Author Topic: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016  (Read 22518 times)

BPA

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Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« on: December 27, 2015, 09:55:09 AM »
I got Rosetta Stone French as a Christmas present, and so my plan for this year is to brush up on the French that I seem to have mostly lost.

My goal is to spend one hour a day starting January 5 working toward this goal.

Anyone who would like to join me regardless of the language, is very welcome.  Just post your own goal(s).


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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 11:15:47 AM »
I'm in! I have Rosetta Stone with all of the languages as well (just not currently installed). I also have pimsleur mp3s, and am going to try out Duolingo too. I have a few things in flux before I can continue planning the time to spend on it, but I just recently talked to the SO. We are considering (later in the year probably - I'm starting with different languages) of doing a 30 day challenge of learning a language, and then only speak that language to each other for the following 30 days. She is working on Spanish right now. I am going to start with either German (took a few years of that and hopefully it will come back relatively quickly) or Russian. I'll update more later with specific goals and plans.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2015, 11:27:03 AM »
Iím in!  These challenges work pretty well to keep me motivated. Iíve been wanting to learn Spanish for years, but since Iím a master procrastinator, I just havenít done it. Also want to learn Japanese, but probably not at the same time Iím learning Spanish Ė maybe another year.
Any recommendations for learning software other than Rosetta Stone? I'll take a look at Pimsleur and Doulingo - I want something cheap yet effective.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 11:50:38 AM »
I'm in!  Spanish in DuoLingo.

Probably will do about 15-20 min day (3 of their little lessons, 30 "points").
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 12:05:40 PM »
I'm in too! German on duolingo. My kids are in a dual immersion school German and English, and I need to keep up with my kindergartener!

I've actually already been doing duolingo for about three months now, I was actually up to a 97 day streak until I did it while offline the other night and it didn't count! Just about killed me. I would love to think I can do all year...

alleykat

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 12:15:00 PM »
I am planning on learning Spanish.  I also want to brush up on my Greek.  It had gotten terrible, not that it was ever that great. :)

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2015, 01:51:56 PM »
Iím in!  These challenges work pretty well to keep me motivated. Iíve been wanting to learn Spanish for years, but since Iím a master procrastinator, I just havenít done it. Also want to learn Japanese, but probably not at the same time Iím learning Spanish Ė maybe another year.
Any recommendations for learning software other than Rosetta Stone? I'll take a look at Pimsleur and Doulingo - I want something cheap yet effective.

Pimsleur is just audio (although an awesome method - IMHO it's the best audio-only option out there) so it focuses on listening and speaking/pronunciation. Duolingo is free though. I think they started with an android app, and now have a full web site. Haven't logged into the site in about a year, so I imagine it's changed. Just upgraded to Windows 10, and the Duolingo web app is automatically linked in the Start menu, which is why I even remembered it. :)
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 05:15:48 PM »
Anyone try Mango languages? Not sure how it compares to Rosetta Stone, but it seems like Mango uses a similar method. Maybe? Anyway I recently found out it is free through our local library so I'm going to give Korean a try in January. I want to learn Korean so I can converse with my in-laws and help our daughter learn. Learning Pirate first though! Priorities.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2015, 12:14:14 AM »
I got my Russian to a pretty decent point last year but ran out of instructional material and didn't know where to take it from there.

I've since discovered the Red Kalinka website, which sells high-quality material that I believe I can use to take me to the next level.

So although I'll have more important goals in 2016 (mostly related to writing books), I'd certainly like to become more fluent in Russian. 

I always enjoy opportunities to use my Spanish or German, both of which I speak pretty well. But the only language I'll be actively trying to expand my vocabulary in will be Russian. 
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dontwannaworkforever

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 03:22:30 AM »
If they ever finish Tagalog on Duolingo I'm down for that.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 01:27:31 PM »
I will commit to 3 Duolingo lessons per day.



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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2015, 01:43:16 PM »
Another Spanish w\ DuoLingo here, aiming for 3 lessons per day.

