Following Mairo’s lead I am going to start making entries in my Russian learning diary, as I have now embarked on a phase of intensive speaking and writing.
My first diary entry is a prologue.
I have been studying Russian on my own for over 2 years. I do it when I have time, or can make time. Perhaps 75% or more of time has been listening on my MP3 player. The rest is spent reading, and studying words, mostly at LingQ. Before we had Russian on LingQ, I listened to and read the Teach Yourself, Colloquial, Assimil, Pimsleur, and Living Language series. The first three were good, in that there was a lot of easy content with little or no English on the CDs. I could not listen to Pimsleur because of the English, and Living Language’s beginner text was mostly unconnected phrases and sentences with no real context, and therefore less effective. Even the first three contained a lot of explanation and exercizes that I simply did not use.
Once I started at LingQ I focused on “Who is she” (the Power of the Linguist). I listened to it at least 30 times. From there I went on to the podcasts and discussion texts. We did not have all the beginner texts that we have now. Then I jumped right into literature, even if the unknown words % was 40-50%. I saved a lot of words.
I only worked texts for which I had the audio. I have a large collection of Russian audio books and the texts are usually available on the web and I import them. I have thoroughly enjoyed absorbing Russian through interesting content, listening and reading.
After two years I can understand a lot, spoken and written. I can carry on a conversation. But I make a lot of mistakes. Now I am going to focus on my output. Now that I have acquired a lot of words, I want to go back and clean up my act. But I want to do so intensively. How intensively I can do it remains to be seen. I am meeting my LingQ tutor in two hours for our second discussion. I have written twice and received one correction back.
When I received my corrected text I imported it into LingQ and saved words and phrases. I then reviewed them using Flash Cards.
Then I recorded myself reading the corrected text. In fact I created a PlayList in iTunes for my corrected writing. I will be adding more and more recorded corrected writing into this playlist. I will also ask my tutor to read this text and I will record her and enter this recording in the PlayList. I will be accumulating these texts and listening to them.
I will do the same with the discussion report, which I will Import into LingQ and study and possibly record. It remains to be seen. Ideally the discussion report will contain the words or phrases that I misused, and an explanation by the tutor, all in Russian. I will record this, I think. I will see how it goes.