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Summary of month 2: on the final dash to see if I make it to fluency!

| 28 comments | Category: mission

Ride 'em lizardboy

Today’s post is just a summary to keep you updated on my progress in this summer’s experiment :) (No language learning tips today, sorry!!)

I have been in Prague for a total of 2 months now, in my experiment to see if it is possible to become fluent in a language starting from scratch in just three months. I chose Czech very randomly and it’s worked out nicely since I’ve been greatly enjoying my summer in Prague!

At the end of my first month, my level of Czech was “OK”, but still not so impressive since I was relying a lot on learned-off sentences from my phrasebook and general conversational connectors. I was basically as good as a trained parrot, definitely ready to speak whenever I could, but not so great for an actual conversation.

Since my translation work was greatly reduced in the last month, I decided to take advantage of the free time and finally did some studying. I really dislike studying and avoid it in my language learning projects whenever possible. But I didn’t want to have to worry about grammar in my finals weeks, in which I’ll be perfecting and improving what I already know, so I gave Czech grammar some time.

Still don’t appreciate studying grammar!

What a boring month!! After this, I have been further discouraged to focus on studying grammar so much in future experiments. After my first month I would speak immediately and get my point across. However, in recent weeks, while I was studying grammar I kept stopping myself to mentally calculate the case of a word and come up with its ending, or piece together the right verb formation for the particular situation. This slowed me down… I can complain all I like, but at the end of the day, it’s a necessary step to get through. I hope to find a way to get through it quicker or enjoy it more in future experiments (and if I do, I’ll let you know how!!), but for the moment I had to sit down with a grammar book and do written exercises (sigh). The good news is that I had enough time to get through my entire (detailed) grammar book and basically understand everything!

Sorry to all the purists out there, but Czech grammar is not hard if you have the right attitude towards it. Czech’s inherent “difficulty” will never be an excuse I use if I don’t reach fluency in the 3-month time limit I’ve set myself. I find it very logical to be honest and the theory is straightforward! I’ve had no problem writing emails in Czech when I have the time to analyse the sentence and think it out before I write it. When someone argues its difficulties to me I have several retorts about how Irish Gaelic and even Latin languages completely outdo it in complexity in many situations. No language is difficult in itself, it’s just more different to other ones you may learn. There’s an important difference and accepting that will help you approach it with the right attitude.

But it is trickier applying it quickly on the go. I had gotten used to romance languages’ grammar quirks quickly after the 2nd or 3rd time, so learning another one was not that much of a challenge, but I have to make an adjustment for Czech’s different grammar. This is precisely why I chose Czech, despite it being a less important language internationally. I’m hoping that the grammar and vocabulary similarities with other Slavic languages will help me learn them a little quicker later on. I’m seriously considering learning either Polish or Russian next near!

The good news: I can speak Czech!!

OK, so the good news is that after studying all that grammar and learning enough vocabulary I can actually make the “arrogant” claim, that after only two months I CAN SPEAK CZECH! :) My last month will be focusing on improving on my current level, since I definitely do not speak it fluently yet. You can hear that my accent is pretty good, and I can and have had natural conversations with natives about a wide range of topics without ever relying on English. I am extremely pleased at the level I have reached after just 2 months trying and even if I don’t reach fluency I will proudly remember not using English to have a social life with locals here in Prague.

But it isn’t fluent yet! Will I make it in just 4 weeks?

The bad news is that I have a long way to go!! I can only have a conversation with someone who is very patient as I stutter and pause mid-sentence to do some mental gymnastics to get the right word. Despite having enough vocabulary to say lots of things, I’m still relying on a small set of words that I am way too comfortable using, so I have to force myself to use more synonyms and express myself better. I can understand the other person quite well, but only if they speak slowly and clearly and if they are speaking directly to me. When following conversations between two natives I get lost and only rely on recognising words here and there. Sadly, I still can’t watch TV and understand it enough to enjoy it without (Czech) subtitles applied. So I’m under no illusions – my Czech conversational and understanding skills are still quite bad!

So I honestly don’t know if I will make it to fluency! My last month will be focussing on meeting up with natives regularly to practise and converse (although I have to confess that these “meetings” may be giving preference to one gender in particular… :P ), and the Czechs are definitely helping me and encouraging me! I will also continue to do some side studying to make sure I am clear about the grammar and try to get some more words in my head to use when I need to.