I might also take a "Spanish for Healthcare Workers" continuing ed class if the community college offers it again and it works with my schedule.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 06:22:28 PM by tofuchampion »
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2015, 02:56:18 PM »
I've been doing German on Duolingo for about the past year, but not consistently enough.  I'll commit to three lessons per day.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2015, 03:05:04 PM »
Excellent idea. I'm planning to improve my Italian. The plan is that i'll spend my train commute2x30 mins plus 2 hours on thursdays to practice. Have the books, just need to find some online resources.

Thanks for starting this thread.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2015, 03:09:48 PM »
I am in, always wanted to learn Spanish!

Marus

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2015, 03:11:59 PM »
One of my goals this year is to complete the French Duolingo pack, so count me in!  I'm going on 30 days in a row already, which is a new record for me.  Let's see how high that number can get :)

I'll note that I'm not spending a ton of time on it every day though.  It probably averages out to around 15 minutes.  Still, I think I've benefited from making a daily practice out of it.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2015, 03:54:41 PM »
I'm in too! I go to in-person German classes already to keep my nearly fluent German in good shape but I'm going to France in about ~5 months and it would be nice to get around a little, thanks for the motivation! I'll give Duolingo a try for French!
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2015, 05:03:18 PM »
I'm in for Spanish!

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2015, 09:11:18 PM »
Anyone try Mango languages? Not sure how it compares to Rosetta Stone, but it seems like Mango uses a similar method. Maybe? Anyway I recently found out it is free through our local library so I'm going to give Korean a try in January. I want to learn Korean so I can converse with my in-laws and help our daughter learn. Learning Pirate first though! Priorities.

I use Mango! Free through my library, too.  I used Duolingo for Spanish for a while, but then I found Mango which I much prefer.  (I also have Rosetta Stone but it's on the PC that's boxed-up in my closet.) I don't know if Mango includes characters for ideographic languages like Korean and Japanese (I loved that my RS Japanese set included kana) so that may be something to consider.

I'm going to improve my Spanish and German in 2016.  And I'm going to stop being a perfectionist re:  my accent; I'm not a native speaker so an accent is excusable, if not expected.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2015, 12:05:48 AM »
Nice, one of my libraries I use for eBooks has Mango access, and apparently you can do it online or via Android/iOS app with your library card number.  I really like DuoLingo, but I'll check it out!
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2015, 06:45:35 AM »
For the Duolingo folks, I think it would be fun to add you as friends.  A little healthy competition might help us out :)

Looks like if you go to friends you can add people by email address.  Mine is: Kane.m.Sherlock@gmail.com

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2015, 07:10:15 AM »
another mango/library subscriber. Haven't used it much so would like to hear from others if it is worthwhile. we just got a bilingual(spanish/english) childs book for christmas and have been reading to the kids, I think my vocab is already getting better. It is by richard scarry, can't remember title.

Here is a link that my last spanish professor showed us. pretty handy with lots of different levels and they are all free, if i keep gettting better(motivated) i may try to get back into it.
https://www.laits.utexas.edu/spe/


Jacana

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2015, 10:27:38 PM »
I use Mango! Free through my library, too.  I used Duolingo for Spanish for a while, but then I found Mango which I much prefer.  (I also have Rosetta Stone but it's on the PC that's boxed-up in my closet.) I don't know if Mango includes characters for ideographic languages like Korean and Japanese (I loved that my RS Japanese set included kana) so that may be something to consider.

I'm going to improve my Spanish and German in 2016.  And I'm going to stop being a perfectionist re:  my accent; I'm not a native speaker so an accent is excusable, if not expected.

Awesome! Duolingo doesn't have Korean yet, but I wasn't impressed with their Spanish.

Not sure exactly what you mean about the characters. So far Mango is exclusively using the phonetic Hangul alphabet, which is not ideographic. I doubt they would ever use Hanja. But yeah, typing could be an issue! Didn't think of that. I don't know if Mango ever requires me to type a response though? Only on lesson 1. We can install the Korean keyboard on the computer, but I could see that being a problem for others or when on my phone. But I'm not too worried about learning to write well, since my husband and in-laws will teach our daughter that (doubt I ever get that far). I'd just be impressed if I could carry on more than a two-word conversation without my SIL translating. Does Mango go beyond conversational lessons and into reading and writing?

