Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mandarin project begins!!

Ok, after French I'm now going for Mandarin.

I think I'll have more success now because I'll manage to do the study from Chinese to Japanese, that's it, I won't abandon Japanese, like I was more or less doing with French.

So for 1 week I watched Taiwanese TV and I'm already getting used to a few sounds. Unlike Japanese, Chinese sounds are really different from Portuguese and I'm finding them quite challenging to get used to.

Well, I grabbed this sentence pack (http://smart.fm/lists/132095) from last.fm and used the anki plugin to withdraw them. I now have a deck with 540 cards with 2 models.

Reading: Chinese sentence -> Japanese translation

Listening: Chinese audio sentence -> Chinese with Japanese translation

Monday, September 14, 2009

Handbook of Bilingualism

This is a book recommendation for those wanting to learn about second language acquisition.
It is not about learning languages it is about how people learn languages.

Check it by yourself and be surprised on how much it tunes in with AJATT and Kaufman's views.

It is really fun how it debunks old research, specially about grammar based learning and the critical period hypothesis.

The first chapter is about learning vocabulary!
One thing that I found really interesting is that it says that each word generally has about 25 meanings and more than that, these meanings evolve with time.

There are 2 chapters that talk about brain function and have pretty pictures of brain imaging comparing Early Second Language learners and late second language learners with poor or great skills. It seems the brain gets less and less active with the improvement in skill in the language.
The book didn't got to this conclusion, but isn't it maybe the vocabulary solidifying?

Btw, the link is here:
http://tinyurl.com/o5tjvb