TAC 2016 (ich) German, Norwegian, Vietnamese, Spanish

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TAC 2016 (ich) German, Norwegian, Vietnamese, Spanish

Postby ich » 2016-03-28, 7:58

Finally I have been blessed (and a bit cursed) with having some extra free time, allowing me to revisit my favorite hobby, language learning. I have missed it greatly. I am learning Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French for different reasons, which will influence my motivation and effort towards those languages.

Recently a Spanish teacher position has opened up in my city. I majored in Spanish, however my language skills do anything but reflect that degree. In fact, it is embarrassing to mention it. Overall, I am tired of being embarrassed and also I want to be prepared for this job position. I will be honest though. Spanish is not my favorite language and I am highly unmotivated as far as the language itself is concerned, but I will see how well I stay on task and aim for my goal. I will be happy if I even study it once a week.

Norwegian is my new love. I have taken classes up to the intermediate level in college 10 years ago, but never got the chance to minor in it due to scheduling problems. I tried learning it on my own again about 5 years ago and I got about as far as I did in college, and now I am trying to revisit it again. Unfortunately, I have noticed that I am basically right back at the bitter beginning. Very frustrating. I have a great short-term memory, but a terrible long-term memory.

Russian is kinda of the language that I really shouldn't be taking on right now because I have enough on my plate and I need to dedicate a lot of time to it, if I am going to get anywhere with it, but I just can't resist it. My fav app, Duolingo now added that language and now it is too tempting to pursue. I just work on it here and there, really just enough to keep it in my mind.

French is even less on my priority list, however much easier for me to learn. I work with several French-speaking Africans who struggle with the English language, and they have motivated me to try and learn this language again.....for probably the fourth time. I learn and quit, learn and quit. This time probably won't be different, but I will give it a try. The one thing holding me back is probably time and motivation as I don't care for this language all that much either. I am not much of a romance language person.

If anyone remembers me from the past, I was obsessed with German, and I still am, but I am not going to list it, for when I practice German, I am using just chatting with friends in German or watching German TV. Most of the time, I don't even realize that I am using and practicing the language.

Duolingo has so far helped me keep on track and I am hoping doing the TAC will help me too. I may write frequently or rarely here. I want to make it casual, so learning doesn't seem like a chore. I'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!!

Here are some of the materials and resources I am using for each langauge:

Spanish: The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice by Ronni L. Gordon, Ph.D. and David M. Stillman, Ph. D.
Duolingo app on my smart phone
Larousse Spanish Dictionary
Advanced Spanish Step-by-Step by Mcgraw-Hill
Lang-8
Spanish Verb Tenses by Dorothy Richmond

French:
Duolingo and Lang-8
Larousse French Dictionary
The Ultimate French Review and Practice ( same authors as above for Spanish)
Easy French Step-by-Step by McGraw-Hill
Barron's French Grammar by Christopher Kendris, Ph.D.

Norwegian:
Duolingo and Lang-8
Hippocrene Dictionary
Norwegian to English Dictionary by Haugen
the two online Dictionaries Lexilogos and bab.la
På vei by Elisabeth Ellingsen and Kirsti Mac Donald

Russian:
Duolingo and maybe later lang-8
Integriertes Lehrbuch der russischen Sprache by Hildegard Spraul and Valerij D. Gorjanskij
Oxford Russian Grammar and Verbs by Terence Wade
Living Language by Constantine Moravnik

I also have the 501 Verbs in Russian, Spanish, and maybe French.
Last edited by ich on 2017-06-05, 1:53, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-03-29, 6:39

Ok, so yesterday, I didn't share where I was in my progress with these four languages specifically.

Spanish: I am on the regular -er verb drills (so right at the beginning) of my verb drill book. I have an overall grammar one too I translated a paragraph and practiced -ar verbs yesterday.

Norwegian: I translated the same paragraph for Spanish into Norwegian...and wow! was it hard!! I realized how much of a gap I have between my Norwegian and Spanish because I thought the paragraph was way too easy in Spanish.

