Language learning accountability thread

I’m planning on starting an intensive 3 month Chinese (simplified) learning project. I’m A2 wanting to get hopefully to B2 in that time. Its gonna be a lot of hours ahead of me, I’m wondering if anyone would like to join me for the journey? I’d appreciate some accountability/community. Even if you don’t have the same goals or language, I still think it would be helpful.

More specifically, I’m thinking people who join this thread could post about their long term and daily goals, whether they are meeting these goals, and discuss any problems we are having.

Please post if you are interested, thanks! I’m thinking of starting formally next week

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Best of luck with your journey.

Personal goal is to:
Daily goals: listen as much as possible, learn at least 50 words a day
3 month goal from now: 800 hours of listening total and 12,000 words total.

NIce =). What are you learning? What level are you at at the moment? I take it you already have some hours of listening under your beat (otherwise 800 hours in the next 3 months would be what, more than 10 hours a day?! =)

My goals are 30 hours of learning a week, so about 6 hours a day. I’m planning to mix this up between reading a novel, reading standard textbook dialogues, reading other mini stories, listening to similar stuff, and doing language exchanges. I’m going to allocate some time each week to reviewing new words, looking for new material to read and reading up on language learning methods. The latter keeps me motivated =). I’m not sure if these hours are going to work, I’ll try it for the first week and see if I need to cut down or increase.

I’m a upper beginner - about A2- and my plan is in the next 5 weeks to reach B1 (I estimate this will take approx 150 hours), and then in the next 8 weeks to be half way to reaching B2 (approx 240 hours).

Currently learning Mandarin Chinese. I didn’t specify that I currently have around 350 hours of listening and 7000 words total at the moment. The goal is to get the listening to 800 and the total word count to 12,000. In terms of level, currently would say at a B1 level. 5-8 hours a day of listening would be my ideal if possible

Hey there. Don’t mind the abundance of languages I have on my account, I just enjoy checking other languages out from time to time, though I’m not a dabbler anymore.
My goals are identical to yours, though my level is low, around mid-to-upper A1. I wish to reach a level in spoken (pinyin) Mandarin Chinese by the end of January - mid-February identical to that of B2. I am not focusing on characters at the moment, though it doesn’t mean I am not learning them. I will invest more time into them once I reach my goals in spoken Mandarin first. My plan is to study 7-8 hours, mainly focus on (of course) expanding my vocabulary, improve comprehension and put emphasis on tone recognition and phonology.

I tried out my 7-8 hour schedule before already, and it turned out to be just perfect for me. Though of course, it’s not a direct 8 hour study session, rather a pomodoro-like system where after each hour I take a quick break to let my brain rest for a bit, so that I don’t feel exhausted at the end of the day.

Good luck on your journey, my friend.
We are technically in the same boat. :smiley:

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Dude love it, super keen to hear how it goes. It will be interesting to see the rate of your progress too given you aren’t focusing on characters - I take it you will be reading pinyin? Or just doing mostly listening?

Yup, that makes sense. Nice! You’ve done a lot. Would that take you to a B2, or is that into the C1 territory?

just an update at the end of my first day - won’t do this everyday. Went pretty well. 6 hours seems doable - I varied it up a lot, did an hour reading a novel, an hour reading a textbook, an hour listening while walking, an hour reading a novel, an hour language exchange, an hour reading and reviewing new words from the day. Reasonably enjoyable too, though finding some good listeninig material will be nice, at the moment a bit boring. Level needs to be higher for better listening probably! Not quite sure what to do with all the new words that I am getting in the one day. I had a long list today! I don’t know if I want to keep reviewing new vocab in this way. But I’m trying to feel it out. Okay, singing out, hope you’re all having fun =).

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Since I wish to be conversationally competent through speaking by the end of January, I am learning Chinese by focusing mainly on listening comprehension. I’ve fallen off greatly recently, though I’m making a comeback.

I do tone recognition tests outside of LingQ to notice the patterns in intonation, and I also study grammar for around half-an-hour just as an extra exercise. Alongside the tone recognition tests, I also practice my pronunciation, though I really have the feeling that I’m eventually going to accidentally insult someone’s mother or something with my pronunciation lol

I listen to lessons several times while reading along in pinyin, and trying my best not to notice the characters I do know through exposure, because I feel like it’s cheating, when I notice the meaning of a word not through its sound or actual meaning, but through its character.

