I have been studying Dutch, i guess for three months now (I started doing it “hard” after I cam back from the NL in September).
Which tools do I use?
- Duolingo app.
That was the first app I started using.
- I was surprised it has web-version! I started as mobile. I love web version way better, since it shows grammar rules! Also it has “speak to the microphone” exersise, which i love!
- I have 50 xp a day as a goal
- my aim is to do 50 xp a day no matter what. I normally spend a lot of time ‘strengthening’ a skill. For example, in the picture you see – I will not move towards passive unless I am sure that I have learned all “nature” by heart.
- in case I am busy / tired/ wanna die, I use “streak freeze’ which you can buy in th store)) but I also sometimes strengthen something really easy for me: like colors, or even the first one))) that is kinda cheating, since I know these words way too well by now
- personal observation: it was hard to start a stable streak. But after I had 7 days in a row – it was very sad to ruin such a big achievement! So my friends sometimes can now find me in a party, when I fast to an exersise, shouting “sorry pals, just one more exersise before midnight, and I will be 40 days in a row!!!”
- and i must say, i am, maybe a ‘competitive’ kind of learner. getting lingots, unlocking achievements, arriving first in one week leaderboard – are we also learning dutch, by the way? hahaha
- BONUS: duolingo Dutch learners group on FB, which I love a lot. Many people keep posting repetivive questions, but i really love being a part of community. People share their ways of studying, their pains… and that is awesome.
routine: every day, to save the streak) I can also use “streak freeze” in case the day is super hard, but normally I won’t. Revision takes from 10 to 50 minutes, depending on whether the words are new and hard or not. on saturday/sunday I normally use web version and make every tab “gold”)))
2. Memrise app.
The problem was Duo was that it needs internet connection. I do not think that it ‘eats” a lot of 3G, but i use metro on my way to work and mobile internet does not work there.
Hence, memrise it is:
- a couse to learn a lot of Dutch words . I must say, this “1001 useful Dutch words’ is great for learning basic vocabulary, and I did advance a lot… Until I stopped this one because….
- because words in DuoLingo app become horrible with time. and since you want to advance further, but not be stuck on some “nature” forever, I gave up on learning extra words, and was ,making notes/cards of Duo words… until i found these gem courses on Memrise: Duo words part 1 and Duo words part 2. !! yay! Never used part 1, since I managed to learn myself))))
routine: approx. 45 minutes on work days (since I go 20 minutes to work, and 20 minuutes from work)).
3. Learn Dutch
I found this gem long long ago, but never got to use. I now listen to it once a week. I love how grammar is explained in an easy manner. Cultural videos are also awesome!
Website opens one grammar video lesson once a week, unless you go Pro – and I think I will buy the access to all the exersises soon.
routine: once a week, normally Sunday, 30 minutes.
4. Dutch courses
Boring may I sound. I actually did enroll to Dutch A1 course 2 weeks ago. reasons?
- grammar is hard to understand
- speaking and understing spoken speech.
Maybe I am being hard on myself (well, have been learning Dutch for only 3 months….) but my goal is to start speaking faster. Hence, I enrolled in a class. I cannot say that class helps me to “OH MY GOD NOW I UNDERSTAND IT ALL”, but critique helps me. Also, here come routine grammar tasks or random culture facts. I LOVE IT! Maybe it is just me, since I like company (see my Duo confessions above)))
Class also helped me to realise that MY PRONUNCIATON SUCKS. That is maybe the problem with self-learning. Or maybe I am hard on myself. But my speaking will be a separate blog post topic, I think 🙂
routine: i go to classes 2 times a week, Wednesday and Friday, for 2 hours.
That are sources which I PLAN to use, or do not use in a routine manner, yet))
- Watching this TV show. Someone in Duolingo group (see above) shared this show, and I think it may help me to improve my listening.
- Reading this book. That is a super basic book. But my Dutch is also super basic, yet 😉
- Other apps: learndutch flashcards app, Babbel
My short-term goals are:
- finishing Duo
- Finishing 1001 most used words in Dutch words course on memrise
- starting to listen more Dutch… maybe finally watch a TV show…..
- finding a good Dutch history book (in English)
I think that establising study routines is a key…. what are your tips, suggestions? or maybe additional fun routines? 😀