In praise of random repetition

I am not a user of Spaced Repetition Systems. I like Random Repetition, not repetition based on a time table set by a system, or by a teacher, for that matter.

I do, however, like to review flash cards. I do it occasionally especially now that I can do it on my iTouch. I feel it helps me to focus and it improves my attentiveness to the language. I certainly don’t do it every day. I do it when I feel like it. I read when I feel like it, and listen when I feel like it. I do what I like, when I like, but I do a lot of it. That gives me lots of random exposure to words and phrase. I like randomness because it increases my enjoyment and makes me spend more time with my language studies.

I did a video on the subject but I keep getting errors in publishing to youtube for some reason. I will try again and if it works I will post the video.

Help! What is the best way to create ‘text and sound only’ videos for youtube

I have been playing around with different ways to develop simple short lessons for different languages , but I have not found a useful software to do this. Does anyone have any advice on how to most simply create a text only video, consisting of words and phrases in a language. These would be accompanied by a narrative talking about the words and phrases that appear on the screen. Many thanks for any advice on how best to do this.

I would like to start a series of simple, easy to make videos as ice-breakers, or handy tips, for language learners. These can by learners talking about how they reacted to a new language,things they found difficult or easy,  or native speakers focusing on certain points of usage. I see these as less then 3 minutes long, text and sound only. I would like to see a vast collection of these, on different languages, recorded in different languages. I have some ideas already but I cannot find the ideal software to compose these.

I see this as a collaborative effort, with learners asking for certain subjects to be dealt with, or others just creating them. Thus the method used for creating these needs to be easy to use.

Berta y Òscar – Spanish dialogues for learners, now available at iTunes

Berta y Òscar, a podcast of natural dialogues, about everything and anything, in Spanish, is now available at iTunes.

From time to time I will mention some of the wonderful learner content that our members at LingQ are creating for our libraries and making available on iTunes.

These are easy listening dialogues in Spanish, about 10-15 minutes long, between Berta, who lives in Madrid, and Òscar, who lives in Barcelona. These are free and the transcripts are available at LingQ, also free. The first five dialogues are in the iTunes store and five more are on the way.

Have a look, and if you like them, please do not forget to rate the podcast.

Rejection is a part of language learning. Meetup turndown. Maybe we need a LingQ Meetup.

I was turned down by a Meetup group here in Vancouver that advertized itself as a Russian Speaking Conversation and Adventure Group. To be fair I thought I would be turned down since the group was clear on the kind of members they wanted (see below with my comments), but I tried anyway. Maybe I should create my own Meetup group for LingQ, where people can get together and exchange languages.

Welcome, Russian Speaking Vancouverites!  (OK, that’s me, no question)

This group is for former citizens of former USSR who would like make new friends at our various meetings – from sport activities and casual outings to business networking – in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. ( I am not a former citizen of a former state, I admit, but you can’t have all the necessary qualities)

– Raised in USSR (I confess, no) (meaning you are over 25 years old and have emotional connections with Russian language and culture (yes!))
• Fluently speak Russian (not learning or practicing the language) (well I can try ). You can bring an English speaking friend if you want but we won’t speak English here. (can I come as a friend and speak Russian?)
• You are a mature intelligent individual – easy going, active, have a positive attitude (yes, I like that description), able to listen and maintain discussion without suppressing others’ opinions. (depends on what kind of crack-pot crazy opinions they have)

Being an optimist, I still thought I had a chance, but the following line was the clincher, but I still don’t know how they knew.

* People with unhealthy habits like heavy drinking, complaining or obsessing with something will be asked to leave the group

Kindle kindles my fire

This morning Amazon sent me an email with a few books on education that their system thought I would be interested in. I agreed and decided I wanted to buy these books from the Amazon website. Then I looked at the shipping bill and said “hold it.”. I called my son who has my Kindle. I got it from him for Christmas and never used it, since most of my reading was in foreign languages at that time.

” I want my Kindle back, and while your at it please try to buy these two books for me” I said. Detto fatto. The books were bought. Then Mark gave me back my Kindle and I read the two books. I think of how much time I would have had to spend in stores, or waiting for my package from Amazon. Wow!  And I thoroughly enjoyed reading on the Kindle once I got used to it.

I will be buying more books this way. Less clutter on my shelves. This is especially convenient for “information” books as opposed to “treasure” books.

I only wish they had foreign books and LingQ so that I could work on my foreign languages. Perhaps in the future.

The books were Liberating Learning and The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age.