A brief update (possibly the last one)
It's been a long while since I last updated this blog, several years in fact. A lot has happened since then. After nearly four years in Kyrgyzstan, my academic commitments took me elsewhere. Sadly, I never really mastered Kyrgyz. I like to blame it on a hectic schedule, but a more truthful explanation would probably involve statements such as "not making the effort to study at regular intervals" and "dwindling motivation". The moral of the story?
- When learning a language, make a habit of studying at regular intervals. Experienced language learners, such as Kato Lomb (more on her in previous posts), recommend spending at least 10 minutes per day in some foreign language-related activity. (See Alkire, 2005)
- Remember your reasons for learning the language. Apparently, fascination with a foreign tongue (in the absence of other motivating factors) was not enough to keep me going. Before tackling a foreign language, ask yourself why you want to learn it -- and then put your reasons in writing. Revise the list periodically.
While these two pieces of advice are certainly nothing new, they are worth reiterating even if it is only to remind myself that in language learning motivation and persistence often work better than innovative methods and fancy textbooks.
I will try to keep this in mind as I work on the other languages I am currently learning. One of these is Turkish, and here my earlier encounters with the Kyrgyz language prove helpful!
While it is unlikely that this blog will see new posts in the foreseeable future, I will keep my previous posts online. Many people have taken the time to write to me describing how this blog has helped them or suggesting improvements. I am very grateful for their comments, and I am sure they will help other learners as well.
Meanwhile, I shall take my leave, wishing all language learners the best of luck -- and a fair dose of persistence. :)