Started Level 1 challenge 1 on Thursday 30 July 2015, I cannot speak a word of Spanish, my current level is basic: ‘Hola, Gracias, Adios, como estas, muy bien, no hablo español, no entiendo, etc’!!
Thursday 30 July: Level 1, challenge 1 (x 2) and then Challenge 2. No pauses!
Listened to challenge 1 twice just to get the hang of it!!
Friday 31 July: challenge 4, 5 (still no pauses) & challenge 5 listening exercise.
Head really hurt after this, struggling with ‘to try’ in the different tenses!
Saturday 1 Aug: challenge 5 listening exercise x 1.
Sunday 2 Aug: challenge 5 listening exercise x 1.
Monday 3 Aug: 6, 7 & 8 and listened to challenge 5 listening exercise.
By the time I’d finished challenge 8 my head felt like it had been hit with a baseball bat, and I was messing up all over the place. So I decided to just have a couple of days doing the listening exercise from challenge 5 until I felt like I could cope with another headache!
Tuesday 4 Aug: challenge 5 listening exercise only (brain resting day), I wrote it out as I listened because I was struggling to pronounce some of the words - seeing them written and in context helped a lot.
Now that I am at lesson 8, the 5 minute listening exercise from lesson 5 doesn’t seem so difficult/fast anymore but I am wondering if I am going too quickly through the challenges? Is there an ideal pace?
Nope, it varies from person to person - it’s as much about what you can cope with psychologically as the actual learning process - and the fact that the first listening exercise is falling into place for you shows that it’s all working
If you can keep up this level of work, you’re going to achieve some remarkable things in the next few weeks!
Weds 5 Aug: challenges 9 & 10 done…still struggling with finishing sentences and it is sooo tempting to use the pause button when you can nearly recall a word but you can feel the time running out…but I have resisted (so far)!!
Thurs 6 Aug: Listened to the challenge 10 listening exercise 2…woah! I wasn’t ready for that…so fast I actually laughed outloud! Had to listen to it a second time because I was so shocked at their talking speed I wasn’t really listening the first time
Then went on and did challenges 11 & 12 as well; I am suprised at how much I am remembering!
Seems to going in and I can recall a good 50% somehow (tenses still throw me but I usually get the right word) but I am still not always finishing sentences: I quite often forget what I am supposed to be saying by the end of the sentence…es normal?
Es normal! I tend to forget long sentences to the half of them all the time. They (read SSi staff) it’s perfectly normal …
You didn’t read it’s at double speed, dkd you? And, it’s not actually aimed to understand things said but rather accelerate your brains to “think faster”. … AHA! I’m listening to it now and I can tell that it’s a bit slower then Cymraeg one and you can understand everything. In Cymraeg you actually can’t. The recording is also quite clearer then Cymraeg one so it’s kind of quite different from Cymraeg one despite it actually goes for (mostly) the same text then in Cymraeg 2x speed exercise.
@aran you should speed up this a bit more! Even I can understand most of it qutite perfectly.
Ah, and by the way, there are no transcriptions and translations to the listening exercise either so it was probably meant so in Cymraeg course as well.
Fri 7 August: Ssis Listening exercise 2 & challenge 13…Challenge 13 was VERY hard; couldn’t even pronounce half of it, let alone keep up. Was very tempted to use the pause button and feels like I should do it again because I didn’t understand lots of it!
Sat 8 & Sun 9 August: Only listened to listening exercise 2, once each day. Busy weekend
Mon 10 Aug: Challenge 14 and listening exercise 2…still really hard and getting very muddled: managing most of the first halves of the sentences but hardly ever managing to finish now! Some of it is now way over my head!
Desperately wanting to use the pause button and no longer much fun at this point…
Seriously, that is absolutely normal - don’t worry about the overwhelm - it’s all giving your brain valuable exposure - and remember that 13 and 14 ARE too hard. The next few sessions will feel much less painful
You’re not just pushing yourself excellently, but you’re managing to notice the moments of improvement (which are very easy to miss - usually, people using interleaving in their learning remain convinced that they’ve learnt less successfully than with blocked practice, even after doing better in tests!) - so that’s pretty huge, I’d say.
Thurs Aug 13: Listened to L3, then did challenges 20 & 21 and then listened to L4.
Challenge 20 was good so I carried on.
Challenge 21 lost me again; ‘todos’ was introduced and then (I think) the verbs were changed…?
…makes it difficult to recall when prompted because I am not sure exactly what it is I’m trying to say; these ‘blocks’ are not ‘introduced’ like all the others have been…or maybe I’m just hearing things and there’s nothing new?
Either way I shall continue at this pace because I’m about to do challenge 22 already - yay!
It’s absolutely standard to have chunks where overwhelm kicks in - the process of presentation is broadly the same the whole way through, although there are small hiccups here in there - so I’d say, carry on regardless, because you really are doing quite strikingly well!
The bit about it being difficult to recall - yes, absolutely - and this is a key part of the memory formation - if you’d like some links on that, I’d be happy to oblige (your best bet would be to look in the general direction of Dr Robert Bjork, who’s done a lot of important work on this subject).
This is about conscious control, not about actual memory - every time you’re exposed to a piece of language, the relevant synapses will be strengthening slightly - but because it’s natural to want to feel in control, it’s very easy to convince yourself that this isn’t happening, because you can’t list all the stuff you’ve ‘learnt’. (But of course you can’t - you haven’t finished learning it).
Maybe it would help for you to think of it like this - ordinary language learning has lots of stuff which is pretty much like a row of trees - you learn their names in order, and then you run down the line of trees shouting their names.
With us, you’re standing blindfold in the middle of a forest, and every time I say the name of a tree, you have to reach out and touch it correctly.
Inevitably, it’s going to feel a million times tougher.
But the level of mastery it will give you in due course is transformational…