RamonaQ

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2015, 01:53:01 PM »
As a librarian, it warms my heart to see people using their public libraries' language resources.  Yay!

I'd like to make using the Duolingo app a part of my morning routine to brush up on my French and Spanish.  Apparently when you don't use a language for 20ish years you forget a lot.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2015, 03:27:23 PM »
DW is Argentinian and we're planning what will be my sixth visit to her family. Spanish improvement happens every time (especially a 2-week immersion).

I'd really like to start learning Arabic or Mandarin though.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2015, 05:41:27 PM »
I must see if I can get Duolingo on my phone and sign in with the account I've been using on my computer.

I'll be doing French.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2015, 06:03:56 PM »
Oh shit, how did I miss this thread?

Serious efforts towards learning Spanish begins in 2016. Considering how much time I have spent in Mexico (Baja) in the past 20+ years and the fact that my time there will only increase now that I have FIRE'd, my scant competency in this language is an ABOMINATION. This needs to stop.

Lady Snow has left me in the dust in this matter...she has long since finished Rosetta Stone, taken many classroom courses, and is a Duolingo JUNKIE...she may have the longest streak going on the planet. ;)


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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2015, 09:00:06 PM »
Found mango through my library, and Duolingo - will try both to decide which I like best. Also, the utexas link looks awesome.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2015, 09:17:57 PM »
Awesome thread!
I'm in!

Learning Spanish. I did pretty well for 2015 using pimsleur and a 1 week course plus staying with a Spanish speaking family in Peru. At the end of this year I started going to spanish speaking meetup groups a couple times a week too. Highly recommended!

This year I'd like to continue my momentum, finish pimsleur, and commit to going to the meetup groups at least once per week. I'll have to check out mango too.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2015, 10:41:11 PM »
I'm in.  I'll have to decide my method.

link_417

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2015, 11:27:34 PM »

Awesome! Duolingo doesn't have Korean yet, but I wasn't impressed with their Spanish.

Not sure exactly what you mean about the characters. So far Mango is exclusively using the phonetic Hangul alphabet, which is not ideographic. I doubt they would ever use Hanja. But yeah, typing could be an issue! Didn't think of that. I don't know if Mango ever requires me to type a response though? Only on lesson 1. We can install the Korean keyboard on the computer, but I could see that being a problem for others or when on my phone. But I'm not too worried about learning to write well, since my husband and in-laws will teach our daughter that (doubt I ever get that far). I'd just be impressed if I could carry on more than a two-word conversation without my SIL translating. Does Mango go beyond conversational lessons and into reading and writing?

No, I don't think Mango goes into reading and writing; Rosetta Stone is better for that.  It's good for me as a supplement to RS and my workbooks since I don't have to unpack it (ha), I can take it anywhere, and the Auto Play lets me go through a lesson hands free (wish it could be a whole chapter, though).

For anyone wanting a comparison from my personal experience:
Rosetta Stone:  (I have an old version) Good for all around learning though it can seem tedious at times.  I like that it forces you to learn the language by making logical connections (they call it "dynamic immersion"), like in real life.  Keeps track of what you get wrong so you can go back and review those sections.  Exercises are multiple choice using pictures or a combination of pictures and words and matching.  I never used the writing aspect or speech recognition feature.  Can be expensive for a full set even with discounts.

Duolingo:  I stopped using this awhile back after an update made the UI less sleek, though they may have fixed it by now or it could have just been an issue with my old phone/iOS. The game aspect of it is fun, you can track your progress against friends and it records your streaks.  You get points for lessons you learn (points deducted with each wrong answer) and it shows you your progress toward your daily points goal.  I like that it had "strength" bars to gauge lessons based on completion or how long it's been since your completion so you know to go back and review.  Variety of activities (typing responses, multiple choice using words or pictures, correctly arranging words).  The audio quality was not very good, however.  Free to use.