Russian: Did nothing yesterday, but I worked on handwriting the day before with a colleague from the Ukraine. I almost have the majority of the alphabet down. I had just started this language. I am still on circle one in checkpoint one in Duolingo.

French: Oh my French woes.. :( Very unmotivated... I do have the same grammar book as for Spanish for French but I think I also need some sort of textbook as well that has spoken dialogues so I can hear those liaisons. They are the death of me. My progress is five circles in the first checkpoint, but most I have to catch back up on. Only one is still gold. I try to just catch what I can from employees.

One of my major learning issues is getting opportunities to truly practice these langauges (even French) in real time. In French even, the conversation never progresses past "How are you?",even with the guy who speaks Spanish natively that I work with. I have a bit of social anxiety on top of that, so on the Internet usually the conversations are basic and never go deep, even in German, which I actually can talk very deeply in. My mind freezes up and I can't think of what to say. This sort of unmotivates me. I hope I stick with the learning despite these challenges.

My other learning issue is that I always seem to get to this point, where I either find the language pointless, or my life has suddenly a big change, new job, for example. I think the pointless part might apply to Norwegian being that their English will always remain better than my Norwegian, so if I were to use the language in real time, it would be just for kicks. French might be given up if I leave my night job, which I am seriously thinking about doing in about 6 months. If I get a new teaching job, I may give up everything, but Spanish. :(

I am writing these roadblocks here so that maybe I can focus on trying not to let them get in the way.

For me at least, there is this thing called "The point of no return," when I am learning languages. If I quit and don*t practice for about 2 to 3 months, I usually never practice it again for several years, but just wish I could get back into it. My goal is to never get to this "point of no return."

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-03-30, 11:16

Spanish: I haven't worked on it since the last entry.

French: Same thing as above.

Norwegian: Worked in Duolingo, just finished the prepositions circle. I now have five completed (in gold) circles in the second checkpoint. Yesterday, I also quickly went through the Spanish verb drills in Norwegian, which went smoother than trying to write that paragraph. I also typed my paragraph for correcting in lang-8, but I have no responses yet. I signed up for the premium version, so that my corrections could be featured. I hope I didn't just get swindled. :(

Russian: I worked more with the alphabet yesterday using Duolingo. They introduce new words using new letters and I follow this handwriting sheet to help me write the letters and I write all the sentences that Duolingo gives me. I just finished with the first circle. I felt utterly overwhelmed afterwards. I still don't know about 6 or 7 letters, but Duolingo's circle for the allphabet is over, so I might have to learn the other letters a different way.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-03-31, 14:53

Spanish: I did verb exercises for -er verbs plus did the paragraph translation at the end. I copied all the -ar verbs I need reviewing on notecards and also translated them in German on the notecard. The good news is, I knew almost all of them in German, but the bad news is that even simple Spanish verbs have slipped my mind. :( There were so many that I will put the -ers and -irs on cards at a different time.

A goal for me is to finally write a journal entry for Spanish. I have a journal that have 300 journal prompts. So far I have been too lazy to do so.

Russian: I went a bit crazy yesterday. My disc from my ancient textbook I bought in 2004 was made I think for Windows 95 :P and I can't play the audio samples, only the exercises show up. I need audio for sure and Duolingo doesn't quite give me enough language support so I just got overly frustrated and spent 50 dollars on Living Language. I guess so far the program is alright...at least there is audio, but it is far from perfect. Yesterday I started just the first section of the first lesson and there are such long words!! I have to go through them again before I am ready to move on to section two.

French: I finally studied a bit!! :) I went on Duolingo and worked on some circles that were gold at one time and that have turned colored again. I have to finish at a different time because there are so many I have to review. There are five but it has been a while that some circles I have to do about three times just to get it to turn gold again. It was so easy...I forgot the words, but I mean, I remember quickly. I don't know why I am so lazy with this language. I could go far with it.

