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Part 1: Preparation

1A Schedule conversations

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Starting next week, the rest of this program will center around having and getting the most out of conversations. There will be lots of skill and confidence challenges within the conversations themselves. You'll want to conserve your energy for those challenges, and not waste time figuring out all the logistical stuff. So this week, you will plan ahead and try to schedule conversations with people. It can be with people in your network, or teachers or exchange partners you find online, or in your neighborhood. If you don't currently know any native speakers in your personal or local network, the best place to find a paid online partner is italki.com (they have free and cheap trial lessons as well). Italki used to also be a good place to find a free exchange partner, but they've since removed that feature from their site. If you have good tips or resources for finding a conversation partner, please share them in the #share channel. If you need help, please ask in the #help channel. Once you've scheduled at least one 15 min conversation anytime between Monday - Sunday of next week, post the details to the #intentions channel.

1B Speaking Flow, Storytelling & Resourcefulness

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The videos below are from a mini-course on how to improvise rap, or "freestyle" in a foreign language. In it, I discuss "Speaking Flow" and the things that get in the way of it. I also talk about the essence of story telling, and how obsession with less essential elements can interfere with speaking flow. Then finally, I talk about the ability to draw upon your full resources in the performance context, and how important that is to the learning process. For now, just take these videos on so you understand the context of what we will be practicing later. After you've watched everything, post your 3 biggest takeaways to the #learn channel.

1CBuilding Personal Story Stax

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When you start having conversations with native speakers, one context that will reliably come up will be talking about yourself. You will likely talk about your relationship, your work, your home, and your reasons and history learning the language. Since you know these topics will come up, you should prepare for them ahead of time by finding out the key vocabulary needed to communicate, and practicing generating sentences with this vocabulary. In this exercise, you will first generate the relevant terms in your story stax. Then you will seek out translations and pronunciations using google translate, forvo and/or wiktionary. Finally you will generate as many relevant sentences as you can with those words, without concerning yourself too much with morphology and syntax. If you are a beginner, do not add too many words at a time. Try to determine the edge of your ability to add in new words, and add accordingly. You can also use color coding on your google sheet cells to indicate how well you have memorized a word (e.g. fill new words you haven't remembered yet in the color red). If you are advanced, and you already know all the vocabulary for your basic personal story, think of a personally relevant context for which you have limited vocabulary, and do the activity for that. When you're done generating and reviewing sentences to the best of your ability, record yourself reading through each of your sentences and send to the #meaning channel.