I am still aiming to reach fluency in time, but if I don’t, my excuses for not reaching it will be very simply not being focussed enough this summer. I have invested a surprisingly little amount of time in Czech this summer, since I love speaking other languages with my Couchsurfers and have tried to work as much as possible whenever I received any. Frankly, I’m also just generally lazy :P. I never wanted to see if I could become fluent in 3 months; I wanted to see if I could become fluent in 3 months with very little work and only part-time attention!

I am also quite distracted as I am hugely looking forward to my next 3-month language mission, which will be completely different! (Not just learn another “hard” language from scratch) I’ll introduce the actual crazy mission itself when the time is right, but those following me on twitter already know where I’m going.

Oh by the way, thank you so much for all of your votes in the Top 100 language blogs!! I was amazed to see that this very young blog has reached the honourable position of number SIX out of hundreds of entries from the best sites across the Internet!!! Being in the top ten is much better than I ever could have hoped!! It wouldn’t have been possible without all of your clicks :) I intend to try to keep the posts interesting and useful so I deserve to stay in that position ;) I am also very glad that I’ve got over 350 subscribers! Welcome to everyone new!! I am a very new blogger, and not such a good writer yet and I still have a lot to learn (sorry that my posts are always so long!!) so please contact me if you have any tips and encouragement ;)

So, do you think I’ll make it to fluency? Should I be pleased with my progress so far at least? Let me know what you think, and if you have any advice for me in my last month in Prague, write me a comment!! :)

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  • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

    You are doing exceptionally well. After just two months it is mind-boggling that you can do more than simply say hello and thank you. I would consider your experiment a great success already. I am not sure whether this shows you are a super genius, or whether most of us (me included) have been learning very inefficiently. Either way, well done.

  • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

    You are doing exceptionally well. After just two months it is mind-boggling that you can do more than simply say hello and thank you. I would consider your experiment a great success already. I am not sure whether this shows you are a super genius, or whether most of us (me included) have been learning very inefficiently. Either way, well done.

  • robertgxl

    would anybody want to improve english each other? my skype name is robertgxl.thanks.eager to chat with you:)

    btw,my msn is gxl780112@msn.com :)

  • robertgxl

    would anybody want to improve english each other? my skype name is robertgxl.thanks.eager to chat with you:)

    btw,my msn is gxl780112@msn.com :)

  • Matt

    Well done with 6th place – well deserved recognition. Sounds like you’ve made fantastic progress with Czech in just two months. I hope I can make a similar effort when I move to Prague next year – your experience leaves me no excuses!

    Good luck with the final month!
    Matthew

  • Matt

    Well done with 6th place – well deserved recognition. Sounds like you’ve made fantastic progress with Czech in just two months. I hope I can make a similar effort when I move to Prague next year – your experience leaves me no excuses!

    Good luck with the final month!
    Matthew

  • jody

    Hi Benny,

    congrats on making it into the top 10. Most of the other high scorers were English language blogs so I think you did amazingly well considering this!!!

    jody

  • jody

    Hi Benny,

    congrats on making it into the top 10. Most of the other high scorers were English language blogs so I think you did amazingly well considering this!!!

    jody

  • dzurisova

    Great job making it to #6! Also, great progress in two months. I’d say your description puts you almost equal with me and I’ve been learning on and off for two years and have been with a Czech person for 9 years. Great job thus far. I’m still HOPING you get to fluency. I’d love to shove it in the faces of those who said you were crazy to think you could. :)

  • dzurisova

    Great job making it to #6! Also, great progress in two months. I’d say your description puts you almost equal with me and I’ve been learning on and off for two years and have been with a Czech person for 9 years. Great job thus far. I’m still HOPING you get to fluency. I’d love to shove it in the faces of those who said you were crazy to think you could. :)

  • Bruno Oliveira

    Hi Benny! Congrats on your progress so far, I really hope you make it to fluency.
    I still find it hard to believe a person can achieve fluency in only 3 months, but you made me believe that such thing is possible.
    You could be an inspiration for those people whom live in a foreign country for years and still can speak the language well. Keep up the good work!
    Hey, I heard that you can speak Portuguese, I would love to see you speaking my language. Where do I find a video of you speaking Portuguese?

    Bye!

