How do you measure your progress at LingQ?

If I were to ask you how much you have achieved at LingQ, what would you say? How would you show it? Has anyone kept a video record of their improvement?

I have a blog: where I have recorded various videos of myself speaking Italian. The very first was March 24, 2010, 12 days after joining LingQ. In this video I rehearsed what I was going to say many times and still had to splice and dice some video editing in order to get something that sounded semi fluent to listen to, but you can still hear my hesitations.

During this last summer I recorded a series of videos (all in Italian of course) about my life and about American culture. These videos were done completely off the cuff with no prior preparation and were done in public places such as the hardware store, Best Buy, a bon fire (with an instructional on how to make s’mores!) and ending in a 22 minute continuous unscripted tour through Walmart at 1 am! This last Walmart video was posted in September, and I haven’t gotten around to posting another since 8 days later my son was born. But anyway, if you watch my very first few videos (at the bottom of the page) and then watch my tour of Walmart, you can hear a very marked improvement in fluidity of speech and breadth of vocabulary, even considering the chaotic nature of describing things in public. I mainly decided to get out of the chair and into the world because I figured that would get more native speakers to watch them.

I’m sure that if I were to just sit down now and have another face-to-camera talk, I could probably do even better.

I may start doing the same thing in Spanish, I think a video record of one’s progress is a good idea.

No video diary from me : /
I would say in a just over a year I’ve gone from no knowlege to just about being able to have a (painfully awkward : ) ) conversation. Though I still can’t read a newspaper or children’s story with near-full comprehension, there’s still so many common words I don’t know.
I think it might be worth encouraging some kind or video archive at lingQ, like a video testimonial, both to track users’ progress, and serve as evidence to potential clustomers. It could be part of the fluency feedback/ peer review idea being discussed a while ago.

Posting videos and getting feedback could be a good community activity, as long as people are positive. I haven’t kept a video diary, but I’d be interested in that.

I don’t know how to measure my progress at LingQ because it’s just one of several things I do. I definitely feel that it’s helpful, but it would be difficult to quantify how much.

I’ve achieved fluency through LingQ, and for that I will be forever grateful. Before LingQ, I studied in school, and on my own after that, so I knew Spanish grammar relatively well, but that didn’t translate into any skill with the language. I basically understood nothing of what I heard at native speed. I could read with a dictionary, but it was very time-consuming looking up words, and I would not understand much without looking things up. I never wrote because again, I didn’t have the vocabulary to say anything. And speaking? Forget about it!

Now, I can do things fluently. I can read in Spanish without consulting a dictionary. Although there may be a few words I don’t know, it doesn’t hamper my understanding. I can write relatively well, although not perfectly. I can understand podcasts, tv shows, and movies aimed at native speakers, although not perfectly. And I can speak! No, not perfectly, and some days I have less confidence than others, but I am very proud.

I do have a video record of my progress. I still can’t look at my very first videos, because I think I was horrible. I definitely see progress comparing videos taken six month or a year apart. It’s very encouraging. None of my videos are scripted, I spoke extemporaneously. I also haven’t recorded anything new since last year, although since I haven’t been studying as much as of late, I don’t know how much I have improved.
First videos (about 7 months after starting at LingQ): Angela's Language Learning: My first Spanish videoblogs
Most recent videos (almost 2 years after starting at LingQ): Angela's Language Learning: No longer discouraged, and a couple videos

For those who don’t want to do video, I think audio of conversations or monologues works just as well.

@odiernod I’m impressed that you can give those kind of tours and instructions in Italian. You must have a very high level.

I suggest that our profile page on LingQ should have a place where we can add a URL to our latest YouTube video in each language we are studying. That way, we might get the feedback of native LingQers on our progress or current level.

Or we could upload them to our blog…not sure how to do that yet.

Can we upload them to the LingQ blog?

@skyblueteapot I know at one time our latest blog posts used to be listed in our profiles, now there is just a link to our blog if we happen to have posted one.

You can post links to youtube videos in your LingQ profile, I just did one for the Walmart tour on my profile as an example, I may list some others I like later.

On your blog you can imbed youtube videos into your blog posts by clicking on the Share button under the youtube video, then clicking Imbed, and pasting that html into your blog post.

