Now I’m back in the UK, it looks like there are a few ceilidhs coming up around Exeter:
I’ve kept my learning regime up for another month.
I’m still working through mostly Pimsleur during my long commuting times; I’ve also completed the Michel Thomas introductory course. I’ve just completed Pimsleur Italian 3, lesson 9, and am pleased by how many responses my brain can make automatically, without me having to think things through – this is what Pimsleur is good for.
In DuoLingo I’ve recently passed the “Intermediate” milestone and practiced all my earlier skills that it flagged as deteriorating from lack of use.
I’ve also downloaded a 2,500 anki flash card deck and have been working through those, adding 15-20 new words a day. I think I’m going to remove a lot of structural words from the deck as it’s not meaningful to learn them in isolation (I might replace them with cards that use the structural words in a context).
Sometime in the next few weeks I want to find the opportunity to have a spoken conversation in Italian – whether in person or in Skype, to start building up some real conversational fluency.
I’ve also bought a couple of new courses – first, the Michel Thomas Vocabulary Builder (I think it’s discontinued, and is a bit of an unknown quantity as it has no reviews at all, for any language, on amazon.com or amazon.co.uk) which promises to dump a thousand words into my brain. We’ll see… The other is ‘Smart Italian’ beginners, a second-level course that aims to build up to listening to full-speed, natural Italian instead of the limited language often heard on courses.
I also plan to get Pimsleur Italian IV, which will probably be the last formal resource I’ll use – then I’ll move from Italian courses during my audio time in the car, to Italian podcasts and music (which I’ll mix in with my Spanish – by the time I’ve reached that stage in another 5 weeks or so, I shouldn’t be too much at risk of interference between mixing the languages.)
I’ve learnt a little Italian before, but have decided it’s time for a concerted effort of at least a couple of months to get the basics down properly.
I’ve got Pimsleur and Michel Thomas courses, and a lot of commuting time in the car.
I started on September 23rd, and have already worked through Pimsleur I (all 30 lessons), 6 hours of Michel Thomas and have passed level 6 on DuoLingo. I’ve just started Pimsleur II, and exchanged a few simple emails with Italians (with plenty of mistakes they were kind enough to correct for me, but I think being able to communicate at all within two weeks of learning (at the time) is good going).
Next week I’ll carry on with Pimsleur II. They recommend one lesson a day, but I’m doing four! (This interferes with the intervalled repetition somewhat, so I’ll need to build in my own reviews).