Norwegian: I translated another paragraph. It was equally hard, but that's ok. The bad news is that I forgot the word "but" and "and!" I think I am getting the little words like conjunctions all mixed up with my other languages I am learning. I also worked on Duolingo a bit and now I am ready to do the adjective one. It has eight parts so it may take me a while.
I really need to get some vocab on notecards too. I am really starting to collect a lot of vocab and it's getting to be too much, but with a slight review, it will come right back.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-04-03, 21:36

The weekend was pretty unproductive as every weekend will be for me. I work two jobs and on Fridays, I always work at both places and on Sat. ad Sun. I work full-time at my physical job. I like to learn on my 30-minute lunch breaks, but both got interrupted this weekend. There is this guy I think that is interesting in me, so he is sort of following me around. I need to solve this, so I can get my language learning time back.

Also, I have been spending waaaaay too much on textbooks lately, but I found two more even. I am trying to be tough, but I know I will end up buying them. hehe

From Fri.-Sun, I just quickly reviewed a bit of old French vocab. Now I am where I was on Duolingo originally. I will be starting the 5th circle in the first checkpoint.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-04-03, 21:45

Ok, I bought them. hehe I checked my savings and it was more than my savings goal, so I splurged. :) And I don't even feel guilty!! :)

The books are: Easy French Step-by-Step by Mcgraw-Hill
Advanced Spanish Step-by-Step by Mcgraw-Hill.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-04-07, 1:24

French: I did nothing. :(
Russian: I did nothing. :(

Spanish: I have done quite a bit since last time I wrote here. I did the -ir verbs and the translation plus the present tense questions section in my grammar book. There is a translation as well, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I subbed for a Spanish teacher again. Each time I do that, I get a review as well. I reviewed regular past tense endings and comparison phrases. I also did a journal entry. I am glad to see that I met my goal. I got it corrected, however, and it was pretty sad. One of my sentences couldn't even be deciphered. :( So, I just got to keep on learning. I am struggling with word placement and the articles for some reason. I never know if I should include them or if it is definite or not.

Norwegian: I did five of the eight lessons on Duolingo, which I am proud of because I do take the time to repeat the phrases several times and I write all new vocab in a vocab notebook. I still need to get the material on notecards, however. I might try to do that tonight. I am using my old textbook på vei to help me with the adjective endings but the usage sometimes doesn't add up with the Duolingo usage, so I am a bit confused. In one example, Duolingo says: hele huset or something like that but I thought it would be det helt huset?? I don't know. I should probably start writing these usages down and compare them.

I have tomorrow off, so I am very much looking forward to my language learning day. Next week will be tough though. I work six of the seven days. I only have Monday off. :(

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-04-17, 20:41

It is nice to be back and writing here again. I had to work the last ten days. Here is a quick little update of where I am. Mostly, I did the "busy work" side of working with my languages such as making flashcards and such.

Russian: I did finally check my handwriting again with the Ukrainian women who work with me and I think now I am at the stage where I am able to start making some flashcards. I will continue to write some passages out of my textbook too, however, so that I can increase my writing speed.

French: I am all caught back up in Duolingo. I also wrote all the vocabulary that I have so far learned in Duolingo into my vocabulary notebook. I don't quite have enough to make a set of notecards, however. I do have verbs on notecards that I am going to try and practice.

Spanish: I have done quite a bit despite my busy schedule. I put some verbs on notecards. I have done several grammar exercises and translated some more paragraphs. Now, I have reviewed "ser" vs "estar" completely and I finished reviewing present tense question formation. I also watched a movie with my students all day long in Spanish. This was huge for me. At the beginning of the day, I could hardly distinguish the words and by the end of the day, I was hearing entire sentences, and I felt that I hardly needed the subtitles anymore. I felt like I was making some progress.

