Posted in English

Successful Self Study

I just sat in on a taster webinar for Lindsay Dow’s Successful Self Study course. It was really interesting and her enthusiasm is definitely infectious. It sounds like a course I could have used a couple of years ago when I was struggling to do anything at all. I’m sort-of in the zone now, but I can definitely see the benefit of it for new starters. If you need a motivating force to get you on the right track you might like to take a look (*points* at the link in the first line).

I’ll jot down my answers to the quiz questions here so I don’t forget.

A big tip to boost my language-learning self-confidence: try not to get hung up on one point. I think in my lessons I often spend time making sceptical noises if I don’t understand something, as if the entire nation of Portugal is playing some elaborate practical joke on me. While I haven’t completely ruled out this theory, I can see how that is probably a bit unnerving for the teacher and creates awkward pauses that don’t help anyone.

Three things I can do to achieve this:

  1. Smile!
  2. Do some offline study before the lesson to get my mental juices flowing.
  3. Jot down distracting questions to research later in a grammar book so that I don’t get off the point during valuable conversation time.

Four tips for working around words I don’t know:

I thought I knew a few tricks already but there are always more, so

  1. Learn the phrase “é uma coisa que…” (“it’s a thing that…”) so you can describe the thing you’re trying to find a word for.
  2. Mime the thing (assuming the person you’re talking to can see you!) and ask what it’s called
  3. Say the opposite (e.g., if I don’t remember the word “barato” say “não é caro” instead)
  4. Read “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” (Hm, I’m not sure about this one)

There were some other hot tips too, both from Lindsay and the other students, but I won’t give you too many spoilers – go and have a look.



Just a data nerd

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