The following is a discussion that started with a PM on another forum, but the software in that forum baulked at something in my answer, but I was able to save it here, and I have the person’s permission to publish the correspondence. Which in a way is just as well as here it will benefit more people. The rest is the correspondence.
Hi, I’ll try and lace my answers in with your questions.
— Previous Private Message — Sent by :****** Sent : 16 December 2010 at 8:42am Hello, Sorry for bothering you with some trivial questions, but given that you have created the Goldlist method and learnt Russian, I thought you would be the best person to ask. I study Russian (and Arabic) at university, and although this forum is very good for methods on how to teach oneself a language, I find there aren’t that many resources for university students.
Fair comment. There seems to be less and less for University students, but only more taxes for them to be paying later on. I don’t know how Clegg looks at his face in the mirror.
My first question would be about the extent of the vocabulary I should ideally acquire at university. Indeed, I’m now on my year abroad (3rd years), and will shortly start using the Goldlist method, however, I’m a bit lost regarding the amount of vocabulary I should learn to reach a good degree level, and to some extent, fluency.
I think that if you have 15,000 words in a language, that is worthy of a degree and will give you a very good base to live and work in most languages. With good technique at exams, you’d get by on less, but I imagine getting by isn’t your thing. Good, it isn’t mine either. What I do is done thoroughly and this method suits that approach.
My second question regards Russian grammar, I would like to know if you had any tips on how to nail the verbs of motion and aspect, possibly using the Goldlist method? I still have troubles with them, and although I have done a large amount of work on them, they still won’t stick to my mind, and it frustrates me.
I suggest you Goldlist the rules as they are stated and also about 50 typical sentences illustrating their use from a good grammar book and distill them slowly.
Thirdly, do you have tips on how to use both short-term and long-term memory simultaneously and efficiently? For example, if I have a vocab test every two weeks, and learn new vocab every week, is there anything I could do to make my vocabulary stick for more than two weeks while still being able to remember it for each test?
Unless you are on continuous assessment, I’d not get too het up about the regular tests. They are only there because the teachers are ignorant of how inappropriate a method that is. Please get them to read the last 100 pages of the free e-book The Polyglot Project by Claude Cartaginese, or get ot off his channel which is http://www.youtube.com/syzygycc . The theory which I maintain, but have not had the apparatus to test academically is that you can no more use the short and long term memories at the same time than you can breathe consciously and unconsciously at the same time. The short-term memory is the box of biological wires that your brain puts things in when you tell it to, but they are not as enduring memories as those made naturally by the subconscience and its sampling function. If you must learn vocab for periodic tests then try and get hold of the vocab lists for tests well in the future, so that you have time to learn them the goldlist way with proper two week gaps and distillation.
And finally, I would like to thank you for having created the Goldlist method and having shared it, it is an extremely generous and kind thing to do, and I have already started to share it with my friends.
I’m really grateful that you do that. Please let them know about my blog huliganov.tv and my youtube.com/usenetposts too. My hits are climbing and it makes me feel great.
You’re very welcome. Let me know how you get on.
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