Sunday, April 6, 2014

Post 21

These past two weeks were filled with Rosetta Stone, but I also reviewed flash cards on Quizlet and have been having conversations with my family in Polish. With Rosetta Stone, I tried out a few more live conversations. My conversations are with a native speaker which is really cool. The speaking coach helps me pronounce words and syllables that I struggle with along with rebuilder sentences that I might say incorrectly. I can now start doing these live conversations after every other lesson. The conversation lessons are designed to use only what I've learned in my lessons so far and I can already tell that they're really going to help me build up my confidence in speaking the language! I spent a lot of time on sentence structure this week. I learned mostly about reinforcing phrases. I learned that some of the most common reinforcing phrases are noun phrases which consist of a noun and an adjective. For example, once you know that "koszt" means "cost" and "utrzymania" means "livelihood", then you know that both of these words are reinforced by the noun phrase "koszty utrzymania", meaning "cost of living." 

There are many other useful reinforcing phrases and ways to use them:

Some phrases consist of a verb and a direct or indirect object:
odebrać telefon - to pick up the phone
przegrać z kimś - to lose against somebody
podpisać kontrakt - to sign a contract
pójść na marne - to go to waste
wziąć zamach - to take a swing

Some phrases consist of an adverb or adjective modifying an adjective:
śmiertelnie znudzony - bored to death

Along with  Rosetta Stone, I am still using one of the apps I downloaded at the beginning of the year and Quizlet. I worked a lot on root words because they come together in word families which helps me to learn more more efficiently. For example, The root "-ciąć" means "to cut."  There are several variations of this word, and most of them have pretty close-knit meanings; that is, the meanings of the derivative words don't seem to wander much from the main root, unlike with other Polish verbs. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Post 20

These past two weeks I've spent a lot of time in the car on the way to volleyball tournaments and practices and such. Therefore, I spent a lot of time on my iPad on Rosetta Stone. I probably worked on learning polish and Rosetta Stone for 20-22 hours throughout the weeks, which I was really excited about. I'm definitely seeing improvements in my speaking and overall fluidity in the language. I'm also remembering vocabulary a lot easier since these live conversations force me to remember all of the vocab I learn in various lessons.

This past week I also decided what my main topic for my presentation at the end of the year will be about. Since my grandma immigrated here from Poland and immediately surrounded herself with other polish immigrants, she never really learned English. Her English skills are poor even and we barely understand each other even though she's been here for 40+ years now. She and my dad communicate soley in polish so she understands him and there is no language barrier. Unfortunately, up until now I've never been able to speak any polish so my grandma and I have never really been able to become close with one another. Most of the time, we just get frustrated with each other because neither of us understand what the other is saying. It's a rough idea, but I'm thinking about having my presentation focus more or less on how language barriers impact relationships and how I overcame (or tried to overcome) it. I'm still working on the details, but I think this is a decent start. I also started to gather other information that will be helpful to use in the actual presentation to prove my point and show what I've learned. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Post 19

This past Tuesday was Packzi Day. I went with my dad to a polish bakery in Hamtramack the day before to get packzis for my family. While there, I put my polish "skills" to use and spoke polish the entire time I was in there. Starting a new language is definitely difficult, and I found myself struggling to say everything I wanted to say because I can say so little in polish in comparison to English. 

This week I was sick at home for most of the week so I probably worked on learning polish and Rosetta Stone for 12+ hours throughout the week, which I was really excited about. During a regular school week I usually only have time to do 8-10 hours so I was really excited about the extra time… and the week isn't over yet! I used this time to get in four live conversations with a native speaker. Slowly but surely, I'm starting to see improvements in my speaking and overall fluidity in the language. I'm also remembering vocabulary a lot easier since these live conversations force me to regurgitate all of the vocab I learn in various lessons. I also did Quizlet and vocab list activities. I made these paper accordion things where I have the English written in one column and then I go through the columns, folding them over as I finish, filling in the polish as I go. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Post 18

This week I did more Rosetta Stone (surprise, surprise). I've worked on the software for about 6 hours this week and plan to do more on the way to and from my volleyball tournament this weekend. I also reviewed flash cards on Quizlet and have been having basic conversations with my dad in Polish. It is now the end of February and I still don't know what to make my final presentation about. I should probably talk to Mr. Provenzano about it… I am still thinking about where I want to go with it and what I want my overall message to be. I've been drafting and outlining ideas in various orders for it, but I'm not really getting anywhere.

