Input, input, input. I can’t stress it enough.

I am gathering steam in my Czech. I understand so much more. Now I am able to learn more and faster since I can make sense of so much more of what I read or listen to. I call this the snowball effect of input based learning. One of my commenters at youtube likened it to gathering speed down a runway and then getting airborne. Yeah!

Where university education is headed.

Are Harvard and MIT spearheading change in university education or is it Stanford? Could it be LingQ one day?

Read this article for an interesting dicussion about the changes that are already taking place in university education.

I foresee the day when university courses, in different languages, will be offered at LingQ, with full audio, video, transcripts and other resources, enabling students to learn from the leading professors in the world, and learning languages as they go.

Only the best courses should prosper. The “dog” courses all too offered at your local university, and which are taken only to obtain credits towards a degree, should go by the wayside. This will improve the quality of university education, increase assessibilty to far more students and lower the cost to everyone.

My language learning credo.

Language learning is a personal activity. I do it for myself. I learn the language for my own reasons and in my own ways. I focus my efforts on those aspects of the language that interest me the most.

Confidence, strong motivation and a positive attitude towards the language I am learning are preconditions for success. To make meaningful progress in the language I need to spend enough time with the language, listening to it, reading, it, using it. I try to be attentive, observing and noticing the language, how it sounds and how it functions.

I spend most of my time on input, listening and reading. This gives me the words I need, and a feeling for the language. This will ensure that my output  acivities will progres quickly, when I get the chance to use the language. Input activities are easy and inexpensive to arrange.

Some people focus on grammar. I find that the core grammar I need to learn is actually a relatively small number of rules and patterns that repeat over and over in the language. At first, however, it seems overwhelming. With enough input, and regular review, however, it all becomes clearer and clearer. 

Some people aspire to sound like a native. I try to notice how the native speaker pronounces. When I speak, I imitate this pronunciation as much as I can. I know I will not sound like a native. This does not matter to me. I think it is more important to have a good command of the words and phrases of the language, so that I can express myself accurately on a variety of subjects. That is why the input activity is so important.

In the end, we need to decide what we want from our language learning, and pursure it for our own reasons. I think we are all capable of doing this, and enjoying it.