Study method

Dan-H24 March 2, 2016, 1:31 pm
I completed courses 1 and 2 of Rocket Spanish, then started the third course. I realized that I was struggling with that level and decided to go back and repeat the second course, which I am doing now.

I have long been an adherent of the "Scriptorium Technique" described in the Ideas section of this website, where one writes down what one hears as a way of reinforcing and (in my case at least) making sure that I am hearing absolutely correctly. When taking the Hear it/Say tests the first time through the course I simply wrote down and then repeated the Spanish phrase. For the record, I am a tough grader on myself and never give myself an "Easy" rating unless my response is perfect. Even mixing up a feminine article with a masculine noun in a long sentence gets me no better than "Pretty Good,"  regardless of what the system gave me. 

Wanting to challenge myself a bit more this time, I am now listening to the Spanish phrase, writing it down in English, then speaking it back in Spanish. I am finding this is honing my ability to accurately understand and translate spoken Spanish into written English, and at the same time improving my ability to accurately translate written English back into spoken Spanish. It feels like a real juggling act for my mind.
Study method
M-L March 4, 2016, 3:00 am
Dan-H24,

You are not alone; we have the same study method. I am going forward with RF but I am also reviewing all the previous lessons, kind of take one step forward and 2 steps backward but it works the best for me albeit painfully slow! It's a good thing that the Rocket programs don't have expiration. If it takes me a year to finish Module one, so be it. 

Bonne chance! Mi amigo!!
Study method
Steven-W15 March 4, 2016, 5:23 am
Thanks you two for passing on your tips. Perhaps others will join in and share there's. I have really benefited from the no expiration date with Rocket Languages.

My writing in Spanish is pretty much limited to writing in a journal every other day.  With respect to Rocket Spanish, I'm trying to improvise conversations around the phrases I hear. The hot keys has been really helpful in that respect as it takes my focus away from the computer screen and I can move through the phrases quickly.
 
Study method
Tony-S10 March 9, 2016, 1:43 am
I think to learn we need to keep changing and adapting and revising. I am currently resetting all my scores in the beginners module and doing a massive module revision in as short time as possible to revise and learn what I missed. This method is working well at the moment as it is keeping past learnt lessons active in my mind. For all new lessons I take my time. On past lessons on revision I emphasise speed to perfect what I learnt. I am honest with the scores and will score myself low if not satisfied and keep doing it.

Also flash card programs really help for word retention. It is worth while downloading flash card programs from various websites that offer them.
Study method
trutenor July 29, 2016, 2:34 am
Hello everyone.  Really enjoyed the tips given so far.  I suppose I'll share mine.

I studied Spanish in high school, and what actually helps me is trying to speak Spanish as much as possible with my Spanish speaking customers (I work in customer service).  What I've noticed is that while my conjugations might be a bit off, for the most part I'm correct, and the native Spanish speaker smiles because I took the effort to try to step into their world.  Even when I'm walking down the street on a random day and not working, I'll try to use Spanish primarily for any Spanish speaking people I come across.  The benefit of this is that not only do you come off friendlier, but you get free practice.  I've been able to pick up many new words along with the proper conjugations for certain words without even trying...Read More
Hello everyone.  Really enjoyed the tips given so far.  I suppose I'll share mine.

I studied Spanish in high school, and what actually helps me is trying to speak Spanish as much as possible with my Spanish speaking customers (I work in customer service).  What I've noticed is that while my conjugations might be a bit off, for the most part I'm correct, and the native Spanish speaker smiles because I took the effort to try to step into their world.  Even when I'm walking down the street on a random day and not working, I'll try to use Spanish primarily for any Spanish speaking people I come across.  The benefit of this is that not only do you come off friendlier, but you get free practice.  I've been able to pick up many new words along with the proper conjugations for certain words without even trying.  It's like your mind will just automatically store it into memory.

But Spanish is not the issue I am facing.  It's Japanese (which is what I signed up for on Rocket).

When studying my Japanese, I try to write at least twice a day.  Once when I wake up before I go to work, and a second time before I go to bed at night.  This allows me to retain the alphabet (since unlike European langauges such as Spanish or French, Japanese uses a three language system) and improve my writing as well.

When studying the lessons, I do something similar as to what Steven-W15 said.  When I see certain phrases, sentences, or questions, I don't try to memorize the sentence.  Instead I try to memorize the words seperately, as then I'll be able to build my own sentences and questions on my own.  I highlight every new word I see and go into the built in dictionary for a definition.  If there isn't one provided, I create my own based on the context of the sentence.  Also, any word that I see in a conjugated form or past tense, I try to find what the base form is.  This allows my mind to automatically figure out how to conjugate words into specific forms, and what the changes mean.

Finally, I use the flashcards for the module and just drill through all of them.  I look at the front side in Japanese (this practice helps me to identify the Japanese characters faster and more accurately), with the translation in English on the other side.  I also make sure to read out loud what the definition is before turning the card over.  Hearing the word/definition in my voice seems to help in pulling out the answer from my subconscious then if I just read silently.

For the writing portion, I'll go back into the actual lessons and type in the translation provided.  I don't try to blaze through the lessons unless I know the answer 100%.  And even when I do know the answer, I'll still decipher it to make sure that I understand each component of the sentence/question.  Here is an example...

English: The dog is white.
Spanish: El perro es blanco.
Japanese: Inu wa shiro desu. (いぬわしろです)。

If I just memorize the sentence, then it won't mean a thing if blanco or shiro change to negro and kuro (black).  But if I learn that blanco and shiro mean white, then any other sentence I see with blanco/shiro will automatically alert me that it has something to do with the color white.  That especially helps me to decipher sentences/phrases if I only understand one of the words but not all of them.  I can then figure out that dog is obviously perro/inu.  So even if I didn't know what dog meant before, now I do simply by knowing  what white meant.  

Sorry for the wall of text, got a bit carried away there.  Hope this helps anyone old and/or new!
Study method
torusan July 29, 2016, 8:21 pm
@trutenor: Just a quick comment, the particle is は even though the pronunciation/sound is わ (wa): いぬしろです。

I didn't think I'd be a big fan of SRS flashcards, but I agree, it's great for building vocabulary. And in the case of Japanese, the repeated drilling also helps with being able to read quickly.
Study method
crisfreitas July 29, 2016, 8:53 pm
guys i m realy confused on that with my egyptian arabic... any adivce?
what should i do to improve? arabic is not easy coze it s another writing style... anyway writing and reading i m Ok, however when i try to speak... oh gosh! i realy get confused....
Study method
trutenor July 29, 2016, 9:59 pm
Torusan:  I am aware that you have to use は for "wa" for your sentences, but I forgot to make that change when constructing my sentence.  I'll get it right next time!  Thanks for pointing it out!

Crisfreitas: Do you mean you aren't speaking accurately enough?  Or are you too fast or slow?  With the Rocket system, I look at my grading when speaking with the microphone.  What helped me a lot is speaking whenever there is an option to.  Eventually with practice you'll gradually get better.

Another trick is to listen to more words in your target language.  Listen and then try to emulate what you heard.  I find that speaking goes hand in hand with listening, just like writing and reading are together.

 
Study method
David K July 30, 2016, 1:24 am
Thanks to everyone sharing your learning tips.  Good Luck with your language learning efforts.
Study method

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