  • Bruno Oliveira

    Hi Benny! Congrats on your progress so far, I really hope you make it to fluency.
    I still find it hard to believe a person can achieve fluency in only 3 months, but you made me believe that such thing is possible.
    You could be an inspiration for those people whom live in a foreign country for years and still can speak the language well. Keep up the good work!
    Hey, I heard that you can speak Portuguese, I would love to see you speaking my language. Where do I find a video of you speaking Portuguese?

    Bye!

  • jmfayard

    Salut Benny,

    apprendre la grammaire d’une langue directement est en effet ennuyeux, decourageant et peu efficace.

    Par exemple, quand j’apprenais l’allemand, j’ai appris pendant des annes les regles qui disent que le verbe doit etre mis tantot a la fin de la phrase, tantot en deuxieme position. Mais lorsque je voulais passer a la pratique, je me plantais tres regulierement tant cette structure de phrase me paraissait bizarre :

    “Die Mutter sagt, das sie bald mit ihren zwei kleinen Kindern in der Schule gehen muss’

    soit, mot a mot :
    “La mere dit, qu’elle bientot avec ses deux enfants a l’ecole aller doit”

    ????????????

    Ca ne voulait pas rentrer.

    Et puis j’ai trouve un truc : comme j’adore la musique, je me suis mis a apprendre par coeur les paroles de chansons allemandes.

    “Das Spiel” ====>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3gWmMJ5cO4
    Artist: Annett Luisan
    Album: “Bohème” (2004)

    Dass du nicht mehr bist
    Was du einmal warst
    Seit du dich für mich
    ausgezogen hast

    Dass du alles schmeißt
    Wegen einer Nacht
    Und alles verlierst
    War so nicht gedacht

    Du willst mich für dich
    Und du willst mich ganz
    Doch auf dem Niveau
    Macht’s mir keinen Spaß

    Das füllt mich nicht aus
    Ich fühl mich zu Haus
    Nur zwischen den Stühlen

    Ich will doch nur spielen
    Ich tu doch nichts
    Ich will doch nur spielen
    Ich tu doch nichts ”

    Une fois que je connais des dizaines de phrases par coeur comme cela, la grammaire cesse d’etre une chanson triste ! Quand je lis une regle de grammaire, me vient immediatement a l’esprit une phrase qui respecte cette structure. Le benefice est double :

    1) la regle de grammaire me permet d’eclairer la structure de la phrase connue par coeur

    Dass du nicht mehr bist
    Was du einmal warst
    Seit du dich für mich ausgezogen hast

    2) la phrase connue par coeur me permet de me rappeler de la regle de grammaire !

    “Intelligence” vient du latin : /inter – ligare/
    /ligare/ veut dire : liens
    L’intelligence consiste a lier nos differents savoirs !
    Le support de la musique me facilite l’apprentissage des paroles associees, qui me facilite l’apprentissage de la grammaire, qui me permet de comprendre pleinement la musique que j’ecoute. Banco !

    PS: j’ecris en francais pour aller plus vite. J’espere que tu comprends ?

    • http://joop.kiefte.eu/ Joop Kiefte

      non seulement il te comprends, moi aussi, et j’adore tout ce que tu as dit d’apprendre le musique d’une langue. je pense que tu as beaucoup raison. ainsi donc je ne pourrait jamais apprendre un langue sans l’ecouter bien en vrai vie, mais aussi pour moi c’est bien important de le voir beaucoup en ecrit. et cela que t’as dit de intelligence, c’est exactement ca que je dis toujours d’apprendre une langue, et en fait c’est exactement pour ca que Benny parlait de faire des histoires et de se imaginer des choses enfin de memoire de mots.

      .

      inter-ligare — il faut le memoire, merci beaucoup!

      .

      Joop Kiefte des Pays-Bas, un autre polyglot et ami de Benny

      pardonnez pour les erreurs

  • jmfayard

    Salut Benny,

    apprendre la grammaire d’une langue directement est en effet ennuyeux, decourageant et peu efficace.

    Par exemple, quand j’apprenais l’allemand, j’ai appris pendant des annes les regles qui disent que le verbe doit etre mis tantot a la fin de la phrase, tantot en deuxieme position. Mais lorsque je voulais passer a la pratique, je me plantais tres regulierement tant cette structure de phrase me paraissait bizarre :

    “Die Mutter sagt, das sie bald mit ihren zwei kleinen Kindern in der Schule gehen muss’

    soit, mot a mot :
    “La mere dit, qu’elle bientot avec ses deux enfants a l’ecole aller doit”

    ????????????

