Friday, 10 December 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010
This is my version/demo of Prof Alexander Arguelles' Shadowing technique. I only started doing this after completing several audio-linguistic courses.
The basics... listen to 1 minute segments in your target language (Spanish) and repeat immediately after the audio. You are literally speaking "over" the audio, so at first it feels almost disorientating. You have to cut up the audio yourself, and you will also need a copy of the book in Spanish and, if possible but not necessary, English.
I do it seated, with headphones. I only have the head-phones on one ear, and the other ear I have open so I can hear myself (important - otherwise you end up thinking you're speaking well when you're not. IE: people who sing with head-phones on).
I slow the audio to about 70% of speed using Windows Media Player. The reason being, the vocab in Harry Potter, at that speed, is just too fast for my level of learning.
To begin with I have the Spanish text infront of me and I literally read and shadow simultaneously. I do this with a specific section until I can "manage" to keep up with the audio easily. After that I translate the Spanish text so that I consciously understand all the words in that segment, then I begin shadowing without the text.
Every so often I record myself, like in this video, to check my pronunciation. Also I occasionally refer back to the text in Spanish in order to make sure I'm not making any consistent mistakes (such as mistaking a Que for a De or something equally simple but important.)
I shadow in 25-40 minute intervals, on average about once a day. I usually do about 3 or 4 different one minute sections. So I'll do one section, on repeat, for about 10 minutes, then another, then another.
Once I'm finally done I chuck any new vocab I've discovered which I like into my Anki deck in a sentance which I'm likely to use. One good recent example is the phrasal verb - "darse cuenta" which means "to give yourself account" literally but really means "to consider" or "to realise".
I've been using this technique for about 3 months. I've noticed a enormous improvement in my pronunciation and speaking, but so far my "everyday" comprehension has not yet gained noticably from this technique. Although on top of this, it has been a great way of "discovering" new vocab.
The "trick" to making this technique work is concentration. You need to focus on the audio, ensure that your pronoucing your words as accurately as possible (there's many "levels" of accuracy which only become clear after continued exposure), and eventually to try to "think" in the target language while also understanding the meaning (this is the bit I'm struggling with).
Usually afterwards the words of the language are buzzing through your head... which is probably a good thing.
Coffee goes well with this technique ;)
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Vid: Moving to another country, making a big change in your life, living in Valencia, and teaching English. Thoughts, tips, ramblings...
Decided to knock together a more serious post with some useful thoughts for anyone considering such a move or just any kind of life change. Thought this should be done after the recent extended spurt of jokey/mess-around posts. ;)
Watch out for some horrible editing about 8 minutes in. Not sure what happened there, but it's only a minor glitch so I'm leaving it ...
The background music isn't that deliberate - I just had it on to give me a bit of rhythm to talk along to.. I probably won't bother with that in future posts ...
Sunday, 10 October 2010
Saturday, 9 October 2010
Check it out... it's a long vid, the end is definately worth a look because it goes nuts.
Friday, 8 October 2010
Monday, 4 October 2010
Well guess what happend - day one? No... within 10 minutes of showing up for work... my boss isn't in... just the receptionists telling me what's on the agenda...
Hello my name is Rich - and I'm an English teacher...
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
And for those completely confused - here's what I just said but in English:
I decided I would do an update in Spanish, so you could hear what my Spanish is like. I don't know if all this makes sense, because I'm making it right now.
I know most of the people who view this will not understand it. But in any case, maybe they will find it entertaining (?).
When I make it up, it's hard as you can see. But if I already know what I'm going to say, it's easy. Like this...
(Recites passage from Harry Potter in Spanish (making a few mistakes, doh))
It's easy when I already know what I'm going to say.
Hello my Spanish friends, and see you later!
Monday, 27 September 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Ignore the part about the tour because Neil did that and that's the blog post just before this.
Anyway now we finally have a place to live, residency, bank accounts, and the internet. - http://migratingtospain.blogspot.com/2010/09/vid-this-morning-in-spain.html
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
This morning above, this afternoon below. Later I may have one from tonight which SHOULD be celebrations a plenty once we've got the house contract sealed and dealed.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
I realise that bohemian and trendy are usually opposing terms - well in Valencia they are not... the less expensive/cheap area is where the "9-5 pop crowd" go... whereas the "bohemian/alternative quarter" is an opposing mix of pretention and underground.
|This over-priced little ditty is actually the compact product of a salt mine....|
In the next apartment we looked at we enquired about the salt content. The owner said he didn't use salt and speculated that it was something the restaurants may do because they think foreigners like a lot of salt...?
Friday, 10 September 2010
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
|Beware ginger crazies in Marseille|
|From the peak of Notre Dame|
PARRRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTY TIMEEEEEEEE YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
Well actually we're a good 15 minute drive out of town, the public transport sucks, the beaches have mixed reviews, the nightlife is questionable, and there's pretty much nothing to do where we are.
So errr... yeah.
This is from the moment we arrived... we're getting to have a bit of a "thing" about checking out the hotel room...
Is there a kettle? Is there free toothpaste? Is the air con any good? Or is it just a plug-in fan which uses up another crucially important plug socket...?
Don't worry... the bed was alright... the slat had just "popped out" and I just "popped it back".
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
He will be visiting us in Spain around the new year so follow his progress for some cross-blogging perversion you filthy slags...
Sunday, 5 September 2010
What is Anthroposophy?
All human beings must face the task of having to set their own guidelines for everything they do or think if they want to avoid being swept along by all the material world has to offer. This is the significance and challenge of our time and it often awakens the need for a conscious relationship with the spiritual world. It was Rudolf Steiner's lifetime achievement to develop a method of gaining insight into the reality of the spiritual world akin to natural science in its integrity.
