18 September 2011

Normally each day I work on one of the correspondence lessons. I have been blessed with a tutor who gives me feedback the same day, so I have been able to progress at quite a rapid pace.

I am concerned that I don’t know all the words that have been in the course so far. I was warned that lesson five was going to be a killer, but I really didn’t have much problem with it. A lot of the issues I think are still with how I perceive the question and how I perceive the translation. Still though most of my errors are stupid ones and I need to really fix that.

So today, I’m not going to do lesson six. Instead I’m going to build flash cards for the words I’ve learned so far although I think I’ll keep the correlatives separate so I can focus on them. I don’t think you can just learn them as a set of initials and finals. Although they theoretically (and in reality I guess) work this way, I think knowing the rules helps you double check your choice, but it isn’t a great way to study them.

I’ve spoken to the maintainer of the course and he has given his permission for me to share my flash cards here on my site. So, once I’ve got the flash cards done, I’ll be uploading them for everyone to use! I’ll update this post with a link once I’ve gotten it done. I’ll start today with the correlatives and then move on to the rest of the vocab.

Drilling it in…

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of flash cards. The concern is you learn a lot of words but you end up not being able to use them. Okay, that’s sort of true. You certainly won’t get fluent this way. Being able to memorize a tonne of words won’t actually give you the ability to use them. Having said that, I believe that if you do have a dictionary in your head and you take steps to apply it (i.e. actually communicate with it) you will be able to turn that knowledge into something useful. Whether or not this is faster than just getting stuck in is another issue.

In my case though I’ve picked up bits but only bits. I can remember the words for coffee, tea, sugar, milk (kafo, teo, sukero and lakto in case you were interested) and much more - but I can’t recall all of them.

Some people have said that’s okay, you don’t need to know every word there and admittedly not every word would be useful at this stage in my learning. However I’m working to build a solid core that I can build on. Once you have that solid foundation, you can build on it and take it further - but if the foundations aren’t stable, the house you build will fall around your ears.

So, flash cards and drilling it is. Even though I will fit it in during my spare time which will make good use of it, drilling can get boring really really fast. But so be it - it’s going to be boring now so that later I can reap the benefits.

Another announcement!

I’ve been working on another project related to Esperanto and is something that I think every new learner should have. Basically I wanted one but no matter where I looked I couldn’t find it. So, I simply made my own and I will soon be sharing it with everyone for free! More on that later…

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