    Ca ne voulait pas rentrer.

    Et puis j’ai trouve un truc : comme j’adore la musique, je me suis mis a apprendre par coeur les paroles de chansons allemandes.

    “Das Spiel” ====>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3gWmMJ5cO4
    Artist: Annett Luisan
    Album: “Bohème” (2004)

    Dass du nicht mehr bist
    Was du einmal warst
    Seit du dich für mich
    ausgezogen hast

    Dass du alles schmeißt
    Wegen einer Nacht
    Und alles verlierst
    War so nicht gedacht

    Du willst mich für dich
    Und du willst mich ganz
    Doch auf dem Niveau
    Macht’s mir keinen Spaß

    Das füllt mich nicht aus
    Ich fühl mich zu Haus
    Nur zwischen den Stühlen

    Ich will doch nur spielen
    Ich tu doch nichts
    Ich will doch nur spielen
    Ich tu doch nichts ”

    Une fois que je connais des dizaines de phrases par coeur comme cela, la grammaire cesse d’etre une chanson triste ! Quand je lis une regle de grammaire, me vient immediatement a l’esprit une phrase qui respecte cette structure. Le benefice est double :

    1) la regle de grammaire me permet d’eclairer la structure de la phrase connue par coeur

    Dass du nicht mehr bist
    Was du einmal warst
    Seit du dich für mich ausgezogen hast

    2) la phrase connue par coeur me permet de me rappeler de la regle de grammaire !

    “Intelligence” vient du latin : /inter – ligare/
    /ligare/ veut dire : liens
    L’intelligence consiste a lier nos differents savoirs !
    Le support de la musique me facilite l’apprentissage des paroles associees, qui me facilite l’apprentissage de la grammaire, qui me permet de comprendre pleinement la musique que j’ecoute. Banco !

    PS: j’ecris en francais pour aller plus vite. J’espere que tu comprends ?

    • LaPingvino

      non seulement il te comprends, moi aussi, et j’adore tout ce que tu as dit d’apprendre le musique d’une langue. je pense que tu as beaucoup raison. ainsi donc je ne pourrait jamais apprendre un langue sans l’ecouter bien en vrai vie, mais aussi pour moi c’est bien important de le voir beaucoup en ecrit. et cela que t’as dit de intelligence, c’est exactement ca que je dis toujours d’apprendre une langue, et en fait c’est exactement pour ca que Benny parlait de faire des histoires et de se imaginer des choses enfin de memoire de mots.

      .

      inter-ligare — il faut le memoire, merci beaucoup!

      .

      Joop Kiefte des Pays-Bas, un autre polyglot et ami de Benny

      pardonnez pour les erreurs

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

    Thanks so much for your compliments and encouragement everyone!!! I’m so pleased and amazed that the blog made it to number 6!! I saw the competition last year and could only have dreamed of this position this year. It really makes me proud :)

    To those who complimented my current level of Czech, thanks!!! It’s really encouraging to hear this from you all, especially since I am not sure if I will make it to fluency, so I really hope I won’t be booed off the Internet if I can just claim to speak Czech “pretty well” by the end of this experiment :P

    @Splogsplog I assure you, I am NOT a super genius!! There are plenty of areas of my life (finances, girls etc.) in which I am quite the idiot :)
    @Bruno You can hear me speaking Portuguese on my video blog entirely in Portuguese. Just click the Brazilian flag on the left of this page ;)
    @jm Merci ! C’est hyper intéressant ce que tu fais pour apprendre la grammaire ! Je n’ai trouvé aucune chanson pour apprendre le tchèque :P mdr. Je vais écrire sur ce blog sur comment la musique nous aide avec les langues un de ces quatre :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

    Thanks so much for your compliments and encouragement everyone!!! I’m so pleased and amazed that the blog made it to number 6!! I saw the competition last year and could only have dreamed of this position this year. It really makes me proud :)

    To those who complimented my current level of Czech, thanks!!! It’s really encouraging to hear this from you all, especially since I am not sure if I will make it to fluency, so I really hope I won’t be booed off the Internet if I can just claim to speak Czech “pretty well” by the end of this experiment :P

