My Language Learning Routine

My daily routine varies, but here’s how and when I usually try to work language learning into my schedule. In the mornings one of my first tasks is to check email and update on overnight news. While doing this I work through my vocabulary list in Mnemosyne. Currently I’m getting about 140 or so cards each day and I’m try to add new cards at a slow enough pace so that doesn’t grow to over 200. If I’m working at home I usually have the news on, so these days that means CNN en Español. If I’m driving or walking during the day, usually I listen to my mp3 player (NexIA). On there I’ve got a good deal of news programs in Spanish, Spanish language music and some of Family Radio’s Spanish language programs.

See last post: The Way I SHOULD Have Studied Spanish The Last 5 Years

Depending on my mood I’ll listen to either the music or the news/religious programs. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to listen to in depth talk. (Plus the music gives a chance to practice pronunciation.)

I have a couple Spanish language books that I keep in the car with me for those slow times where I have some down time. It’s rare these days, but when I do have a slow spell I’ll try to get a chapter or so in. I’ve been trying (more recently) to make notes of unknown words on a notecard I use as a bookmark. I wasn’t doing this thoroughly through my earlier Spanish learning (and probably should have.) At that time it seemed like there were so many words I didn’t know I thought I’d still be reading the same book today.

Anyway, I carry two dictionaries with me, the first is a Spanish language only dictionary, the other is a translating dictionary “just in case”. I try to make use of the Spanish only dictionary as my first resort when I run into a word I don’t understand.

On Thursdays on my way home I usually stop and pick up La Voz Independiente which is a local Spanish language weekly newspaper. Lately that’s been the majority of my reading (I try to get to that before the books since it’s a weekly news publication.)

In the evenings if there’s time I try to get in one episode of the current telenovela (Spanish soap opera) I’m watching. As I watch, I keep a web browser open to do searches through wordreference on what words I can make out but don’t understand.

With the words I pick up in novelas and print that I haven’t seen before I’ve been adding them into my mnemosyne word deck as they come. I wish I had done this from the start with my Spanish vocabulary words. I think I would have a much greater proficiency now if I had.

Once I’ve made it through my Spanish language materials I’m trying currently to squeeze in an episode a night of French in Action as I’m starting to explore the French language a bit more these days.

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