Change in pace

A change in plans. With the election, we have decided not to watch TV (I’ve ordered home delivery of the NYT) and we will read evenings. That gives me a chance to spend an entire evening, five hours or so, on one language. That’ll get me deeper each pass and I’ll see what effect that has. Last night the party was all in Spanish and that gives me impetus to refine my ability to express myself. Nothing much got by me but my ability to jump into the joke telling and so forth is limited.
On top of that, I am reading some articles I got off the Backseat Linguist blog which deal with the question of whether reading alone can get vocabulary up to certain levels. It turns out, on reading the articles, that they are dealing entirely with English as a second language taught to professionals with 2500-3000 word families in their repertoire, and needing to get up to speed within a year. Up to speed means 9000 words. Well, that’s a little beyond the Como esta Usted level I look at. It is still interesting since Krashen et al. say reading alone will accomplish that and one author says teaching or direct instruction is required. It’s unclear to me so far what that instruction consists of.
And here I am doing 10 languages, able to read Spanish and Russian and French fairly easily but unable to express myself freely. The only languages I get a chance to express myself in are Spanish and Urdu. I also read my reading passages out loud into a recorder and can listen to them later. In a couple of weeks I will have about 4 days to organize my glossary and that may give me a boost.

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