** All posts for my Spanish learning will be in the Spanish From Nothing section of my blog. You can access it from the main menu bar at the top of the page. **
Spanish From Nothing
Welcome to Spanish From Nothing at languagefromnothing.com! My name is Justin Ryan and I am excited to announce that the enitre point of my blog has finally arrived! Woohoo!
I will be learning another language – in this case Spanish – starting from nothing. Hence Spanish From Nothing. Yay!
What is Language From Nothing?
It is an experiment to test out a specific strategy designed to simplify the language learning process. Language learning can be confusing, time consuming, energy draining, and overwhelming. But I don’t believe it has to be – if you approach it in the right way.
And in an attempt to do this, I will be testing this strategy to see how well it works.
So, what’s the strategy? Before I get to that let’s look at what makes up language learning overall.
What makes up language learning?
First, what do you really need in order to learn another language? When you boil it down, there are only 3 things your mind needs to do:
Recognize what it looks like and sounds like in the new language, understand what it means, and familiarize yourself with it by spending time getting used to it. Those are the only things that need to happen in order to learn another language.
Second, when you decide to take up another language, three things will occupy your time:
- Prep Work
Research is when you find, recognize, and understand the phrases you want to learn. Prep work is anything you have to physically prepare in order to create good practice for yourself – things like flashcards, notes, workbook exercises, audio and video exercises – anything that you have to physically put together. And Practice is when you actively use the language in a way that allows you to become familiar with it.
Your mind needs to: Recognize, Understand, and Familiarize
Your time will be spent in: Research, Prep Work, and Practice.
And so what you want to do as a language learner is find a way to become familiar with the new language by doing these things in the most efficient way possible.
And the strategy I’m testing is designed to do just that.
So what is the strategy already?
Interactions. Specifically the interaction pattern.
An interaction pattern is when you take the vocab and phrases you are learning and create a give-and-take interaction with them entirely in the new language.
For more information on how this strategy works, take a look at my interaction pattern video series on the main blog. I go into detail about what they are and how you can create your own language practice using them.
But here, I will be documenting my Spanish learning testing out this strategy.
Why am I documenting my language learning instead of just doing it?
It’s because I want to share the details of the whole process with you – step-by-step, in real time. I don’t want to just talk ABOUT learning a new language, I want to SHOW it to you.
For myself, I love watching the behind the scenes details of things like movie making or video game creation. If you’ve ever been to Silver Dollar City, you know you can stand right next to tradesmen working their craft. I went there for the first time this past summer and I got to watch a blacksmith forging hot iron into useful tools and a glass blower spinning these awesome vases. I stood right next to them while they worked and explained everything they were doing. It was so fascinating to experience their craft right along with them.
So just like that, when it comes to language learning, I have a real desire to see it in action. To all of us who only speak one language, there’s a bit of a mystery as to what kind of magic happens behind the curtains to enable people to be bilingual or multilingual.
How exactly DO people go about learning a foreign language? Lots of people talk generally about studying, taking notes, and making flashcards. But how exactly do they go about it?
So that’s the kind of behind the scenes stuff I want to provide for you!
I’ll try to take some of the mystery out of how to go about learning a new language – by experimenting with it myself, starting from nothing and sharing everything I learn with you as I go.
Here’s what’s going to happen. I will be learning Spanish from the ground up and bring you right along with me. I will be recording 20 Spanish sessions to share with you, so you can see the behind the scenes details of just about everything I do. Every session will begin with recall, when I will do a quick run-through of the phrases from last time. Then the rest of the time I will be following the 6 steps to interaction pattern creation, creating interactions with new phrases.
Watch you study?!
But .. I know what you are thinking – WHAT!? Seriously? Watch you study? BORING!
BUT don’t worry my fellow learner of additional languages, I will be fast-forwarding through the unspoken tedious parts, both in order to save time and for the fact that I know you don’t want to watch me just read through a book.
Also, on top of the sessions I will also share weekly recap videos sharing things I learned that week, answering common questions, and also providing visual run-throughs of the week’s phrases and interactions.
Also also – At the end of the 20 sessions I will do an end review of how well the strategy is working overall.
I don’t promise it will be the most exciting language learning you’ve ever seen. It certainly won’t be perfect, but that’s sort of the whole point. Since I’m starting from nothing I’ll be experimenting, learning, and changing as I go. But I at least want to provide a good behind the scenes look at what goes into learning another language.
And even if you are not learning Spanish, you can still use the same tips and techniques of the interaction strategy I’m using, and apply them to any language you choose.
Experience the Craft
So, if you want to experience the craft of language learning with me, please feel free to follow along!
I would also love to learn new tips and tricks from you and your experience to help improve upon my own. Let’s collaborate together!
Anyway, we’ve spoken enough English. It’s time to learn another language!