So I was flicking through old posts on this here weblog and came across one I’d forgotten I’d ever written. And what was interesting was that it didn’t seem quite as funny now as when I first wrote it. I guess my sense of humour’s evolved a bit since then.
Having said that, there was this reasonable point right at the end that I found that the me of 360-odd days ago had written. And here it is:
It’s all very well to chortle at… schoolboy errors [made by second-language learners], but you’ve got to give them credit for trying. You have to start somewhere in one’s quest to conquer a second (or even third or fourth) language. Small failures are always going to be a part of big successes, and that is life. Not trying is at the root of all real failures, and it’s ironic that many people who laugh at these kind of mistakes can’t speak any other language, at any level. Who really gets the last laugh?
And have I swallowed that medicine since then? The answer is “Yes. Kinda.” I make all kinds of hilarious screw-ups in conversations in Chinese, sometimes to the point of not making myself understood at all… but you know what? I’m not even slightly phased now, whenever I balls up orally. [Pun possibly intended.]
Other elements though are, surprisingly, harder. I keep going through destructive phrases of not keep up with Anki reps or not reading enough or not watching enough TV shows… I forget the advice I read and give out far more often than I would like.
So, I started a new Anki deck called “Personal Development”. (I think, by the way, that ‘PD’ is practically a dirty word… ugh. It has many vaguely negative connotations.) The main purpose of the deck is pretty much what it says on the tin – it’s a collection of inspiring quotes and practical advice, taken from wherever I find it.
The format is actually similar to the L2iR cards: there’s an excerpt from whatever article I’m reading on the front and the entire article (the context) on the back. Bad marks are given to advice I have yet to internalise; good marks go to ideas that are already second nature.
There’ll be more on this subject soon, because I’ve had tremendous results by using an SRS in this way – I’ve started to get work done, for one 😛
So, finally, mandatory please-leave-some-comments-for-me question: anyone else tried this? 😉 Actually, I’m sure I read about someone else trying something similar way back, but no idea who it was…