Stage 0: Refold Philosophy
A1: Language Acquisition
- Building intuitive knowledge, like in your NL.
- “Studying” a language (i.e. traditional study) is a “skill-building” approach.
- No amount of skill-building will help you become fluent.
A2: Roadmap Overview
- Build a foundation
- Use traditional learning tools for understanding purely (all input, no output).
- Vocab and grammar to aid in comprehension and make meaning.
- Develop comprehension
- Narrow focus.
- Choose content that is most comprehensible to you and only study within that content.
- Develop into being able to understand native level content.
- Learn to speak
- Refine to mastery
Starting is half the battle. The other half is to keep showing up.
B1: Enjoy the Language
Enjoying your immersion content is THE MOST important part of language acquisition.
Do not force yourself to immerse with content you aren’t interested in.
If you’re bored, skip it.
Enjoyment catalyses acquisition.
Refold is PURELY A GUIDE
B2: Tolerate the Ambiguity
Get comfortable leaving your comfort zone.
Skill-building DOES NOT WORK for language acquisition.
Start slow and build endurance for trying to sit through immersion.
C: Core Activities
C1: Active Immersion
Paying full attention to the content you are consuming.
The MOST important activity in language acquisition.
- Finding Content
- Netflix and Streaming Sites
- Other Platforms
- Language Learning with Netflix & YouTube
- Dedicated TL YT Acc
- Dedicated TL device
C2: Passive Listening
You have plenty of time to do this, whilst doing other tasks like cooking and cleaning.
Reach for this instead of other content.
Re-listen to content you have actively immersed with.
Gives brain a second chance to listen to same content.
Listen to the sounds of the target language.
Don’t get discouraged by not understanding.
If you get bored, switch it up.
C3: Active Study
Grammar study shows us how to break down the language.
Memorisation helps in the following three ways:
- Learning a new word creates a new entry in your mental dictionary. It primes you to recognise it during immersion.
- Memorising the meaning of the word fills in the definition in the dictionary.
- Once a word has been seen a lot in immersion, it becomes acquired vocabulary, which is harder to forget.
- Each dictionary entry must be revisited before its deletion, otherwise you have to build it back up in your memory.
Use an SRS to retain information.
- So, use Anki
Stage 1: Lay the Foundation
Foundation is important!
Stage 1A: Setting Up Tools and Habits
A1: Active Immersion
Aim for 30min/day in TL.
Can use subtitles in NL to help increase enjoyment of immersion whilst building habit of consuming TL media. Stop using NL subtitles once habit is built.
Accept ambiguity. It will feel hard/discouraging, but that’s part of learning.
- Limit NL subs
- Rewatch content you know
- Watch simpler shows
- Make it a game
- Search for known words (mental dictionary entries)
A2: Passive Listening
Quantity and repetition. Replace all that you listen to during mindless tasks with listening.
- Whilst travelling, walking, exercising, doing chores, during morning or bedtime routines
- Reduce friction by downloading resources)
Listen for words and sounds. It might sound like gibberish, but that’s part of the process.
A3: Anki Setup
By the end of Stage 1A, you should have Anki set up and you should be immersing with Target Language (TL) content.
Stage 1B: Learning the Building Blocks
B2: Writing System
By the end of Stage 1B, you should be aware of the phonetics of your TL and should have started or completed studying the writing system. For languages with vastly different writing systems than your NL, you should have set up a daily habit of studying the writing system.
Stage 1C: Jumpstarting Your Comprehension
C2: SRS Best Practices
By the end of Stage 1C, you should be studying grammar and vocabulary on a daily basis.
The goal of Stage 1 is to prepare you to learn directly from your immersion.
Before moving on to Stage 2A, you should feel comfortable enough with your TL’s writing system that you can do lookups when reading subtitles.
You should be engaging with your TL every day and feel comfortable watching media that you don’t understand.
You should also be regularly studying vocabulary, though you don’t need to finish learning all 1,500 words before moving on to Stage 2A.