@aybee77 Thank you for the kind words, I hope to someday be able do the same thing in Spanish. I watched your videos from your blog and I must say your Spanish has progressed by leaps and bounds, and I’m pretty sure you could give a tour of your supermarket or or other public locations as well. Even if you don’t think you can you could try anyway for fun! And thanks for the tip about the effects of speaking Spanish to your spouse, I’ll have to try that sometime! (with my spouse of course, not yours)

He he he :wink:

Hey Steve, was there any specific reason you started this post, or just curious? Are you trying to encourage us as learners to make more videos?

Two reasons at least.

  1. I am interesting in finding the best way to measure people’s progress at LingQ and wanted to see what ideas there were in our community. I think it really comes down to one’s own assessment of oneself. However, that is not necessarily persuasive for others. Of course people can take some of the official language tests that are out there, but it would be great if there some way of demonstrating what LingQ has helped people achieve.

It may be that we will do a survey at some point.

  1. We are looking at ways of expanding our community activity, and that would include a way that makes it easier for people to post texts, audio files and videos for others to comment on. This is very much in the beginning stages and so I was looking for input.

In a way, the issue of tracking one’s personal journey, and the issue of tracking or measuring progress are related.

I checked out the videos posted here by Angela and you. It is rather difficult to evaluate the progress just by looking at the videos. Both of you seemed pretty good in your first videos.

I think we are more conscious of our own progress, and we remember how we felt at the beginning and now.

I notice that when I read something in Czech that is at a beginner level, I really notice how much I have improved, since what used to be unclear and impossible to remember is now second nature. I don’t know how we can reflect the different forms of progress into some format that will be interesting, useful, encouraging for others and meaningful.

All ideas are welcome.

I am taking an exam in the university in a couple of months, that’s how I intend to track my progress. (It will also be more useful when applying for a job than showing them an YouTube video ;))

Unfortunately that means I have to study some grammar too as grammar counts 20% of the exam. Then I will probably take a new exam at a higher level before Christmas. I also go back to lessons I have read before to see how much I understand now.

I am fortunate because I am retired and learning languages is my hobby. I don’t worry about passing tests for school or speaking fluently for a job interview.

My French reading comprehension is much better than it was last year. I regularly read the news online in French and understand much of what I read. However, listening and speaking are extremely difficult because I don’t feel French sounds the way it is written. There are just too many silent letters at the end of words!

It’s difficult to measure my progress in German because I grew up in a home where German was spoken. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m learning new words or just remembering what I heard years ago.

I spend much of my time listening to French and trying to improve my listening skills. When I’m frustrated with French, I relax with some German or Norwegian.

I track my progress by the rough-and-ready method of trying to read some really hard books, like Dracula, about once a year. It’s a lot easier every time.

I tend to measure progress by how far I can read/listen in-between having to stop and look something up. It sounds quite random I know and obviously varies hugely depending on the text, but the less I have to stop and check some vocab or grammar the more confidence I gain and the more I feel I’ve progressed.

Recently I’ve been reading ‘Think and Grow Rich’ in Spanish, and find that I only need to stop and check a word every 3 or 4 paragraphs, which is much less frequently than when I bought the book about 8 months ago. Every time I pick it up now I feel I can go longer without reaching for the dictionary.

Progress monitoring is great I think, especially if you’re learning a language ‘alone’, away from a school/university. Often you need a bit of motivation to keep you going, and for me something as simple as seeing the LingQ ‘known words’ total go up a bit makes me believe that I’m making progress.

Similarly I measure speaking progress by the number of ‘panic moments’ when I stop and either confuse myself or forget a key word. From being every other sentence a few months back, to now being perhaps every minute or two, makes me feel like I’ve made progress.

Definitely any additional features for LingQ that could help a student to monitor his/her progress would be extremely useful Steve.

Thank you Vonk!

Vonk is obviously either a caring language teacher, a student of linguistics, or a trained assessor of language levels. :slight_smile: Laypeople such as myself can only go by feel (I feel more comfortable speaking).

An earlier forum discussion I found interesting: Alte "Can Do" Statements - Language Forum @ LingQ