Priority LingQs appears on the writing submission page. It is a good idea to try to use some of these new words in your writing submission. You do not need to write long paragraphs. Even a few short sentences is a good way to get started. Your writing will usually be corrected within 24 hours, with explanations of individual mistakes. You will receive a fully corrected version of what you wrote. It is a good idea to import your correction and save key words in the WorkDesk for further review.
When you’re ready to speak, go to the Events section and sign up for a one-on-one online Skype conversation with your tutor. If you prefer, you can join a group discussion where you can meet up to 4 other students and your tutor. After each discussion your tutor will send you a list of words and phrases that you need to work on. (In order to join discussions or submit writing you will need to have enough points. Points can be purchased on the Account page.)
As you end your first week, you should feel confident that by continuing to put most of your effort into listening, reading and word review, you will gradually become more familiar with the language and become more fluent using it. You should feel that you have discovered a method of learning that can be enjoyable and at the same time effective. Hopefully you are prepared to spend enough time with the language to achieve your language goals. Let LingQ become a habit, a satisfying exercise for the brain, where you can see your progress weekly, and feel your increasing ability in a new language.
So, on day 7 you should not rest, but rather go to the WorkDesk and start another assignment. If you want, you can even Import content from the web and study it on LingQ.
Let LingQ be your constant companion on an enjoyable and satisfying language learning journey.
You may wonder why LingQ does not emphasize grammar rules. The reason is that these rules are difficult to remember, and even difficult to understand until you have had enough exposure to the language you are learning. We believe that our approach, based on listening and reading, and learning words,is more natural, more enjoyable and in the long run more effective.
If you need more help with the structure of the language, you should consider becoming a Basic, Plus or Premium member. You will not only get regular reports from your tutor, you will also be able to ask your tutor questions on our Forum, or during your online discussions. When your writing is corrected, our tutors also provide explanations of individual errors that you make, as well as an overall comment on your use of the language.
Nevertheless, you may want to buy a small grammar book with explanations in your own language. You should read it just as an overview of what to expect in the language and for reference. You should not spend too much time trying to learn the many rules and exceptions, because your time is better spent listening and reading and becoming familiar with the language. You will be surprised at how the structure of the new language will start to seem natural to you after you have enough exposure. That way, when you look at grammar explanations, you will have a better chance of understanding them and remembering them. In fact by then you will not really need them.