Study Aspirations for 2014

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According to the 2014 schedule I put up on this website a few months back, I am supposed to be taking a closer look at English right now. The plan was to review a bunch of ESL/EFL materials for non-native speakers, and also to read some of the books about the history/nature of the English language that have been accumulating on my shelves.</p>
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That is probably not going to happen right now, because I am too obsessed with Arabic. I will probably post some ESL/EFL reviews, but that will not be a focus. (My sincere apologies to English learners; English materials are a real priority for me down the road.)</p>
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As for Arabic: I studied it for just two months in the fall of 2009, and I am really enjoying my return to a language from early in this project. And there are now many new materials that are making my studying easier! Arabic is everywhere.</p>
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<img alt="Memrise's Memory Aids Can Get Pretty Graphic" src="/assets/images/uploads/Memrise_Memory_Aid_Arabic.jpg" style="width: 720px; height: 538px;" /></p>
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Memrise's Memory Aids Can Get Pretty Graphic</p>
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I remain completely addicted to the Memrise website--specifically, the Arabic frequency dictionary module that contains <a href="http://www.memrise.com/course/66669/1-2750-arabic-frequency-audio/">2,750 words</a>. I also have a newer addiction to an Arabic&nbsp;<a href="http://www.memrise.com/course/110178/1500-arabic-verbs-msa-by-frequency-... module</a> in there. I am practicing my spelling and reading and pronunciation with these modules, and they really work for me. I personally love drills like this, and I believe in them.</p>
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Memrise users can contribute memory aids like the one shown here. They are sometimes rather racy, and they work.</p>
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Memrise also sucks people in by having videogame-like lists of top scorers. As I write this, for example, I can see that I am the number 5 scorer for the month on the Arabic verbs module. The fact that I know that or paid any attention at all to that list is kind of embarrasing. But it contributes to my addiction. And I'm someone who truly despises videogames!&nbsp;</p>
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Besides indulging Memrise cravings late at night, I recently finished the 30 lessons Pimsleur has available for Modern Standard Arabic and the 30 lessons they offer for the Egyptian dialect. Four years ago I did Pimsleur's 90 Eastern Arabic (or Levantine) lessons.</p>
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It is confusing to pursue multiple versions of Arabic, especially simultaneously, but doing that has given me greater insight into how the dialects differ and how they are the same. Until I explore the actual variations in the nooks and crannies of a language, it is hard to imagine what those variations might be.</p>
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Now I am redoing the 90 Levantine lessons. I like the Levantine dialect.</p>
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In the coming weeks, alongside the Arabic, I intend to keep making my way through the scarily large stash of unread/unused European language products sitting in my office.</p>
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I was planning to study Swahili and Swedish later this year, but I doubt that will happen in 2014. I am inclined to postpone those for now and spend my time testing new materials for previously visited languages.</p>
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However, I do consider an African and a Scandinavian language to be absolute musts not too far in the future! The site feels incomplete without them.</p>

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