Starting again – Guilt and Gumption, Contests won and moar resources!!

The star of this entire post has to be Fluent Flix. I’m going to not write about it because it is just that awesome. On to the story..

So it has been almost 1.5 months of study break but not quite. I have spent the time looking at other methods of learning, occasionally revising the Hanzi i’ve learnt. Work, illness and general blues and procrastination have kept me off a routine but in the past couple of weeks i’ve started to make it up.

First by listening to a lot of : Teach Yourself Mandarin Chinese Conversation 

I was avoiding these conversations because they sounded cheesy and lame and after learning 2 languages you think you’ve seen it all but repetition works. Make sure you are doing some chores or walking on the treadmill while listening and loudly repeating these phrases, once you’re in the groove, it’s hard to get out.

Second, a huge shout out to Moses McCormick who announced a contest where you had to put up videos in your native language for a chance to get to study with him for a year, 6 months and 3 months respectively. Unfortunately, I didn’t win but Moses gave away 2 levels of an FLR course of your choosing and also 1 hour of conversation with him to all the participants. How generous is that! My one hour was spent mostly talking about how to learn and practice tones, racism, language difficulties, latin languages, why Moses does what he does. I didn’t even realize how the hour passed and he was so nice about the whole thing. Hey, I got the FLR levels 1 and 2 for Mandarin (yay!) and I highly recommend it although its not fitting into my schedule right now.

In more good news, I won a Livemocha contest giving me a gold key access to every language course for a whole year! Best thing ever! That contest has passed but they’ve started a new one, you must go check it out and best of luck! Livemocha is where I started my language learning journey and I found some really good friends there that I found to this day and a lot of opportunity to practice, I highly recommend that website.

Sign up for their facebook/twitter page or feed their blog link into your reader to stay updated. The blog carries a lot of great language learning advice as well usually.

Moses suggested a 3 hours/day learning schedule. 1 hour learning, 1 hour speaking to a native, and I forget what the other hour was for. But I ran into my “how do I find a native to practice with? problem” Moses said he’d help me out, but I went ahead and found some on my own.

Sign up to Italki first. And/Or Lang8. Then get QQ messenger. Bam! More natives (and such nice people!) to talk to than you can handle. Funnily enough, after getting serious enthusiastic commitments from some for daily practice I immediately proceeded to lose my voice which was a real bummer, but hey there are a lot of them. The best thing is that QQ is full of bored teenagers always online and ready to practice their english and explore new cultures.

In other news , I really love the way online learning trends are going especially for adults (like me). I’ve been wanting to catch up on my formal education for a while now and I highly recommend :

Udacity
Coursera

Aw heck, just go to Class Central. Enjoy!

Also, try Ribbonfarm for some serious miscellaneous reading.

PS : I just integrated Evernote and Dropbox and this blog is going to get better now as I’m planning to invest in some technology so I can stay connected to my resources and write anywhere.

1 thought on “Starting again – Guilt and Gumption, Contests won and moar resources!!

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