Norwegian: Everything but the adjectives in my vocab book are now on notecards, plus I did the next three adjective lessons in Duolingo. I am almost caught up with all the circles. It would only take me about 30 minutes to get completely caught up with I plan to do today. I also plan to write the adjectives on notecards.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-04-20, 20:45

Yesterday was pretty productive. :) Today I am going on only four hours of sleep and I am planning on going to bed early to flip flop my schedule back to sleeping at night, so I will try just to do a little bit with my languages today.

Spanish: I did some more exercises in my grammar book. I got through the exercises about "hay" including the translation paragraph. I also did a journal entry in Spanish. The topic from my journal (My journal already has topics provided in it) was pretty simple so the journal entry was pretty short. I am hoping to write a longer entry on the next topic either today or tomorrow.

French: I started my Step-by-Step book. It so far is not as good as I had hoped. There is no link to a website which gives pronunciations to the words or anything like that and the vocabulary that is being introduced is really not all that useful. I also got showered with about 100 words or something (I did not count exactly) in just the first four pages before even getting to a grammar exercise. I felt actually a bit overwhelmed. I am going to keep moving forward in this book, but I think I am only going to put what I think is essential vocabulary on notecards.

Norwegian: My Duolingo just got updated. Suddenly I had all these extra lessons out of the blue. So, in one way it is good because I have more lessons, but in another way, I have to backtrack through all the lessons that I have already mastered because they added more lessons to those past circles. Yesterday, I worked on the backtracking a bit and I finished the colors category. Yesterday, I also tried to translate another paragraph out of my Spanish grammar book. It turned out to be a real gigantic challenge. The paragraphs are getting harder. I was disappointed about my progress in Norwegian. I tried a little free-write, which turned out also to be very difficult. I think I am going to start going into my på vei book because I think I am getting the hang of the pronunciation and I need to get vocabulary at a quicker rate.

Russian: I did nothing. :(

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-04-26, 11:44

I can't stress enough how happy I am that Duolingo exists. I love this language program. I think it is better than Rosetta Stone and any of my textbooks. As I was reviewing my note cards in Norwegian, it is very obvious, which book is working for me the best. If I got the vocab word from På Vei, I simply don't remember it as good as I do the vocab from Duolingo. And it is free!

With that being said, here is some of the progress I made since I last wrote:

French: Sadly, none. I hope I start to work at this language a bit more. I am disappointed in myself.

Russian: I feel the same about this language and my progress as I do about French.

Spanish: I am really making some headway in this language. I wrote another journal entry, which was of decent length and I have gotten quite far in my verb grammar book. I really like this book. The exercises are kind of fun for a grammar book. :P Since the last entry, I covered all the "tener" exercises and the personal "a" exercises. I also started some of the irregular verb exercises. Each one of these sections also has a translation paragraph which I did. I am still making silly mistakes and I still am looking up words that I really should know being a Spanish major and all, but I try to keep telling myself that as long as I am moving forward and I feel that I know more today than yesterday, I will eventually get to my goal and that I need to be patient. 6 years of not using the language at all is a lot to make up. I need to really start looking at my note cards I have made for Spanish. I also need to come up with a plan to strengthen my noun and random expressions vocabulary. It seems to be all scattered and disorganized. It is also hard to know what I really know....which cards need to go onto a note card. I can read the word and know the meaning instantly, but when writing or speaking, that very word won't come to my mind until I look it up.

Norwegian: I have worked a lot with my note cards. I have almost all of them memorized. I like how I started from the ground up in this language so that I could categorize everything so neat, so my note cards are really organized. On Duolingo, I finished all the circles for the second checkpoint, including all the new lessons they threw in in between. After I am confident with the nouns and the adjectives (the other parts of speech have down), I will start the third checkpoint. I hope to move on to the third checkpoint by Friday at least.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-05-03, 23:41

Ok, so my progress was just so so since the last time I wrote. I don't even want to discuss French and Russian, so I will just get to the languages I have really been focusing on.

