Reverse engineering languages

Recently I read an interesting book by Barbara Sher called Refuse to Choose!, which suggests ways in which people with many interests, who the author calls scanners, can find time to persue all those interests. I thought some of the suggestions might be relevant to people interested like learning many languages, like me.

One idea is thinking about what you want to achieve, then working backwards thinking about all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. If you did this for language, you might start picturing the level of competence you want to reach in a language, then work out all the steps needed to reach that level, working backwards.

Have you tried anything like this?

This entry was posted in Language, Language learning.

2 Responses to Reverse engineering languages

  1. Adrienne says:

    What did you think of the book? As someone who has way too many projects of various kinds (tho mostly fiber crafts- knitting, quilting, embroidery, etc.) going on at any one time, I’m curious what the author would think I should do.

  2. Simon says:

    I found the book quite interesting with lots of useful, practical advice.

    The author suggests that you keep a journal of ideas, projects you’d like to work on, and anything else that occurs to you that you can capture before it slips from your mind. She calls this a ‘scanner’s day book’.

    She also suggests keeping all the things you need for each of your hobbies / projects in a way that enables you to pick them up and do a bit more on them whenever you have time and the inclination. In your case she might suggest keeping your knitting things all together in one place, your quilting things in another, and so on. Any tools you use for more than one of these activities could be kept in a central, easily-accessible place.

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