Anthroposophy (awareness of our humanity) encourages individuals to develop an independent spiritual orientation along with impulses in all cultural fields.
Below rich has a few words to say about the Goetheanum and our experiences there >
Saturday, 4 September 2010
The truth is if you want to budget hard and you want cheap accommodation then you’re going to be sat in a hotel room 10 miles out of town eating cheap supermarket food – if you’re lucky enough to have passed a cheap supermarket.
On the other hand if you want to pay the city centre parking, or get a bus in to town, and see some interesting sites, maybe have a beer etc – well then the costs rack up.
May as well experience these countries while we’re here rather than staring at the wall of a Belgian/French/German hotel.
Chief Nav Officer Neil has done a good job booking some cheap quality hotels over the next few days. We’re going to be hitting some sweet locations in France and Switzerland.
|Movin' through Europe - oh yeah!|
Food and drink tastes better in all these countries. No matter how refined a Brit might think their tastes buds are, forget it. The continental euros have a much higher quality of food and drink.
Friday, 3 September 2010
I don’t have much to say about Ramsgate. It’s like Southport, but with no amusement arcades, fairground rides, and Southerners. Most people around seem to be retirees, dock-workers, and freight. After the 5.5 hour drive I wasn’t really in the mood to seek out whatever good points it might have.
The seagulls are fucking massive.
On the Ferry to Belgium
It must be a 21st century phenomenon, to get on a car-ferry and think – “wow, it looks just like the ones in computer games.”
It’s mainly truckers. There’s only about another 7 car passengers on here – the place is empty. Security was pretty weak, not at all like at an airport. The guys at the check-point had a half-arsed rummage through the bags we had on top – almost as if he was doing it for show more than actually looking for anything.
But then on the other hand – what would anyone be trying to smuggle out of the UK? The crown jewels?
I’ve just finished compiling my driving rock compilation, which is going to kick 10 kinds of shit out of Neil’s. :D
Very pretty, very tasty, very expensive.
|Luxembourg is beautiful.|
No idea because we basically rolled up at 8, booked in, went to bed, got up, had breakfast, and got the hell out of there.
Really really pretty. Green. Hills. Forests. Amazing buildings. Old people. French people. German people. Few Belgians.
Found the youth hostel after an hour or so of driving about - it's in the middle of nowhere, but is huge and very pretty. We seem to be the only people here right now.
Sunday, 29 August 2010
At first it took effort, planning, and work to get moving... and now it's flying at almost top speed, about to bust through the wooden gates into a new country... and when I stop shoveling coal into the Engine for just a moment and look around me I realise that even if I wanted to stop it, I couldn't. It has a life of it's own now.
I had to say bye to someone today who I'm going to miss very much, and more than ever that makes me just want to get the hell out of here now. As if somehow making real physical geographical movement will make it all easier.
I've still got each of my parents to see off too, and then a final meet-up with some of my friends. It's very much like I've got hold of a bottle of champagne in my hands and every time I have to say bye to someone I'm loosening the metal top just a little more.
Until finally - POP! The cork flies out the window, it sprays everywhere.. and you're gone.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Let me stress this is not a holiday, not a trip volunteering abroad, not studying in a foreign country for a year. This is a full, indefinite move to another country.
|Yes, this is "the" car.|
Looking back at the amount of work I've put in this year to make this happen is actually quite insane. I've spent around 300 hours learning Spanish - and that is active audio-linguistic learning, not including watching Spanish films, meeting up with Spanish people for "intercambio" of languages (as they call it), reading Spanish websites, listening to Spanish pod-casts, and changing all my facebook, mobile, PC, etc language settings to Spanish.
I've saved almost 50% of my after-tax wage packet. And it's not because I'm paid a lot. I'm currently wearing a £9.99 shirt from H&M, a £4 pair of clearance suit trousers from a nondescript retailer, and a pair of reconditioned shoes which I bought two years ago. I've been eating, for the last 6 months, mainly large £1 bags of apples, £1 bags of raw spinach, 40-50p tins of pinto bins... you get the idea. Healthy, but cheap.
I've studied a 20 hour TEFL course. Never having taught before in my life, apart from a bit of coaching here and there, I'm going to waltz into Valencia and somehow get myself a decent teaching gig. I'm not joking or even being incredulous, I truly believe it's going to be that easy. If I had a language school and I walked through the door, I'd employ myself right away. That's how I know. I've got the drive, the energy, and I'm a native English speaker, and the first two of those things are rare.
Benefits so far
That's one of the things this whole dream/adventure/whatever has really done for me. Driven me forward. I felt a little as if I didn't really know what I was doing with my life before, but I knew I wanted a challenge, something to get my teeth in to.
This has already provided that and more and the trip hasn't even began yet.
Still to do - service the car, photos will be put up of the little Spain-mobile that's going to get us to Valencia, and test-pack the car to see if our stuff all fits.
By the way, we're planning on a little detour through Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, France again, and Andorra... I guess we thought we'd treat ourselves after busting ass for half a year to make this thing happen.
If YOU want to do it...
At this stage, and I must stress the disclaimer that I haven't YET got any proof this is going to turn out to be as awesome as I think it's going to be, if you are someone who has any hidden desires to do this - do not waste another second. Tap into them... really think about it. Start to push yourself a little.
If you think about it a little it'll start to grow, and the moment to act is when it grips you. When you feel that desire deep down start to tug so heavily that you know you have to do something about it.
Once you've got that, then start planning, acting, and doing. Before you have that, don't do anything, because there is no point in even starting this stuff on a whim. You need 100% drive, and that comes from a laser focused idea of what you really want from life.
More to come soon...