Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs

Depressingly awful German class tonight, I started off tired from both a lack of sleep and work stress, and was immediately faced with having to go through a staged conversation that I had meant to have prepared as homework, but failed to do so. This time my partner was the teacher. I got into the state I'm trying to learn to avoid of having all vocabulary escape me and not being able to think my way around the problem to find an alternative that I do know the words for. A combination of that throwing me badly and just being generally braindead meant I could barely string together two coherent words of German all class.

I still haven't worked out how to speak foreign languages. I seem to understand the teacher's spoken German at about a middling level for the class. I manage the written exercises OK, again being better at understanding than writing, but when it comes to constructing spoken sentences I often get completely lost. Not just slightly lost, but simply sitting there tongue-tied unable to either find any words that express the concepts I'm trying to or construct anything else appropriate to say. Often I'll end up forgetting basic words, the conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs, without which I can't think of any sensible way to express myself regardless of what nouns, verbs or adjectives I use.

The teacher suggested I try practicing German more frequently, which might be worth a go. Not sure what to do, maybe try to read and understand one news article a day, or maybe find a novel and work through it slowly. I'm sure the vocabulary and general grammar would slowly filter through more given repeated use. vyvyan suggested intensive residential courses, which look like they'd be extremely useful but after days like today, the idea scares me.
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