    @Splogsplog I assure you, I am NOT a super genius!! There are plenty of areas of my life (finances, girls etc.) in which I am quite the idiot :)
    @Bruno You can hear me speaking Portuguese on my video blog entirely in Portuguese. Just click the Brazilian flag on the left of this page ;)
    @jm Merci ! C’est hyper intéressant ce que tu fais pour apprendre la grammaire ! Je n’ai trouvé aucune chanson pour apprendre le tchèque :P mdr. Je vais écrire sur ce blog sur comment la musique nous aide avec les langues un de ces quatre :)

  • http://www.spanish-only.com/ Ramses

    It’s no surprise you aren’t fluent [yet], but that is pretty much impossible within three months, let alone two, so I don’t blame you. But I do think you could’ve get more out of these months.

    For example: you went to an Esperanto thing for a WEEK! I was already scratching my head and thinking: “For Benny this experiment is more a joke than serious stuff”. So yeah, it doesn’t surprise me.

    You also made a mistake with the grammar thing. I actually believe in grammar study, but only to perfect your skills. You thought ‘I want to get it out of my way first’, which is a mistake because you, like you said yourself, start thinking in an unnatural way and it messes up your speaking. Instead you could’ve done better watching loads of television and even practicing (although I don’t agree with you on that, but it sure is better than dull grammar study).

    Anyway, good luck for you last month and I hope you can forget the grammar a bit and actually get yourself to a better level.
    .-= Ramses´s last blog ..How To Learn Spanish for Lazy People (And 5 Reasons Lazy People Are Better Learners) =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      lol Ramses, I was wondering where you were. :D I was starting to miss your comments of telling me how wrong I am about everything :P

      I don’t see why you are being so authoritative when you debunk my learning philosophy… I’ve seen your blog and there are still plenty of things that you’ve got left to learn in Spanish (some of which I commented on). I’ve reached fluency SIX times in non-English languages, I know what I’m doing. ;) The Esperanto week was a “week off” in the middle of the summer that I don’t count as part of the 3 months (which end mid-September rather than the beginning of the second week, which is when I arrived in June).

      Rather than this experiment not being serious for me, I think you missed the point of the experiment altogether from the beginning; I want to learn a language in 3 months casually and have a lot of fun along the way with my many other projects in life. I’m not going to spend the summer with my head in books, and DEFINITELY not watching TV. I’m amazed that you still cling on to the silly belief that practising in the early stages is “bad” for learning!! You have some interesting ideas, but that one is horrible and I think my other commenters will agree with me. Most mistakes that I was repeating in my early weeks have disappeared, BECAUSE I practised. I don’t see what you have against actually speaking the language to learn the language!! lol :P :P

      Anyway thanks for the good luck wishes!! Much appreciated encouragement :) It seems that this last month external factors have come to play (I got myself in debt and have to work 12-14 hours a day for the next few weeks… i.e. wake up, work, go to sleep…) which will likely prevent me from reaching fluency, but I’ll talk about that directly after the next post. Even if I don’t make it this time, I’ve learned a lot this summer about learning techniques and I will make it to fluency in one of these 3-month experiments soon :)

  • http://www.spanish-only.com Ramses

    It’s no surprise you aren’t fluent [yet], but that is pretty much impossible within three months, let alone two, so I don’t blame you. But I do think you could’ve get more out of these months.

    For example: you went to an Esperanto thing for a WEEK! I was already scratching my head and thinking: “For Benny this experiment is more a joke than serious stuff”. So yeah, it doesn’t surprise me.

    You also made a mistake with the grammar thing. I actually believe in grammar study, but only to perfect your skills. You thought ‘I want to get it out of my way first’, which is a mistake because you, like you said yourself, start thinking in an unnatural way and it messes up your speaking. Instead you could’ve done better watching loads of television and even practicing (although I don’t agree with you on that, but it sure is better than dull grammar study).

    Anyway, good luck for you last month and I hope you can forget the grammar a bit and actually get yourself to a better level.
    .-= Ramses´s last blog ..How To Learn Spanish for Lazy People (And 5 Reasons Lazy People Are Better Learners) =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      lol Ramses, I was wondering where you were. :D I was starting to miss your comments of telling me how wrong I am about everything :P

      I don’t see why you are being so authoritative when you debunk my learning philosophy… I’ve seen your blog and there are still plenty of things that you’ve got left to learn in Spanish (some of which I commented on). I’ve reached fluency SIX times in non-English languages, I know what I’m doing. ;) The Esperanto week was a “week off” in the middle of the summer that I don’t count as part of the 3 months (which end mid-September rather than the beginning of the second week, which is when I arrived in June).

