Language log 3 – On combining the Gold List method with LingQ

Just a quick note for me to read this post on the LingQ forums. It’s by a guy who’s combining the Gold List method with LingQ — something that I have been dimly working towards in my own thoughts.

I had a go at David James’s Goldlist Method and through him I found syzygycc’s Polyglot Project, bought and read the book from cover to cover and through that discovered Steve Kaufmann’s Lingq. I think that Goldlist and Lingq have a lot in common. From what I understand, most of the underlying principles of Goldlist can be found in Lingq:

1. Don’t get worked up and distressed about how much you are NOT learning but just do something interesting with the language. The long-term memory works subconsciously and will pick up knowledge by itself but it is not under our direct control. Enjoy the language and avoid doing anything that seems like a chore. So:
With Goldlist you write out vocabulary and phrases and anything you want to remember in your best handwriting in the nicest bound notebook that you can afford, so that you enjoy crafting a language learning masterpiece.
With Lingq you read interesting articles and books, anything in the language that takes your fancy, and get your enjoyment that way.

2. Review from time to time but don’t bother reviewing anything you already know.
With Goldlist you distil out only the entries that you’ve forgotten and then you enjoy writing them out again in your very best handwriting.
In Lingq you can review old lessons or tackle something completely new – it doesn’t matter which. The words you don’t know are automatically highlighted for you in blue, or yellow if you’ve "lingqed" to hints. Words are re-reinforced by appearing again and again with their natural frequency in any new material that you read.

3. Don’t spend more than 20 minutes at a learning session without having at least 5 minutes break because the long-term memory gets tired. This is easily implemented in both Goldlist and Lingq.

4. Use a computer for reference but don’t let it govern your learning process. Now here is a main point of divergence between Goldlist and Lingq.

So, I’m grateful to David James, syzygycc, and Steve Kaufmann for encouraging me. And I’m also grateful to all those people who have uploaded lots of Russian learning material onto Lingq, so much that I can keep on reading new material with little chance of getting bored.

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