I’ve also found a language exchange partner, who used some expressions and words I took notes of, though we mostly communicate in English at the moment.

My biggest issues at the moment are finding interesting content that aren’t too slow, too fast or have too many words so I’ll have to click on third word like a donkey.
The Slow Chinese podcast has an abundance of interesting content, though it’s getting too slow for me. There are some YouTube channels that make lots of interesting videos (my interests being history (mainly medieval, Central Asian and ancient Near Eastern history) religion, languages, videos related to culture), though I struggle to keep up and create LingQs after importing.

Perhaps I should just not LingQ any word until I notice it in the audio while reading along? I’d like to know how you’re getting by in your studies, and as a specific issue, how you deal with fast content, or content with an abundance of new words.

I will keep you updated on this forum, if you wish to hear more about my progress, good luck!

Cool, thanks for that description. Very interesting to see what other people are doing and how. Sounds like you’ve made some great progress if slow chinese is too slow! I agree its too slow actually, but the vocab is still often beyond me! INteresting you are trying to not lean on character recognition. Makes sense in light of your goals! I’ll do a little update now and you can see what I’ve been doing

Okay so first week up. I stuck to my 6 hours a day. And 6 hours is about right for me becuase I make them very active - constantly looking up definitions, relistening, etc. If i did more it would have to be more passive listening. I just don’t have the brain stamina to do much more active work a day I think!

A few things went differently to how I expected. Firstly I expected to spend most of my time reading a novel I enjoy in Chinese. But I found that my eyes were getting sore so I moved into trying to find as much listening resources as I can which is better for the eyes! Thats been good as its nice to get better listening skills too.

I’ve also gone into Peppa pig. Really reccommend this for anyone who is looking for resources at a B1, B2 level. Found this youtube channel which has hours worth of peppa pig subbed in English/Chinese simplified and tradition/pinyin. That has been good to have audio with a transcript and some fun video. Its kind of perfect for my level right now so I’m spending about 2-3 hours a day on this.

I’ve found that I can deal with material that isn’t that compelling. It has to be a little compelling - like a story. I can only do an hour a day about of material thats really uncompelling - little texts from textbooks are to me the ultimate uncompelling usually! haha. But yes I need something a little compelling. I like the 教程 seeries, particularly the third book has amazing little articles which are actually interesting and around the B1 level. Peppa pig is a bit uninteresting but at least its story so that helps. But what I wanted to say was that for my active listening hours, so long as I have a bit of variety I can stomach material that is only a little compelling for 2-3 hours. This is because I am interested in the language and want to improve. This has been surprising for me. Its kind of like a work mindeset, as opposed to a play mindset. I feel like there is a compromise between fun and perfect comprehensible input, and I guess I’m saying for the sake of progress I can stomach stuff that is a little less fun, for a certain period of time.

My method at the moment for most listening/reading is: 1) listen first without looking at text - see what I can comprehend, get the general idea of the story. 2) listen and read, checking definitions for most words I don’t know. (make comprehensible) 3) listen again without reading - I find I notice many but not all of the words that I looked up. I like this method cos it gives me the repetition that I think is helpful for making things comprehensible, and helping me to acquire/pick up more langauge. In the past I’ve felt repetition is too boring to do, even if helpful! But with my more ‘work’ mindset, and with slightly interesting texts, this has seemed doable.

Okay sorry this post is too long, next one will be shorter, hope spacemonky and chytran you guys are doing okay. Keen to hear how things have been chytran =).

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Hey, dandaman!

Interesting language learning program / challenge!

I´d probably add some “ultrareading” sessions to your mix (see our current discussion here: https://www.lingq.com/pt/community/forum/open-forum/takeaways-from-reading-100000 - However, reading 100k words a week in Chinese or Japanese (in my case) isn´t realistic at the beginner level. Therefore I prefer “Pomodoro” blocks.).
But other than that, I like your study program!

