Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What's your Spanish Level?

What's Your Spanish Level?


[editing note: this is a published rough draft. Needs fewer words. Needs pictures. Needs better structure and a word level check. Could use a reference to methods to improve your level, with focus on grammar, production, integrating the skills etc. Calls to action are fun - ask people to take the test and post current and goal in there. Maybe a note about critical hypothesis contrasted with what time kids in immersion put in vs what people normally put in, or make that another article.]

Did you know there is an international system for judging foreign language proficiency? There is! "CEFR" is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Knowing your CEFR level can be useful when speaking with potential employers, or tracking your own progress.

Best Way to Improve Your Vocabulary While Reading

What is the Best Way to Improve your Vocabulary While Reading Books?

[editing note: this is a published rough draft. Needs fewer words. Needs pictures. Needs better structure and a word level check. Could use a companion article on the web browser plugin I use to do the same thing for web articles. Needs a companion article on good ways to put your words to use - chat groups, web forums, exchange sites. Could use a note that reading is useful for many things besides vocabulary - if you read local things you can have opinions and experiences related to them, and talk about them. Calls to action are fun too, ask people to post a goal and longest streak in there.]

Many language-learning methods recommend reading books to improve your language skills and vocabulary, but HOW exactly do you make that happen efficiently, in a fun way?

I have written before that I think the best way to improve your vocabulary in general is flashcards, but I will be the first to admit that creating flashcards is tedious. I believe most people that commit to creating flashcards while reading will either stop creating the flash cards while they read, or just stop reading entirely.

There must be a better way, right? One that's fun, and also efficient? There is, and while it may require a little upfront investment I feel like this power-user trick is well worth the effort.

Best Way to Improve your Spanish Vocabulary

What is the best way to improve your Spanish Vocabulary?

[editing note: this is a published rough draft. Needs fewer words. Needs pictures. Needs better structure and a word level check. Could use a note about slang and regionality as well, possibly punctuated with a local note about Diccionario Morlaca with associated shared deck. Could use a companion article on how to make flashcards quickly using add-ons like auto-translating and web image clipper, and maybe audio as well. Calls to action are fun, maybe post before/after myself then ask people to post theirs and goals. Maybe their current in native language as well. ]

The average 4-year-old knows 5,000 words in their native language. By 8 they know 10,000 words. Most adults have a vocabulary between 20,000-35,000 words in their native language. Amazing, huh? You can test your Spanish (or other language) vocabulary size to see where you are.

As an example, when I first took this test my vocabulary size was approximately 3,000 words, which explains why only understood half of what the average 5 year old said :-).

So what to do about this? How can I increase my vocabulary so I can hold a conversation with the average adult?