Figuring out what to do at LingQ

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.

Day 1
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.

Day 2
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.

Day 3
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.

Day 4
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.

Day 5
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.

Day 6
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.)

Day 7
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.

Note:

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.

Well, I wouldn’t call this a “short” introduction… rsss…

When I suggested LingQ to my husband, I could perceive it is not at all obvious what to do in LingQ at first sight. Being faced with a blank general view page can be intimidating and confusing. The videos are very specific and don’t give the overall idea adequately.
Explanations are scattered across various locations and most of them are in English, so they are useless for the ones who don’t know this language well.
I believe that the first page for a newcomer should be a very concise explanation about the entire learning system, with pointers to more detailed texts and for the videos. And all this should be in the user language.
A more elaborate or alternative welcome message should be a video of Steve explaining (in the learner’s language!) how the system is meant to be used.
Or maybe something in the middle of these two above: a video similar to the ones that exist today but also explaining the overall idea of the system.

Ana,

Good advice as usual. We will do something like this once we sort of finalize the system.

No, it is not short but I think LingQ has so much possibilities that you cannot describe in some short sentences.

I heard the same what Ana said from some people. For newcomers LingQ is not very easy to understand but I think how more we have all translation in each languages it will be better.

This point can help to understand how the system works, I would bring this in the other language Forums too.

Steve

I think this is great advice, and it is something that even someone like me who has been on Lingq for a while can look back to for a good reference. I personally figured it out and have no problem using the system.

I have been in Japan now for 5 years teaching…err, coaching English as a way to get money to pay my bills. Since I don’t work for one of those 水商売英会話 companies, I have freely told ALL of my students to sign up on Lingq (about 70 people and counting). In fact I give many lessons on how to use the system. I even tell strangers I meet on the train to sign up…

I have found this from my student’s response. The student’s who are really gung-ho about their learning (especially my group of young mothers who are at a very very very beginner level, and my 14 year old girl who will just rise in this world like no other) will take the time to figure it out.

Some of my other students are scarred away by the lack of Japanese instructions, despite me walking through it with them hand in hand. So Ana and Irene do have a little point about making it a little bit more open in many languages.

But those who are the most serious about learning will figure out how to use it, despite the barriers they may face! That is what I have found the past few weeks.

Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing Lingq grow bigger and bigger, and becoming more open to everybody around the world. So keep up the good work and good advice!

I spoke often with others about my improving with LingQ system.
Often I thought they want to have the language served on a golden tray as pill and have to take one or two daily.
OK, most I have contact with older people and they want to have at first contact with others and a face to face teaching.

We do intend to translate this into our major languages and probably put it on the Overview page.

Any help in translation would be greatly appreciated since the amount of translating we have to do is simply enormous.

Irene has already started translating into German, and has suggested a few minor changes. Thank you Irene! If you have more suggestions or are willing to help with translation please let me know and I will send you the final file of this text.

I also think we could add a sentence in the title to say

“Please just read one paragraph each day for the next 7 days.”

This might make it seem less long, Ana.

I am also thinking of having a short video which we could put somewhere, perhaps as part of the registration, where I would explain the following in a variety of languages.

Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

My name is Steve Kaufmann. Hello and welcome.

I am a language learner. I am also the founder of LingQ. I have learned 10 languages in my life, but I am enjoying my language studies more today than at any other time in my life, thanks to LingQ.

LingQ is a comprehensive and efficient learning system and an international language community. LingQ is modern and innovative, combining ideas from such language learning experts as Stephen Krashen, Paul Nation, Vera Birkenbihl and others.

But first some background. Language skills are unlike most skills we acquire. This is for two reasons. First because language is so important to everything we do in life, and second, because we learn language largely naturally, and even passively. This is true for our first language, and it is also true for any other language we learn.

Unless we have a physical disability, we all learn to talk. Some of us start talking earlier than others, but all children learn to speak their first language. We do this without any drills or explanations, and largely without correction. In fact we learn as we listen, and then start talking when we feel like it.

The same is true when we learn a second language. We mostly need to hear and read the language. We do not need to be taught how to speak. It is something we do naturally, once we have heard enough of the language. When we notice words, phrases and patterns in a new language, we at first need to relate them to our own language. Gradually we get used to the strange patterns of the new language, and they start to seem natural. They become natural, not when grammatical structures or rules are explained to us, but when we come across them often in different interesting contexts.

So do not look for work sheets, exercises, or grammar tests at LingQ. You will learn to speak naturally, by following your interests and doing enjoyable activities. Mostly you will listen whenever and wherever you want. You will also read and study words and phrases that are important to you. You can also choose to have a tutor, who will speak to you and correct your writing. But this is up to you. And there is more, lots more.

Please read the article entitled “Your first week at LingQ…getting started.” Then follow the instructions on each page. Give yourself the time to develop the habits of a natural language learner. If you do, I know that you will achieve your language goals, and enjoy yourself at the same time. So, please go ahead and get started.

We would like to use some of these positive comments on our upcoming testimonials page. I hope there are no objections.

Hi, I usually try to accomplish the objectives in the progression graph for the day… Sometimes I get tired and sometimes I want to do more… But usually I try to follow the graph…

I listen to a new file everyday a lot of times, then I read and make lingqs and then I listen to it again. Then I test my knowledge of the words… If I need to create more lingqs I search in something, like a music or a text that catches my interest, for words I don’t yet understand.

I also listen to the soundfiles I already studied before, while on the bus… or to better use the time, I do it while studying the words, even though it gets difficult to give attention to both, I listen to the flow and the intonation of the language… And when I get bored with one, I switch to the other…

Other than that, I also find studying with LingQ a bit difficult, because I never know if I’m doing it right. If I’m doing too much, or not enough…

Pedro,

I hope that LingQ helps people realize that they have to be their own judges of whether they are doing enough, and doing what they want to do. It is your language. You are the one who is using it and enjoying it.

I aim for ~1 hour listening time in two languages (German and Russian) and keep track of it here. I also save at least 13 LingQs and check the flashcards throughout the day until I have learned at least 7 of them (as suggested for my level - I know the values are just “suggestions” but still good targets).

If nothing else - I have fun, I learn something from it, and I do more than those who say it is impossible to learn a language on one’s own and refuse to give it a go…

I am a new user and am already regretting spending the money. There is not even an instruction page. I am totally lost. I am not here to try to learn a computer course so I don’t want to waste my valuable time experimenting with different links to see what works. There should be step by step instructions straight on the first page. Even your outline, which I will definitely try to figure out,only came up by accident with me hitting every button possible.
So far a huge disappointment and nothing compared to Live Mocha as far as being user friendly.

Have you tried the “Academy” button at the top of the page? I’m not a beginner here so I’m not sure what’s all there…

@ou812p - we are sorry to hear about that… As @Jingle has mentioned, please visit our Academy page and watch short tutorial videos. They will explain how the site works (Login - LingQ) Also, be sure to contact us support(at)lingq.com if you have any specific questions.