Learning a Second Language...

<p>I'm pretty certain there is not consistent enough data to prove any correlation between math and language. If some one is good at math and language, it may be because they're gifted, or maybe they're just smart in general.
Personally I have a great affinity for language. I'm proficient in Spanish and I've been studying Japanese pretty intensely for a over a year (JLPT 4 proficiency). Calc BC also comes pretty easy but I honestly can't see much correlation between both of those types of intelligence.
Btw school uses terribly superannuated methods of teaching languages. The fact that people can actually spend 5 years studying a language in school and come out barely even being able to speak it is proof. PIMSLEUR anyone?? I learn on average 1 or less things a week in spanish class, it's a waste of my time. Language is learned through listening and repeating not worksheets. If anyone wants to discuss language make a post or a pm me.</p>

<p>My Spanish teacher this year doesn't like the way we teach Spanish. Actually, both of my teachers learned from being in Spanish speaking countries-one in Spain and one in Mexico. My family speaks Spanish, but my mom and dad mostly speak English around the house. I want them to start speaking more Spanish so that I can hear how someone would really speak it, as opposed to the examples in the text book. </p>

<p>One difference between Math and language is that Math is much more rigid. I can't learn from going out in the world. It's very much limited to what you learn in the classroom when it comes to the higher levels of Math.</p>

<p>Pimsleur is alright, but it's not the best thing out there. Good start at languages though.</p>

<p>Learning Spanish Like Crazy is definitely one of the best programs out there (for Spanish of course). Structured like Pimsleur, but teaches much more grammar and vocab.</p>

<p>There's people who swear by Pimsleur and some who don't like it. Its very effective but, like you mentioned, only if some one is at the beginning stage. I can imagine some one being disgruntled if they shelled out the cost to buy all three levels. Personally I use file sharing; knowledge should be public domain.
German in a year is impressive. Mind talking a bit about your learning process?</p>

<p>@Miss Silvestris-</p>

<p>Yeah I actually read that blog a few days ago. That guy is intense. I tried using those SRS programs, but I don't think they really work for my learning style. I finished learning the kana recently, and I am trying the rosetta stone Japanese program. I'm not sure if it's working exactly, and I'm not sure if this is the best way to approach it. I don't think I will be able to take an actual class until I enter college (although I hear self study is best), and I really don't have anyone to speak it with that I know. I tried e-mailing the housing office at FSU, but they said that they can't put me with a person who speaks the language on request. The said the only way to do it is to find someone myself and request them as a roommate (of which I know no one). I ordered the "Japanese for Busy People I" book, and I have heard that it is a good place to start. I plan on doing a study abroad during the summer '09 in Japan as well.</p>

<p>Hey Pistolen08,</p>

<p>I've basically been around every Japanese self study resource available. Right now I'm actually working through Japanese for busy people III; it's a pretty good series for self study.
As for rosetta stone, it's better if you already have a good foundation in the language. If your a complete beginner, the material might not stick.
The best thing I ever did was start out with Pimsleur I-III. It gives you an excellent foundation for actually speaking the language, and the material always sticks, PERMANENTLY. If you want to learn grammar get the handbook of japanese verbs an the handbook of japanese adverbs and adjectives from like thejapanshop.com Those two books are golden self-study resources. Heres some links:
Tae</a> Kim's Japanese guide to Japanese grammar
excellent grammar guide</p>

<p>Jim</a> Breen's WWWJDIC
jim breens online dictionary</p>

<p>For the kanji I'm doing a mnemonic grapheme/radical based method (like Heisg) to tackle all the joyou kanji (about 2000)
I passed the Japanese language proficiency test lvl 4 last year. You should google it.
Over the summer I'm attending the Suny New Paltz 2 week immersion program in japanese. Depending on my progress, I might take the AP Japanese at the end of senior year (i'm a junior now).</p>

<p>Dispatche- Not at all! Anything specific you want to know? I went abroad for a year with AFS to Austria. I didn't know a single word of German when I got off the plane. Nada. Zilch. I was palced with a host family and then stuck into a regular Austria school. So the first three months was just kind of "<em>GermanGermanGermanquestion?</em>" "<em>nods</em>... JA!" but I picked it up slowly afterwards. </p>

<p>The way that I learned it was just by exposure. There were tons of people who already knew intermediate German when they came here and some who knew none at all. The people who already knew it didn't do much to improve and the people who knew nothing went to canned, technical classes offered by language schools around Graz. Neither made as much progress as I did because language classes are absolute **** everywhere. </p>

<p>I spent a lot of my allowance on books (seriously, the bookstore clerks knew me by name at the end of my stay) and things like that. I started out reading simple children's books (think Doctor Suess and readers) and got my host mother to sit with me for a bit every evening while I read aloud from them, to correct my pronunciation and accent. Eventually I moved up to slightly longer books (equivalent of Boxcar Kids, Babysitters Club? Short paperbacks) and picked up words along the way. </p>

