*Language Learnin Method Revised* Vary study methods + focus on verbs

In the last few posts I stated that passive vocab was not as important as active as far as fluency is concerned. Mostly I meant that as far as learning goes. My point was that if you want that fluency feeling. The functionality of being able to have a conversation, you should focus on being able to speak, not being able to listen. The reason I say this is that, just as it happens for children, building passive vocabulary happens automatically as long as you are surrounded and especially interacting with the language. Therefore as long as you can talk to someone, they can talk back and you gain some contextual understanding as well as getting your point across, functioning in the language.

In this post I want to share why passive learning, can be good for active vocabulary. My idea is learn 100- 200 verbs and be able to improvise as I learn more. However, as I learn these verbs I realize the retrieval time long and takes a bit of effort. More than I’d like. Now I’m sure that I could just drill these verbs by rote/srs for a few days and have them, but is hard, and I’m looking for easy.

What I’ve been doing is playing youtube vids of 100 verbs, one with translation and one without. I’ve started to notice some words are moving into my active vocab, and in a different way. They are moving into active and directly to the tip of my tongue when they do. I’m thinking this may be the result of a few things.

1)  am focusin on 100-150 words only.

2) I’ve created mnemonics for some, read some just on an online page, and some are on a premade srs deck.

3) I play the videos often, sometimes paying attention, like when a mysterious word I know I’ve heard before draws my attention.

I want to have around 200 verbs in my active vocab an on the tip of my tongue. I think if I can do that, it will feel better than even when I had 2500-3000 word passive vocab in mandarin with maybe 500-1000 active vocab most of which was unrelated to anything I could discuss with someone in a natural way.

So I’m thinking as much exposure as possible to a narrow range of most functional vocabulary will allow those words to be on the tip of the tongue very fast and with less effort. I can also expand on those verbs with sentences to learn conjugations ect. I think using as many different sources and types of media to expose myself to the same vocab, with active listening when possible/motivated and passive otherwise. I might watch a few Spanish dramas ror funny shows but I think I’ll keep that minimal because it doesn’t seem as efficient for my goal. It may become more important as I expand my vocabulary and grasp of complex sentence structure, but not now.

Also ever notice how when you first start studying for a test and you have all this information to go through it seems like a lot of information. Then as you go through it and it becomes organized in your mind, it seems like a much smaller amount. That is what I expect to see, and think I am already starting to see with this verb repertoire I am trying to build. I feels like these 100 verbs are not as many as they were when I started. The youtube videos seem less dense. I think this is a good sign things are working.

Also learning with varied methods keeps me very motivated. It’s like, I have a separate attention span for each form of study. I can do 20 min of srs tops, but also 20 min tops of any other form of learning I can get my hands on.


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