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|Stumbling with words| Recommendation N.08

Last month was hectic. I pushed myself by attending 3 course, some side projects on top of my already packed schedule. To my surprise, I was not burn out. All thanks to my new routine!

I and some close friends established our 5 am club. We determined to wake up at 5 am everyday so we can have extra time to read and exercise.Anyone fail doing so will contribute 50,000 VND to our mutual fund. At 5 am, I do a Yoga session and then do some readings. After doing this for a month, I feel alive and enlightened. You should try this out. Overall, last month was productive yet I haven't got time to post anything in this site. Here are some readings, podcasts, and movies I learnt/got inspired from the 3 courses.


First course is Economics of Education. In the course, Nghiem Huynh introduced the use of R. Here are some helpful sources for anyone interested in R.

- R for Data Science : To analyze data using R

Another course you can consider twerking your brain :P


The second course is Film Critics. In the effort of widening my knowledge domain, I struggle to comprehend the course's readings. However, if you stretch your brain muscle constantly, things can improve. One movie I watched for the class and really want to share is Farewell my concubine. A beautiful movie given the background of Chinese Culture Revolution.


The third course is German. It is the hardest since I haven't learn anything new language for awhile (after few failed attempts learning French). I found this podcast quite helpful. Basically, to learn new language, we should read, incorporate with learning techniques (active recall), live in the country, and take your time.

And these lessons also from another episode of Education Bookcast:

  1. Mature adults can learn a foreign language well enough through intensive language study to do things in the language (almost) as well as native speakers.

  2. "Language-learning aptitude" varies among individuals and affects their classroom learning success (but at least some aspects of aptitude can be learned).

  3. There is no "one right way" to teach (or learn) languages, nor is there a single "right" syllabus.

  4. Time on task and the intensity of the learning experience appear crucial.

  5. Learners' existing knowledge about *language* affects their learning.

  6. A learner's prior experience with learning (languages or other skills) also affects classroom learning.

  7. The importance of "automaticity" in building learner skill and confidence in speaking and reading a language is more important than has been recognised by the second language acquisition field since the 1980s.

  8. Learners may not learn a linguistic form until they are "ready", but FSI's experience indicates that teachers and a well-designed course can help learners become ready earlier.

  9. A supportive, collaborative, responsive learning environment, with a rich variety of authentic and teacher-made resources, is very important in fostering effective learning.

  10. Conversation, which on the surface appears to be one of the most basic forms of communication, is actually one of the hardest to master.

  11. If a learner has passed a certain threshold of proficiency in a language, then attrition of their knowledge over time is very low. However, below that threshold, learners tend to forget their language relatively quickly with time.

Other honorable mentions are Have a Sip #40 and 021 station and Freakonomic's How to optimize your apology. They remind me to do good things in life, we all need discipline.

And here is the music for the month!

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