Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blogging your way to the back of the class

Over on Tower Of Confusion, Edwin points out that blogging time can creep into you learning time, effectively slowing down the learning process. I have to admit that I can see this happening with me, so as soon as I read his blog entry, I immediately began about it.


But the urge to communicate is amongst the reasons that many folks have reported as being the reason they are learning Mandarin, over on the Chinesepod blog. So it stands to reason that language learners should also be bloggers. There are a number of other reasons that I can offer as to why we should blog about our attempts to learn. Some of these even make sense.
  1. Fear. The Roman military leaders used to toss their standards into the ranks of the enemy amassed in front of them, by way of, emmm, encouraging the common soldiery to fight harder in order to retrieve it. (Apparently going back home to Rome without your standard was not considered good form). Similarly, if you continue to tell the world that you're learning a language, it's a hell of a lot harder to give it up, than if you were studying under your duvet with a torch.
  2. Feedback. If you talk Chinese to yourself in an empty and solitary location (like the shower, the car, or the space between Dubya's ears) then there is no opportunity for correction, or indeed fear of contradiction. That's a good thing of course, and you can replicate this by deleting all negative comments from your blog. Try doing that in the normal course of conversation.
  3. Ferrets. This is one of the reasons that doesn't make any sense at all, but has the duel virtue of starting with 'F' and being a third point (you always need a third point). See this interesting Wikipedia article about Feeding The Sick Ferret (which to be frank I always thought was slang for something completely different). It will at least take you away from this page.

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