      Rather than this experiment not being serious for me, I think you missed the point of the experiment altogether from the beginning; I want to learn a language in 3 months casually and have a lot of fun along the way with my many other projects in life. I’m not going to spend the summer with my head in books, and DEFINITELY not watching TV. I’m amazed that you still cling on to the silly belief that practising in the early stages is “bad” for learning!! You have some interesting ideas, but that one is horrible and I think my other commenters will agree with me. Most mistakes that I was repeating in my early weeks have disappeared, BECAUSE I practised. I don’t see what you have against actually speaking the language to learn the language!! lol :P :P

      Anyway thanks for the good luck wishes!! Much appreciated encouragement :) It seems that this last month external factors have come to play (I got myself in debt and have to work 12-14 hours a day for the next few weeks… i.e. wake up, work, go to sleep…) which will likely prevent me from reaching fluency, but I’ll talk about that directly after the next post. Even if I don’t make it this time, I’ve learned a lot this summer about learning techniques and I will make it to fluency in one of these 3-month experiments soon :)

  • Matt

    As an impartial observer I would just like to add that Ramses is a total knob.

    That’s all.

    Matt

    • http://www.spanish-only.com/ Ramses

      Matt: Errr, yeah if that’s your opinion :-).

      Benny; I’m not here to bash you, just to give some advice. What you do with it is your choice. Heck, I’m learning every day and I’m currently learning Mandarin in a different way I learned Spanish (which is logical, because they’re two completely different languages).

      What I have against speaking in an early stage is research that shows it isn’t benificial. I like to refer to the way kids learn, whatever other people say. Language classes also put emphasis on speaking, and we all know that the avarage classroom student is horrible whereas the ‘input evangelists’ are often quite successful.

      But if you really hate my comments I’ll just enjoy reading your blog and keep my comments for myself and for the readers of my blog.

      Just one book I want to recommend: From The Outside In. It isn’t a finished work as dr. Marvin Brown died some years ago, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless.
      .-= Ramses´s last blog ..Spanish Word of the Day: morro =-.

      • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

        Just to be clear, Marvin Brown wasn’t so much concerned with speaking ability as with thinking ability. His argument is that you should delay speaking in a foreign language if doing so forces you into a pattern of translating. He saw his own approach as a quicker method to thinking in a foreign language – that is all.

        It is true that an explicit emphasis on learning to think in the target language is missing from many other approaches, but most accomplished learners reach that on their own. The same benefit can be gained simply by constantly forcing your brain to think in the target language and catching yourself whenever you find yourself not doing so.

  • Matt

    As an impartial observer I would just like to add that Ramses is a total knob.

    That’s all.

    Matt

    • http://www.spanish-only.com Ramses

      Matt: Errr, yeah if that’s your opinion :-).

      Benny; I’m not here to bash you, just to give some advice. What you do with it is your choice. Heck, I’m learning every day and I’m currently learning Mandarin in a different way I learned Spanish (which is logical, because they’re two completely different languages).

      What I have against speaking in an early stage is research that shows it isn’t benificial. I like to refer to the way kids learn, whatever other people say. Language classes also put emphasis on speaking, and we all know that the avarage classroom student is horrible whereas the ‘input evangelists’ are often quite successful.

      But if you really hate my comments I’ll just enjoy reading your blog and keep my comments for myself and for the readers of my blog.

      Just one book I want to recommend: From The Outside In. It isn’t a finished work as dr. Marvin Brown died some years ago, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless.
      .-= Ramses´s last blog ..Spanish Word of the Day: morro =-.

      • http://www.anthonylauder.com/ SplogSplog

        Just to be clear, Marvin Brown wasn’t so much concerned with speaking ability as with thinking ability. His argument is that you should delay speaking in a foreign language if doing so forces you into a pattern of translating. He saw his own approach as a quicker method to thinking in a foreign language – that is all.

        It is true that an explicit emphasis on learning to think in the target language is missing from many other approaches, but most accomplished learners reach that on their own. The same benefit can be gained simply by constantly forcing your brain to think in the target language and catching yourself whenever you find yourself not doing so.