My next challenge – 50 language exchange sessions 

I have completed Pimsleur Eastern Arabic beginner, intermediate and advanced. I have created a flash card deck of thousands of cards. I have put hours and hours of time into studying arabic but there is just one problem, I’m not practicing speaking Arabic enough! 

What use is it me learning all this vocabulary without actually speaking?  Benny Lewis, my all time language hero says you should speak from day one. Yes, I have been having language exchange sessions, but not very many. It has been on and off and inconsistent. Sometimes I do a session a week with many weeks doing none in between. This is not good enough. This is an honest assessment. 

My end goal is to be reach fluency, I can’t do this without having regular practice. So, as I have completed the pimsleur courses it’s time to set a new challenge to up my game.

From August until the end of 2016 I will have 50 language exchange sessions. That is 5 months and will mean I am practicing all the vocabulary I have learn from Pimsleur and other sources. Of course I will be reviewing my flash card decks to keep learning but the end goal is practice speaking more and more. Of course speaking with natives means listening to natives. This will also be very beneficial. 

So there you have it, my next challenge. It’s time to put the work in.


How to waste time

I’ve been learning Arabic for a while now and alot of that time has been trying different methods and sad to say a waste of time. 

Here’s the biggest ways to waste your time learning a language :

  1. Attend a course – pay lots of money for some one who calls themselves a teacher 
  2. Invest a lot of time in making a huge set of flash cards that contain “high frequency” words in the hope that you will be able to memorise everything. I love flash cards but using a high frequency list is a waste of time. If you try and learn random words they won’t stick in your memory. If you take a set of words which are linked to sentences you will have more success. 
  3. Sit and watch programs in your target language – I think this is useful in small amounts but spending an hour or so just watching a program does nothing for me. Maybe once I’m 100% fluent it will help but for now it’s a waste of time. 
  4. Learn modern standard arabic – I hate MSA. Every single arabic teacher tries to force you learn MSA. Nobody speaks it so why would you want to learn it? You might as well learn Latin if you want to learn English. I have been down this route and it is a complete waste of time. 
  5. Pay for language lessons – I think this is a complete waste of time and money. Why pay someone to read a list of words and grammar to you for an hour when you can get more content from an audio course that you can listen to over and over again.

Pimsleur Eastern Arabic – done

I have been away for a while but I have been very busy with life and my arabic studies. Since my last post I’ve had another child, that’s three now! In ten months I have finished all three pimsleur courses. Here are the stats:

10 months, 90 tracks, 45 hours, 3 courses 

I have also added courses one and two to my flash card decks. 

This is the best set of courses I have ever done. I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to learn the dialect of Bilad I sham (Palestine,Syria,Jordan,Lebanon). Since studying these courses my Arabic has improved greatly, even my relatives in Jordan have noticed how much better my Arabic is now. 

As I am usually very busy I have been able to complete these courses on the journeys to and from work. Each track is only thirty minutes long which breaks things up nicely. 

I highly recommend Pimsleur so check it out!!!