Spanish: Sometimes, I feel good about my progress and sometimes, I feel frustrated. Sometimes when I sub for Spanish teachers, I notice the gaps in my knowledge, for example, forgetting the accent marks in the imperfect for -ar verbs and irregular verbs. I am finding out the present tense is huge. I just finished covering "saber" and "conocer," along with some other completely irregular present tense verbs, but looking ahead, I got all the groups, which are irregular in the "yo" form and all the stem-changing verbs. I am pretty good at remembering the grammar after seeing it once, but I am noticing, how many verbs I don't know the meaning of. Just getting these verbs on notecards is a challenge. Finding time to go through them is a totally different subject. So I am working on notecards for now. Hopefully, I can resume going through the grammar book soon, but I want to get some of these meanings down first.

Norwegian: I kept up with the circles in Duolingo and started the first circle. I have gone through my notecards a few more times, but I could still use some more practice on the adjectives and nouns. I am going to continue through the next circle and continue going through my notecards.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-05-19, 17:07

It has been a while since I have written. My work schedule has been pretty crazy. It isn't really going to settle down until the end of May.

I am pretty disappointed in my progress, but the good thing is, is that I am not falling behind. I am still keeping up.

Spanish: I have just been reviewing the note cards that I have created for the verbs. There were about 120 in total. I also started the stem-changing section in my grammar book. From my grammar book, there were about 400 verbs introduced and I would like to try to get familiar with them. In the next few days, despite work, I would like to try to get 90 more verbs in my head. Those would be the last of the irregulars that I have. I hope in June to start doing journal entries again, so that I can put those verbs to good use.

Norwegian: I still have all the vocab down from the first two checkpoints in Duolingo. I also finally figured out this whole masc., fem., neuter issue, so now my note cards are organized and I know what I should even be learning. :) My goal today is to keep going through the first circle in the third checkpoint. I have four of the six lessons complete.

French and Russian. :( I am still not going to cross them off yet though! I have hope!

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-05-19, 17:12

I'm really just posting here because I don't want you to feel lonely on this thread. :P I'm not really sure what else to say, though. You seem to be doing better than most people do on their TACs/PLBs. :)

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-05-27, 2:13

Thanks for stopping by my thread. Sometimes I do feel like I am talking to myself. Hehe. It's motivating though to know there is someone out there reading my posts. :)

I am even surprising myself at how disciplined I have been at my languages...at least with Spanish and Norwegian. I feel like I am still motivated yet. :) Duolingo has helped a lot. It really keeps me on pace. It is really what got me back into studying languages again.

Spanish: I reviewed another set of note cards and I am getting close to knowing the irregular conjugations for almost all the categories for the irregulars in the present tense. I worked a little further in my verb grammar book. I am now on page 75. I have gotten through all the stem-changing exercises and now I am working on c to z verbs (like "conocer" "conozco"). I miss doing journal entries. I went on another 9 day work streak. I am hoping I can finally find some time where I can get much deeper into my languages. I might even teach summer school (ELL). :( And here I got myself so excited about the extra time I was about to have. :(

Norwegian: I am just moving slowly and surely through Duolingo. All my circles are gold currently and I have completed the second circle in the third checkpoint. I hope to start the third circle tomorrow.

French and Russian: Nothing new :(

uzferry

Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby uzferry » 2016-05-27, 6:06

Don't worry, you're not talking to yourself, I'm also reading this - and probably some more people too :)

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-06-09, 7:36

That's nice to hear, uzferry! :) It is really motivating to know that others are following along.

It has been a while since I have written. A new Spanish teacher position opened up and I spent the week preparing my application and running all sorts of errands. On my breaks at my retail job, however, I have been keeping up with my languages.

Spanish: Last weekend (technically Thursday and Friday), I worked on some more Spanish verb grammar. I also bought a few new grammar books that has more topics in them besides verbs. They are similar to my verb book. I really liked the format of my verb book. I think I might have made an application mistake for my last Spanish position, but I have a feeling I did this one right because the process was different, so I went into a panic, hence all the books. :D

Norwegian: I completed another circle. Now I have three circles completed in the third section in Duolingo, however, I have about three circles to review at the moment. I am fearing if I get that new job that my Norwegian learning will be in jeopardy. :( I will keep you posted on that.

