Today’s update will be a really quick one. There is a lot happening here this weekend, and London’s super-hot in the summer weather – so I’ll probably spend more time reading, walking and studying! Anyway – here’s what I did over the last 7 days with my Portuguese learning. Are there any simple ways to get more language study from your online presence? As it turns out, there are: here’s what you can do to make it happen!
Listen to Krashen: Read More
This was one of the first things on my list, and always is, no matter what I’m learning. It’s OK for people to tell you that you should speak from day one – but I’m a reader and an introvert. My “fun” is a good book more often than a long conversation. So there.
Stephen Krashen gets this, you see. And he also happens to be spot-on when it comes to language acquisition: your ability to perform is the result of all you hear and read. It’s not the other way around. You read and listen first, and speak/write later.
My last week’s update was focusing on listening to a great deal. So this week, my question was: how to make sure that more Portuguese reading fits into my busy routine?
Where do you usually read? Social networks, that’s where!
Blogs, newspapers and articles are great when you actually have 10-15 minutes to sit down and focus. This was how lots of good German got discovered. And it’s still how I intend to do it whenever I have the time.
But on any given day, there are 2-3 websites that I’m likely to check more than a dozen times: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This is a different kind of reading: I’m familiar with what to expect, and I’m mainly there to catch up with the news – so I’m not likely to be doing any serious reading there. However, I’m exposed to bits of language – the interfaces of every one of these sites. And this is frequent exposure.
Here’s what you can do to get more language into your day
[Please note: only do this when you’re confident you’ll be able to reverse the process. You’ve been warned!]
Head over to the “Settings” tab for Facebook. Change your language to the one you’re learning.
Head over to your Twitter page – click the “Settings” box – do the same.
If you’re on LinkedIn, click on your profile picture in the top-right corner, choose “Language” and do the same there.
Voila. You now have three familiar-looking pages with content that’s relevant to you, and bits of foreign language interface to read through. In Twitter, the added bonus is the ability to translate tweets: it’s machine translation, but does the job quite nicely (see screenshot above)
Would it work for you?
If you tried this and it worked, let us know – likewise, if you think this is not worth trying, share your ideas below!
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