Mango:  I use this now and it's very straightforward -- lessons/chapters/units, no games.  Audio is better than Duolingo (still not perfect). The only exercises are recalling a translation from memory and multiple choice; the multiple choice is ineffective as it's not challenging at all.  As I mentioned, I like the hands-free Auto Play feature (which is just memory recall, no multiple choice) but it stops at the end of each lesson so it goes by pretty quickly.  I like the notes on the language and culture that are included with the lessons.  Does not keep track of what you get wrong like the other two.  Free to use with your library card number if your public library is on their list.

Sorry if I left out or misremembered anything, I have a notoriously bad memory.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 11:29:49 PM by link_417 »

Don Jean

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2015, 02:00:00 AM »
Excellent idea. I'm planning to improve my Italian. The plan is that i'll spend my train commute2x30 mins plus 2 hours on thursdays to practice. Have the books, just need to find some online resources.

Thanks for starting this thread.

My goal is to become a fluent Italian speaker in 2016. Please do let me know what resources you find or decide to use.

Cougar

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2015, 09:42:55 AM »
 For those of you learning languages, i would not advise rosetta; i have seen the text in booklets from their CDs and it really doesnt teach you to learn the language, it teaches you to speak it.

 by that i mean that it doesnt cover the genders of words, how they're used formal and informal, and on and on.

 if it were me, i would find a textbook or site that covers it like you are taught anything in school and find and online tutor you can skype with that the language you are learning is their native language. what you really want to do is think in the language and a tutor or working thru a textbook does that best. rosetta/CDs are just repetition.

 if you just want to be basically conservsational, rosetta is fine; but to get beyond that; like passing the the european union language certification tests- a1, a2, b1, etc(which are the gold standard on foreign language knowledge); you have to learn it like you did english.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 10:38:55 AM by Cougar »

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2015, 11:42:22 AM »
For those interested in learning German:

Deutsche Welle is a good resource. I've used it mostly for supplemental content, but there is also a full (free) course for A1 through B1 levels. It might be a good supplement to Rosetta Stone or similar.

http://www.dw.com/en/learn-german/s-2469

Deutsch Perfekt is a good magazine, but pricey if you're in the US. There's some free content online.

http://www.deutsch-perfekt.com/

The Goethe Institut New York hosts an eLibrary that anyone can join. There's a small yearly fee ($10). If you're in a larger city you likely have a physical Goethe Institute and library that you can also join.

https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/sta/ney/bib/onl.html

If you're at a more advanced level, don't forget about your normal library. My library has a pretty good selection of German language films....I'm sure this is the case for most languages.

"Verstehen Sie Spass" was one of the first German shows I enjoyed watching. It's a Candid Camera type show that is pretty easy to follow, even if you don't understand everything perfectly. There are lots of episodes on YouTube.

I actually really likely Rosetta Stone at the beginning levels, especially the part you subscribe to where you can sign up for a time to have a mini discussion lesson online with a teacher and a couple other students. It's not great for grammar, but I did find it effective. I think it depends on your personality...if you like to see everything laid out text book fashion, or you're ok learning and can accept not understanding the "why" right away.

It's worked best for me to just try to do "something" every day and use a wide variety of resources, rather than worry about following a specific course or program completely. I'm going to join you guys and continue that for 2016. Minimum of 10 minutes of "something" German related every day.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2015, 02:09:31 PM »
For the Duolingo folks, I think it would be fun to add you as friends.  A little healthy competition might help us out :)

Looks like if you go to friends you can add people by email address.  Mine is: Kane.m.Sherlock@gmail.com
I followed you, time for me to get a huge streak going.

I added you too!
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2015, 03:21:27 PM »
For the Duolingo folks, I think it would be fun to add you as friends.  A little healthy competition might help us out :)

Looks like if you go to friends you can add people by email address.  Mine is: Kane.m.Sherlock@gmail.com

That's quite a big lead you got there. Will try to surpass you in Spanish 😊
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 03:23:05 PM by votu »

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2015, 03:55:26 PM »
Goal: get back to 1st semester French by February.  I'll be working in France then.

Also tourist level German, as the worksite is on the border.
2 years of U.S. high school and 1 semester of Geman 30 years ago mean my German is mostly for entertainment purposes only.