My weekend is finally here again, so I hope to get somewhere in my studies in the next two days. :)

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-07-06, 11:52

Hi everyone!

Well, I have been off the radar for the past three weeks. :( I got a major cold that turned into pneumonia. In addition, I had agreed to fill in for another ELL teacher for two weeks during summer school. However, now I have finally recovered from my nasty cold and my extra hours of work are behind me. :) The last two days, I have been spending time going over my Norwegian flash cards. Yesterday the vocab seemed so distant in my memory, but I was still getting at least 90 percent of the words right. Today going through them, it feels more like how it used to be before my three week break. I am glad to see that it only takes a little bit to get back on track. Just three days ago, it seemed very daunting. I do need to get back into Duolingo, however, which can be a long process to catch up.
I haven't started getting back into Spanish yet, but that is still in my plan for today. I might just do a few verb exercises. During the work week, I'll just go through the flash cards.
I switched stores I am working at, so now I hear French significantly less, which is sad, but I still want to somehow work French into my agenda. First, I got to get caught up with Spanish and Norwegian. Same story with Russian. I still have it in mind....

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-07-06, 16:19

ich wrote:Hi everyone!

Well, I have been off the radar for the past three weeks. :( I got a major cold that turned into pneumonia. In addition, I had agreed to fill in for another ELL teacher for two weeks during summer school. However, now I have finally recovered from my nasty cold and my extra hours of work are behind me. :)

Whoa, I'm sorry to hear about your cold! :shock: I'm glad you feel better now, though!

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-07-20, 13:18

Thanks vijayjohn! I am excited to be back too. Unfortunately, once again I disappeared for a bit due to some personal issues, but now I am ready to rock and roll. I got "good" news. I didn't get my Spanish teaching position. I don't feel ready at all and after just getting started with Norwegian, I wasn't ready to just throw away all that work. I couldn't be happier that now I can keep going with Norwegian. I am probably weird wanting to do mindless retail work rather than get a career job. I think my hobby means too much to me. :P Right now I am just reviewing my Norwegian in Duolingo. This time I am not as far behind, so it shouldn't take as long to catch up. I am going to try to dive into Spanish hitting my grammar books and reviewing my flashcards either today or tomorrow. Maybe now with my schedule clear for sure, I can think about squeezing French and Russian in again.....that will be after my trip to Germany though. I leave on August 17 and come back September 4.

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Re: TAC 2016 (ich) Spanish, Norwegian, Russian, and French

Postby ich » 2016-12-26, 4:58

Hi everyone!

For those of you who were following my thread, I know it has been ages since I have updated my progress. This is more or less due to my absolute disappointment over the path my life has taken. Due to societal pressure and financial issues, I applied for a teaching job teaching high school Spanish. This has basically consumed my life. I am working about 65 hours a week. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I did not get this job. Well, the principal called me back two weeks before the start of school.
This is definitely not the career for me. Without my hobby of language learning, I am just not happy. In June, at least my plan is to find a new job that is more satisfying and will allow me to have enough time to continue to practice my languages.
Here is just a short little update: My Spanish has actually improved a bit, especially in speaking, but otherwise my Spanish is pretty stagnate as well, especially in the grammar department. I once in a while brush up on my Norwegian, basically just to keep afloat in my learning. I am doing a deeper review over Christmas break (I will have just 6 precious days that don't involve work) and so far I feel quite frustrated at what I have not been able to retain. My goal is to so how some way squeeze this into my work routine so that in the summer I am ready to move forward without wasting any time. I notice that in DuoLingo the circles stay gold now for a very long time. In one way, it is good because I don't feel always so far behind, but on the other hand, I miss knowing when I need to review something. I needed that reminder. I will have to work on my discipline.

I will try to write here every now and again to keep you posted as things develop. :)


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