David Talbot

Unplugged language learning

Tue 20 December 2011 / childrendictaphonepodcastrecording

I'm off tomorrow to spend Christmas in Hamburg and Berlin, which will mean a week of not being plugged in to the various digital accoutrements which I've so busily been tethering myself to over the last few weeks.  I thought it worth the while to fire up a post about my approach to continuing to learn without the internet, even whilst living in a country which uses my target language (German).

Podcasts I've got an mp3 player which I'm going to bring along with me - I've stacked it full of podcasts that I've found whilst doing a general trawl of the internet today.  To be honest, I think this is going to be overkill - I'll be immersed for a whole week so it's fairly unlikely that I'll be wanting to retreat to even more German when I have a break.  Who knows - perhaps I'll use it.

Playing uncle I've managed to find myself with seven German nephews and nieces since marrying Tina.  Hanging out with them for a while makes it easier to take a break from trying to convince the grown ups that I can speak their language.  I'm also pretty lucky that the kids are more than willing to point out my shortcomings when I make a mess of their language ;)

Dictaphone A while back, I started trying to record myself telling stories to Tina with the intention of going back over them at some future point and seeing (hopefully!) how far I'd progressed.  I think this could also come in useful in Germany - recording conversations that I'm having whilst I'm over there.  I'm hoping that  at the very least this will allow me to go back over what is useful spoken language - much of my focus at the moment is on understanding written German, I think, to the detriment of my spoken German.   Another good use of the dictaphone could be to use it to take notes of phrases I don't understand on the fly, rather then having to use pen and paper.

So, we'll see.  I'm really looking forward to it.