June 2019 Language Learning Report

A Look Back

It is now officially halfway through the year. Including when I was doing quarterly logs, I have been doing these little language learning reports now for 18 months. I realize that most of you don’t read them and that is quite okay. These are more for me than they are for you. These monthly logs require me to keep track of things daily. The daily tracking keeps me from getting lazy and forgetting. By just committing to posting this stuff, I have created a habit that has done me a ton of good. If you have something that you want to keep improving on, then I recommend the practice.

Here are the posts so far. I haven’t kept with the plan the whole time but I am always making progress.


Here are the basic stats. I logged a total of 3701 minutes of study this month, which works out to 123 minutes a day. This is a new record for me. I did the beast’s number of minutes in pure listening (accidentally), mostly on the commute. The rest was primarily reading, though I have my regular time my Latin guy and did several sessions with Seumas this month. 29% of my hours were related to Latin, 71% related to Greek.


Greek readings included all of Joel (LXX), Matthew, Mark, John, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, 1-2 Thessalonians, Titus, and 1-3 John. I also read other bits of the GNT, parts of Xenophon and Athanasius, and a tiny bit of Gregory of Nazianzus. The read through the New Testament in the summer plan that I am following is driving a lot of GNT time and has been taking away from the Xenophon time that I had planned on doing. The Gregory reading was unplanned but I want to do more.


A little less than half of my Latin time this month was in listening. Other than one or two episodes of Quomodo Dicitur? and a few listens to parts of Fabulae Faciles, all listening was from Familia Romana. And speaking of LLPSI, I did a good bit of reading in Familia Romana and am now back up to capitulum XXIII, so I'm almost where I left off a few months ago. I have also been doing some readings in the Loci Antiqui in the back of Wheelock. Though I don't enjoy the main material in Wheelock nearly as much as LGPSI, nor think it is as useful from an acquisition perspective, the readings at the end are good fun. Perhaps this month I will ask my tutor to help with a few things in Syrae Fabulae that I found difficult a few months ago to help align my Latin tutoring and my LLPSI work.


I still plan on doing a larger post on listening, but a short note for now.

In general for listening, I found that I can only do about thirty minutes a day. I take my new dog Neb for walks almost every day. On most of those my kids go with me, but on a couple I did some Latin listening. Unforunately, having already spent 30 minutes earlier on each day, I just could not get my brain into it.

I wonder if it is because of the nature of the listening. One thing that Bill VanPatten said numerous times is that language activities ought to be focused on the content and not the learning itself. In other words, do your best to make the language learning a part of the activity (obviously) but make the primary goal communication. This is opposite from almost all of my listening. When I am listening to Familia Romana recordings, I have already read them so there is no expectation of something new. This is obviously true of repeated listening sessions. This isn’t to discount the listening entirely. The repeated exposure certainly helps me pick up vocabulary and idiom. But I do think this points to it not being as optimal as it could be. I am still thinking about how to improve here.

I had a few conversational Greek sessions centered around Colossians with Seumas this month. This has been a ton of fun, but they are tiring for the brain. We probably speak Greek 95+% of the time, and I just can’t zone out for even a few seconds to rest the brain or I will miss too much. On average I think he talks more than I do, but I am guessing I come in at around 30-40% of the chatting (though he can speak faster, has a larger range of vocabulary, and more fluency in general), and I can’t do that unless I am highly engaged. That is quite a bit different than listening to a recording, where it is easy to zone out for a bit. This is also different from a group chat where you aren’t required to carry half the conversation.

That is it for now. I will see you next month with a July update.

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