" But I found that my eyes were getting sore …"

  • I´m not sure if this helpful in your case, but using a Dark Mode browser extension makes reading on LingQ and other websites much more pleasant (however, there´s a slight delay when displaying web pages with “darkreader”): https://darkreader.org/
  • “f.lux” is also a helpful software in this context: https://justgetflux.com/

Good luck on your L2 journey
Peter

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thanks so much brother, I will try out the dark reading. I did actually read up on Lingq advice on this, but wasn’t sure dark made much of a difference! WIll check out the ultra reading too. How’s the Japanese going?
bless you mate

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Hey Dude sorry I don’t think I properly read your post last time! I have some more thoughts. Also keen to hear how your last week was.

re language partner - just a thought/suggestion. I’ve found it best to ask at the start of the session if we can do half hte time in Chinese only, and half hte time in Enlgish only. Otherwise we tend to swap languages at unideal times in my opinion. I think its good to struggle a bit, and to get more listening practice in the target language with your partner.

re content struggle with being too slow or too fast or having too many new words - I reckon this is a common issue for lingqers. At the moment I’m dealing with this by having different kinds of input. I have maximum comprehension input, where the material is pretty close to my comprehension (maybe 15 percent of words I don’t know). I think this is probably where the most efficient learning happens, but its a bit boring. I was using pepper pig. I also read textbook texts, some of the lingq ones are pretty good - jiaocheng is my favourite so far. they adapt real articles in their 3rd book texts. My second type is material that i find interesting but is a clickathon - for me thats novels and some interesting podcasts. Because I really enjoy the content I am happy to click away and I still feel like I am learning a fair bit in it. Then my third type is native level material which is too fast for me to fully understand, but I focus on trying to understand some bits and pieces. maybe stopping the video and reading the subs, searching for new words on google translate etc. I like this too, helps me to know what my level is actually at, and its quite interesting. So yeah in short I mix things up. I don’t really like it when people speak overly slowly, I would rather they speak normal pace and I just get used to the speed, which I think happens. But yeah I think thats the battel of the beginner to lower intermediate - its hard to have content that is that interesting.

Sorry one more thought - on lingqs, there is probably heresy, but I’m not convinced of the value of making lingqs at all. I’ve noticed I pick up language without making them, and I don’t know how this fits into the theory of comprehensible input. My understanding is we cquire language through exposure to messages that we understand, and we do this by exposwing ourselves to LOTS of messages we understand. As we do this the most frequent and important words (and next words in the order of acquisition) are picked up by our brains. So you don’t really need to intentionally focus on certain words and try to remembmer them. But anyway, obviously Steve Kauffman and others here must have some different thoughts on that!

Hope you’re going well brother!

Okay so week 2 done. Its been good. Some highlights are that some of the material I started with is now starting to feel a bit easier, maybe even too easy. I’m particularly finding that my listening skills seem to be improving.
Its a challenge to make sure the 6 hours a day is actually 6 hours of input (even now I’m cutting into my scheduled input time with this update!). Its easy to spend it looking for resources (though I have in theory allocated time for this) or changing screens or looking at my phone or whatever. But that is something I’d like to do this week. really make sure at the start of the day I have all my resources ready to start at 8 am.
I’ve been enjoying passive listening a bit more. I’m finding I can understand a lot more of tv shows if I pause a lot and read the subtitles.
I’ve also started doing anki work on hanzi as I’m getting a bit annoyed at not recognizing so much and having to use a dictionary all the time! Thats been a bit fun to be honest and its nice to have a bit of variety.
At the moment I’m wondering whether its better to have material that I understand 95 percent of, or whether its better to have material I understand 60 percent of (which means stopping a lot more, looking up definitions, etc.). I’m also trying to work out the value of passive listening. It does seem listening is a very seperate skill to reading that you have to build up, and maybe just being exposed to material more often builds that. I try to do passive listening to material that I’ve lready gone through so it is more comprehensible to me. Or I am watching tv and look at subtitles a fair bit to make it more comprehensible.
Anyhow, gotta get started with the day, hope you’re all doing well, keen to hear your updates =)

Well, reading Japanese texts on LingQ isn´t painful, but really slow (compared to the other Indo-European languages I know).
I should call it “ultra-slow-reading” at the moment :slight_smile:

But I had expected that, because I focused mainly on listening comprehension and not on reading comprehension for the first 1.5 years of my Japanese journey.

Good luck
Peter

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Respect for the amount of work you are putting in to this 6 hours a day cannot be easy I’m sure! Just keep it up mate 3 months at this rate wherever you end up you are going to be way better in the TL.

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Thanks heaps mate =). Its been pretty good so far but does feel like a slog on some days! Today I was thinking… its a bit like taking protein powder. I know its good for me, and I want it for my goals, but sometimes it feels a bit like force feeding my brain! Thinking I might need to find some more interesting content (the refrain of every lingqer in history probably!)

by the way, how long does it take you to do 10k words a day? any thoughts on the benefits of reading with audio versus just reading?