Language log 2014-01-29: The importance of optimism

Steve talks here a bit about . “I’m an optimist,” he says. “I think optimism is very important to language learning.”

This goes against my natural tendency to be pessismistic, but I would have to agree (reluctantly). That’s why I find conversations with Yuri about my Japanese learning strategy to be so difficult. Inside, I have the feeling that she’s criticizing me for my pessimism.

When she tries to help me to learn better, I get defensive and irritated. That’s because deep down I know she’s right, and so is Steve. I have a natural loser’s attitude, and that’s not helping me.

So I agree with Steve in this video on his point on optimism. (He soon veers into a bit of a political tirade, but then that’s Steve… I can use his advice even though I don’t agree with his politics.)

Anyway, in one interesting passage in this video (or is the next one, Day 13?) he drops another details about his daily learning routine: he read for an hour, then listened for about 30-40 minutes.

That’s the part of my daily regimen I have yet to tackle, and I have to admit I’m afraid. I do plenty of vocab using the Gold List method — about an hour each morning. I then read for another hour (a bit less, if I’m being truthful). I enter text into my LingQ lessons. I make links.

But I’ve yet to really get into listening… that’s my next challenge.

: Steve talks a bit about patterns as a way to learn grammar. He finds discussions of grammar incomprehensible, full of jargon, too dry and dull. He prefers reading repeated patterns of grammatical examples.

I’ve been leaning toward that myself with my recent discovery of the JGram website. Lots and lots of examples. I should commit to importing the examples into LingQ, and then linking from them and reviewing them whenever I can.


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