Keeping a language journal
I'm taking both French (which I studied in junior high school many years ago) and German. I'm having trouble remembering possessives and gender and getting a bit frustrated. I also think I'm working through the drills too fast.
I'm thinking of starting a paper journal to use alongside Duo so I can also practice writing the languages. Writing is a different skill from reading so maybe that will help me remember the word endings and such.
Does anyone else keep a language journal? What has your experience been with it?
I keep a notebook by my computer and take notes throughout the lesson- but I do not attempt to organize or preserve them in any meaningful way afterwards. It is simply that, having grown up writing material by hand, it is still a useful adjunct to my learning if I do so. Also, that little extra "negative consequence" makes me a bit more careful if I make myself write out sentences in which I have made mistakes.
That is just about exactly what I do too, and for the same reasons, including the "little extra 'negative input.'" It works very well for me, too. For a sentence giving particular trouble, writing it out 3 times in longhand seems to help.
For a comment, in passing, about taking notes here, from a former Duo moderator, read this blog entry: http://olimo.livejournal.com/208893.html . Don't let the Russian throw you, as it's translated in the first English paragraph, and the rest of the piece is in English. (And if you like that, here is her comment on learning German on Duo, karen.garv: http://olimo.livejournal.com/216190.html .)
I'm also having a notebook. French was totally unknown for me (except - merci, oui) and when you start from nothing it helps a lot. I write down new words, also sentences, which I find hard to remember. I can use my notes anytime when I don't use duolingo to learn by heart everything, my aime is to learn as much as possible and keeping notebook is one of the ways to do that. And writing down helps me to memorize spelling of the French words, because I also want precisely know how to write the words I'm speaking:D And when you make your notebook, you know what information it already contains and in case of need you don't need to be after that info in google or other home pages... Although I don't know how much longer it will be possible to keep my ''writing down'' this way , but definitely I need my basic language notes!
This has inspired me to make a journal of all the sentences that I get wrong, and their correct translations. :)
i keep to notebooks beside my computer, one for german and 1 for french, and i write down every sentence, it helps
I do... I write what I learn here, some verb conjugations, words I read somewhere else... and whenever I can, I review my notes :) French is nice, isn't it?
I too am keeping a language journal. I'm learning French and it helps keep me spelling things correctly. I try to answer from my brain first and then I check the journal. I do not have the word tab so I need to keep my thoughts straight. Writing helps to reinforce the learning.
I keep a daily diary in French and I love it! While I'm writing it, I highlight all the words that I did not know and had to look up. I find that I'm more comfortable writing my intimate thoughts down in a foreign language as few other people around me can just pick it up and flip through my deep, dark secrets...
I didn't think of marking the words I have to look up. That's a good idea :)
This is my experience: I started my book when I hit Adject.1, initially just writing down grammar rules, some words including gender or verb conjugations and the corresponding translation. After a while I started taking down whole sentences which I liked or thought might be useful (I live in a semi-French speaking country). Eventually, as sentences became more complex, I began to record them all but without the English translation. For a while I found this made it a bit too easy for me when doing "strengthen skills" as I was tempted to simply look up the correct version from my notes. Now my first book is full (I'm about two thirds down the tree) and it actually takes too long to find the relevant sentence. So I try without my notes first and only refer to them when I am really stuck. Also, like some other people have mentioned here, writing it down by hand helps me memorise the vocabulary and improves my spelling, too.
In a way. I wrote down all the sentences I encountered in each lesson, and posted them to my blog. I also tried to write down the words I heard, in a phonetic way, so that even if I did not have access to the spoken word, I could read the sounds correctly. The list is found here:
Most of the time, I tried to encounter words in different ways, on different websites to augment my Duolingo lessons. I posted the links I used in this comment:
Hope that helps.
Oh, wow. Thanks for this. I do have a couple of books, including Easy French Step-by-Step and Easy French Reader, but sometimes I find learning "sticks" better when I get input from multiple sources. Sometimes one explanation just doesn't gel for me.
My "journal" is currently in pieces, but I want to put it together eventually :] I find that writing it myself (actually writing it, not typing) helps me a lot when studying. For example, I usually write the words I have trouble with several times after I get them wrong as I am checking on my vocabulary index and I often remember them after that. Although truth is that I usually note everything down!
Since I also like creative journals, I want to write with different colours, use stickers, doddle here and there, write random sentences to practice my writing and such. Something like an art journal, just with languages :] I think it can be nice as a hobby and it may help me further; for example: when studying several languages, using certain colours or stickers (like red and blue and Eiffel Tower stickers for French) can help as well if images stick to you better than words.
You are welcome! I love stationery, that was how it occured me to mix that with languages :]
I use moleskine notebooks for that, really recommend. They're thin and come in different sizes, portable.. And it's so exciting opening a brand new one.. Ha! I have two small red ones, one for Arabic, one Spanish, and then I have my larger art sketchbooks. :)
More like a student's book, perhaps, that contains the lesson's vocabulary, explanatory comments and relative grammar. To first test a word in Duolingo and then to write down its meaning as well as Duo examples, really helps a lot.
I have used a work book from the outset with Duo, and it has worked wonders. A later development was using a black pen for French words and phrases, juxtaposed with their English equivalent in red pen. The effect on my recall, retention and progress with grammatical construction was astonishing. See if it works for you.
I kept a sketchbook for many years and though I love computers I still find pen and paper the best way to organize my thoughts. I have decided to keep a journal in spanish to help me practice and learn how to talk about my life and things I like. I hope this helps me in conversations. I tend to take notes on whatever I read (for nonfiction anyway). I look over these notes later. For spanish language I may make vocab lists or practice conjugations by writing.
I do a three part combination of Duolingo, (learning new Voacabulary), Pimsleur Audio Language (speaking and immersion), and a hand written journal (writing) for my language studies in German, and am learning and retaining more using this method. The journaling allows me to really break down sentence structures and spelling in the languages.
I have refined my technique in linking all three together, and break things down into smaller chunks for easier retention.
I am about to start this method with French, with the plan to focus on one language every other day.