<p>I also watched a lot of German TV and movies and talked to a lot of people here, so that improved my accent once again. By the end of it, I was fooling native Austrians, some of whom thought I was Austrian but most thought I was a German-speaking Polish person (!? Don't ask, I have no idea but it's certainly better than the grinding American accent my classmates had).</p>

<p>I think reading was the key for me. It helped to pick up grammar as I went and loads of vocab (though the indistinguishable noun genders tripped me up for a while), while the other people who didn't read much (or anything at all) were far behind. So my advice: read. Read lots! There's a reason we were shoved into libraries in elementary schoola nd that's because it builds langauge rapidly and eloquently. Don't just do the textbook thing a lot of people do, because too much grammar without enough vocab is like a verbal diarrhea (if I may use the disgusting methaphor): too much grammar and no substance to hold it together.</p>

<p>So that's about it. I'm doing Russian now and I should be at an advanced level by.... December? It's very similar to Polish, which I already know, so I'm cheating a bit but yeah, exchanges rock for langauage learnign as long as you use them correctly :)</p>

<p>Pistolen08- Yeah I know, he is a bit intense. I myself don't like the SRS very much but some people swear by it. I think the core of his method (maximum exposure and input) is something that everyone can use though. Good luck with your Japanese by the way!</p>

<p>The key is to learn by sentences (which I think the guy in the blog says as well). Babies didn't sit there memorizing conjugation charts; they just listened, memorized and soaked up everything that was said to them, and spit it back out. </p>

<p>Sure, you can memorize charts when you're dealing with basics, but in things like subjunctive (I'm speaking generally; no specific language) it really comes down to just pure memorization of situations on when to use it. That can be very tedious, but simply reading and breaking apart sentences can teach you. </p>

<p>I always have little 'epiphanies' when I'm writing or speaking in another language. Sometimes I'll pause to think for a second about what word or form of a word to use and I'll suddenly remember hearing how it was used in a song or reading it in a book.</p>

<p>Hmm... just a new input for discussion:
There is a huge difference between high-school maths and university courses. (I've been taking them since I'm 16..)</p>

<p>High-school maths - it's well, like learning basic languages- just applying rules. University maths has nothing to do with it- it's difficult to explain, but it's about understanding the things behind those rules.
You don't add numbers, but you learn what the 'plus' really is and how that concept can be applied to nearly anything, including '-', you think about how to express symmetries - which teaches you why a^x*a^y=a^(x+y) works - you are told to prove 1+1=2 wrong and grasp, that this is quite easy as long as you set your own conditions... You stop working with numbers and start working with objects and n-dimensional space, and suddenly you know why trigonometry works and pi - and 3-dimensionality seems so easy - and then you get back to the basic problems and apply it and are disgusted that high-school maths is called mathematics and not calculating...
I'm not sure if I explained it well enough, (because it would be hard enough in German), because you know.. in my opinion it is a language.. and the most beautiful words of a language are those, which cannot be translated...</p>

in my opinion it is a language.. and the most beautiful words of a language are those, which cannot be translated...


I agree completely but the problem with how math is taught in high school is that most people don't stick around long enough to see the beauty in math. They just see "Rules, blaaah! Screw this" and quit. I haven't learned real math yet but I'm looking forward to finally seeing the big picture in university (versus the minutae of highschool math)</p>

<p>I know some people who do see the beauty in Math. I'm not one of them, and I find more beauty in learning Spanish, but I can see how Math can, to someone who enjoys it, be beautiful. In the same way I can see how some would think of Spanish as just rules and an "ugly" subject. Actually, the people in my class have to choose about now whether to go on with Spanish or not. It'll be interesting to see who sticks with Math and/or Spanish for all four years.</p>


<p>Thank you for your advice. I have the Pimsleur Japanese I-III now, and I will begin the program right away (thanks waffles!). How much time would you say that you put in (on average) per day of study? The rosetta stone program is okay, but I keep getting the languages mixed up since I used it to learn basic Swedish (they use the same content). Maybe I will have better success with the Pimsleur approach. Should I continue using the Japanese for Busy People book, or just focus on the Pimsleur material? I plan on taking a formal Japanese class next year at school as well, but I want a head start so that I will be prepared to do a study abroad after my freshmen year. Thank you!</p>

<p>if you do exactly one pimsleur lesson every single day you will have a good foundation by the time you finish level three. Pimsleur I-III and japanese for busy ppl I essentially cover the same material. I finished pimsleur 3 and went right to JFBP II. Using the JFBP 1 won't hurt, using a textbook on your own depends on your dedication. I like some of the grammar exercises in JFBP. Right now I put in about 2 hours a week. Over the summer I plan on studying intensely. I go through phases of intensity.</p>

<p>I'm learning three (3rd year Spanish, 1st year Korean and English of course) as a junior and it's important to home in on Math because both use that special part of the cranium devoted to memory and logic. Putting it all into practice helps too.</p>