Overall, 20 Time has been okay, but it's definitely not my favorite thing that I've had to do for a class this year. I like the idea behind it and I enjoy hearing about what other people have done with it, but I'm not an exactly creative person so I think I ruined it for myself by choosing to learn polish. I'm not particularly interested in it or passionate about it. I do the work for my project just to get it out of the way, not because I have fun while I'm doing it. I only picked polish in the first place because a lot of my other ideas had been shot down and I was on a time crunch and I heard my dad and grandma on the phone speaking in polish and was wondering what they were saying so I figured I might as well make that my project. If I could go back and do things differently, I would pick a completely different project. I would do something that actually interests me and that I would  enjoy putting in the time and doing the work for. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Post 17

Over break, I spent a lot of time in the car. Therefore, I spent a lot of time on my iPad on Rosetta Stone. I probably worked on learning polish and Rosetta Stone for 14-16 hours throughout the week, which I was really excited about. During a regular school week I usually only have time to do 8-10 hours so I was really excited about the extra six hours I got in over break.I used this time to get in four live conversations with a native speaker. Slowly but surely, I'm starting to see improvements in my speaking and overall fluidity in the language. I'm also remembering vocabulary a lot easier since these live conversations force me to regurgitate all of the vocab I learn in various lessons. The speaking coach is still helping me to pronounce the words and syllables that I struggle with. 

Along with  Rosetta Stone, I am still using one of the apps I downloaded at the beginning of the year and Quizlet. Learning the language over break, I worked a lot on root words because they come together in word families which helps me to learn more more efficiently. For example, The root "-ciąć" means "to cut."  There are several variations of this word, and most of them have pretty close-knit meanings; that is, the meanings of the derivative words don't seem to wander much from the main root, unlike with other Polish verbs.  The main distinguishing feature of this group of words that I revisited from one of my Quizlet sets is the irregular present-tense conjugation:

The main word related to this root are: 

ciąć, pociąć - to cut, to cut through, to clip, to chop
hackciąć na kawałki - to cut into piecesciać na plastry - to cut into slices, to slice 
ciać na kostkę - to cut into cubes, to dice

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Post 16

This week I worked a lot on Rosetta Stone. I've worked on the software for about 8 this week so far. I also reviewed flash cards on Quizlet and have been having basic conversations with my dad in Polish. With Rosetta Stone, though, I tried out a live conversation for the first time yesterday, too. My conversations are with a native speaker which is really cool. The speaking coach helps me pronounce words and syllables that I struggle with along with rebuilder sentences that I might say incorrectly. I can now start doing these live conversations after every other lesson. The conversation lessons are designed to use only what I've learned in my lessons so far and I can already tell that they're really going to help me build up my confidence in speaking the language! 

I've also found with Rosetta Stone that I can play games that help me learn. The games surprisingly aren't that bad and I can do them on my phone, my iPad, and my laptop. I've been taking advantage of using it in my iPad in the car on the way to volleyaball and in hotel rooms. It's nice to have some games on my phone, but I don't have access to all of them unless I'm on a computer. I've used my iPad for it the most though because it's the most portable and has more games than my phone. 

I am beginning to worry about my presentation at the end of the year for variations reasons. I don't know if I'll be able to give 1+ minute in Polish and I don't know what I'll say either. I am thinking about where I want to go with it and what I want my overall message to be. I continued drafting and outlining ideas in various orders for that. As far as the presentation itself goes, I'm beginning to get a little worried about my progress because I'm sure exactly how much knowledge and background will be sufficient.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Post 15

This week I started using Rosetta Stone. It's been soooo helpful! Polish has just clicked now. The language is being taught to me in a way that makes more sense than how my dad was teaching me before. Also, I'm learning at a pace that suits me. The quizzes are generated specifically for what I'm learning and the feedback is really helpful. One of the awesome features of Rosetta Stone is the speaking sections. Because of the opportunities Rosetta Stone provides with speaking, my accent is improving along with my skills in the language. My goal for using Rosetta Stone is to use it for 8-10 hours a week.

I spent a lot of time on sentence structure this week. I learned mostly about reinforcing phrases. I learned that some of the most common reinforcing phrases are noun phrases which consist of a noun and an adjective. For example, once you know that "koszt" means "cost" and "utrzymania" means "livelihood", then you know that both of these words are reinforced by the noun phrase "koszty utrzymania", meaning "cost of living." 

There are many other useful reinforcing phrases and ways to use them:

Some phrases consist of a verb and a direct or indirect object:
odebrać telefon - to pick up the phone 
przegrać z kimś - to lose against somebody
podpisać kontrakt - to sign a contract
pójść na marne - to go to waste
wziąć zamach - to take a swing

Some phrases consist of an adverb or adjective modifying an adjective:
śmiertelnie znudzony - bored to death