So today marks the day I’ve completed Level 2 of SSI Spanish. I’m delighted to have got this far and that I’ve stuck with it no matter how challenging it was at times. I really do feel my sentence fluency in Spanish has increased greatly thanks to all the sentence drills in Level 2. Thanks so much Aran for creating this course, and I’m looking forward to moving on to the tourist course in the next few days.
To all of you who are currently working through SSI Spanish, please keep going and keep persisting no matter how tough it might seem right now. You WILL get there, and you WILL be amazed at your level of Spanish after you complete each level. I know it’s mentally tiring at times, but it’s supposed to be hard - that’s why they’re called challenges As you progress, it will get easier, so don’t ever give up.
Just a final question about level 2 - does lesson 25 review all the vocabulary and structures from all of Level 2, like lesson 25 did in Level 1? It didn’t mention this in the lesson, but I assume it does? If so, it’d be good to go through it once a week or so to keep all the material fresh in my active memory.
Ok great, so would you recommend going through maybe challenges 23, 24 and 25 of Level 2 once a week to maintain everything? I know that the best way to truly make all this a part of you is to actually use the language in real life conversations, reading, listening to radio, watching videos etc (which I have been doing), but I would like to review the challenges too. I suppose I could read through the vocab lists for each challenge too, maybe once a week.
As for your comment about new material coming out soon, do you mean a Level 3 Spanish course, or are you talking about more languages? I’m excitedly awaiting all these things. I’d snap your arm off (well, not literally…) to see more languages come out with the ‘SSI…’ method. Can we expect any more this year? If so, which ones? I understand it’s difficult for you to give exact details, but what are you working on behind the scenes right now?
Nope, that’s overkill - once a month will be fine, and in fact you should move to once every two or three months pretty quickly. With over repetition, what you’re really getting is a slightly misleading sense of familiarity with the content, rather than the growth which comes from leaving it long enough between sessions to be challenging…
I’d say the absolute gold standard is 1-on-1 conversations, for at least an hour. Nothing else comes close to putting you under the same kind of valuable pressure. Once you can have an hour’s conversation and it feels easy, then bulk listening to radio is the best way forward (until we get Level 3 and advanced content happening in Spanish too… ).
Italian, definitely. Beyond that, not sure - but French and Irish and Scottish Gaelic all pretty high on the list.
Trying to find our best long term patterns for advertising in Welsh, getting support for all our Welsh learners working smoothly, gearing up to launch a Spanish version of the 6 month/6 minute courses (and making sure that the technological provision is where it needs to be for that), getting three fixes done for the course creation software. In essence, once we have the fixes done, the more we can increase our advertising, the more new material we’ll be able to produce (a process which might be accelerated if we can find a good partner, which currently looks reasonably likely, but these things rarely move quickly).
Thanks Aran, those are really helpful suggestions about how to revise and maintain the material learned in your courses.
Many sources discuss the concept of ‘spaced repetition’, and say you should ideally revise whatever you’ve learned 24 hours later, a week later, a month later, then 3 - 6 months later for it to go into your long term memory. You hear of all these polygots who scientifically revise their flashcards at ‘spaced intervals’ with apps and software etc, but I think that’s all a bit too rigid personally - it’s almost like saying that if you revise something a week and a day later it’ll suddenly be forgotten etc. I think wIth High Intensity Language Learning, the material is retained for longer, and can be ‘reactivated’ after a longer period time than with normal methods.
I think I’m maybe a bit paranoid or even slightly OCD about language learning sometimes, in that I like to go over stuff I’ve learned quite frequently because I worry about forgetting it, but perhaps I should lighten up a bit. Maybe I’m just very dedicated, though
That’s excellent news about more ‘SSI’ language courses coming out this year. I will definitely do ‘SSI’ in Scottish Gaelic, Italian and French if/when these see the light of day, and hopefully several more after that. I do feel one of the biggest challenges facing someone who learns multiple languages is how to retain them all to a high level…oh, and of course time management in juggling all the learning and usage of each language in your daily life. But it definitely makes life much more interesting to be able to speak several languages.
Yes, people get very specific about spaced repetition - largely because of some interesting work from Paul Pimsleur, who figured out a complicated way of predicting when ‘forgetting’ would happen, and then working back from that to aim for an ideal of revising ‘just before forgetting’.
I think that while spaced repetition is hugely valuable, the idea of ‘forgetting’ isn’t - it’s too black and white for reality - in reality, we seem not really to forget, we just lose the item as something we can consciously retrieve - but the synapses will still be there - and it seems that after we’ve ‘forgotten’, revisiting it immediately brings it back into conscious memory, possibly for a longer time than a shorter scale repetition.
So I see spaced repetition as flexible, as you say, but with extra value to be gained from leaving it ‘too long’…