Using Duolingo.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2015, 07:18:13 PM »
I just reset my Duolingo and Memrise passwords so I can get back into the Spanish lessons I keep repeating.  Hopefully I can keep at it enough to actually speak it soon.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2015, 08:56:32 PM »
I'm in. French and Spanish.

I'll be using Lingvist (better version of DuoLingo imo), Michel Thomas, Pimsleur and probably some lessons on iTalki . I've also subscribed to some French youtube channels (random topics that I'm interested in, just in French).

Apples

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2016, 10:35:28 AM »
Another Spanish w\ DuoLingo here, aiming for 3 lessons per day.

I might also take a "Spanish for Healthcare Workers" continuing ed class if the community college offers it again and it works with my schedule.

Look up Mango Languages through your local library's website.  Mango is free through my local library.  I think there is a Spanish for health care lesson on there.  I'm like 70% sure.  I know there's one for law enforcement.  Just in case the class schedule doesn't work out or you'd rather work though free resources before paying for a course.

Apples

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2016, 10:45:01 AM »
I'm in!  I want to re-gild my 2/3 done tree in Duolingo for Spanish, and learn at least 5 new lessons on there while keeping the tree golden.  I have a lot of work to do re-gild it, and can only commit to 2-3 lessons/day, and I'm terrible at keeping my streak going.  Also, once August hits I actually have Spanish coworkers I communicate with and my use of Duolingo drops off for those few months (which is how I end up needing to re-gild an entire tree).  Because I use my Spanish for mostly talking and listening, I find it helpful to focus on keeping lessons gilded and in my concrete quick-recall memory.  Learning lots of new lessons helps me get better at recognizing a lot of words if I'm reading, but it takes a while to be able to use most of those new words in conversation.  So golden tree with 5 more lessons done!  (I'm up through Sports, which was really handy to talk about the U.S. - Mexico soccer game where we got killed.)

Exhale

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2016, 04:19:32 PM »
another +1 to duolingo

I think I'll also take a spanish class for a few weeks in Mexico in late 2016 or 2017


Where in Mexico? I'm looking for a 2-4 week immersion study experience, but haven't found one yet. It could be in Mexico or somewhere else in Latin America. I've done this approach in both Guatemala (not a good program) and Guanajuato (good program, but the school is now closed) so I know this is an excellent compliment to studying on your own, in the USA, etc.

Thanks for any recs that you may have!

RonMcCord

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2016, 04:32:40 PM »
I'd like to learn a little bit of Chinese, going on a trip to China in June and while it's one of those guided tour deals where you're not going to do a whole lot of exploration, I'd like to know a little bit going in.

Exhale

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2016, 04:33:08 PM »
I'm joining the Spanish cohort of:
- Lian
- arebelspy
- alleykat
- Jeremy E.
- tofuchampion
- nnls
- Frugalicious
- link_417
- hoping2retire35
- RamonaQ
- Jon_Snow
- Cookie78
- votu
- shadowmoss
- winning
- apples

Go team Spanish! (Now I'm off to check out Duolingo and my library to see what they have).

Firefly

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2016, 08:29:54 PM »
I am in too - Italian. Started in the fall. Finished Italian For Beginners course with local Adult Community Education, signed up for the next course starting in 2 weeks. I also supplement with various books on my own in addition to class materials. I personally find that it's impossible to truly learn the language on your own without interaction with the language speakers and learners. That's why i signed up for the courses.

allsummerlong

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2016, 10:04:12 PM »
I am in for brushing up on my Spanish. I used to be passable (mainly for basic travel, etc...) but that was a loooong time ago! I will use duolingo, pimsleur, and children's books from the library.

I am already fluent in French (makes Spanish much easier!),  but I also plan on reading a few French novels this year to keep up my abilities (it's amazing how quickly they can disappear!). I also listen to French public radio here in Canada :)

ChicagoGirl

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2016, 10:46:22 PM »
Spanish for me!   
Mi nombre es ChicagoGirl!

How is it that I took 4 years of highschool French and I don't remember any of it!
I am hoping my retention is better with Spanish...