September 10, 2013 | Review Period

A Portuguese Grammar Book with Many Exercises

I am enjoying a practice book from Adams Media in Massachusetts.

While redoing nearly all my Pimsleur Portuguese audio lessons, I have also been working away at an Adams Media book called The Everything Brazilian Portuguese Practice Book by Fernanda Ferreira, a professor at Bridgewater State University. For…

September 11, 2013 | Review Period

Not a Fan of Supposedly Practical Language Guides

An emphasis on travel and tourism language is dull and doesn't usually yield great results anyway.

I have returned to a book I got only at the very end of last year’s Portuguese unit and therefore didn’t experience much of before now: Sue Tyson-Ward’s Practice Makes Perfect: Beginning Portuguese with Two Audio…

September 12, 2013 | Review Period

Thoughts on a Controversial Learning Technique: The Art of Copying

When I am studying a language, I constantly copy over words, phrases, sentences.

Last weekend, I went to my first ever grade school reunion at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica, California. It was a blast. My Fifth-Grade Elementary School Class, 1976, with Me on Upper Left Being there got me thinking again about the…

September 15, 2013 | Review Period

I Love Learning Fruits and Vegetables in Foreign Languages

In which I study carrots and lettuce and apples.

I don’t care for the term “foodie”; my eating life is very simple. Maybe that’s why I don’t like when language books try to teach me fancy food names—but I do 

September 18, 2013 | Review Period

Living Language!

I try out a new language-learning product and, to my surprise, like it.

Four years and two and a half months into this project, I had still never tried the Living Language products. This was true even though I had repeatedly encountered their ads on the subway and I think also seen them…

September 21, 2013 | Review Period

Language-Learning Frenzy!

I am in heaven.

Every night lately I’ve been dreaming about foreign language. Two nights ago I dreamt that I was in line to pick up my dog from a dogsitter kind of business. I don’t have a dog, but my sleeping…

September 22, 2013 | Review Period

Assimil Underway!

I am now venturing into uncharted language-learning territory.

In the wee hours of this morning, I began using Assimil, which bills itself as “Europe’s top language learning method.” I liked it. I liked it quite a lot. What I Started Reading Around Midnight Last Night Assimil is…

September 30, 2013 | Review Period


In which I get all my language-learning books on shelves while also managing to vent about customer service.

Over the weekend, in a sudden burst of organizational ardor, I reorganized my bookshelves so I could fit all my language-learning materials in one place. They are now ordered alphabetically by language and by status (i.e., based on whether…

October 2, 2013 | Review Period

My Vowels Need Repointing

They are out of whack. Also, I need to simmer down.

My New York City apartment building sometimes requires repointing. I always knew that repointing was some kind of fixing-up process, but I never bothered to inform myself of its meaning, so when I heard the term, I always just pictured…

October 3, 2013 | Review Period

Publicity and Progress

I am enjoying my more structured program, plus this site is featured on Blogger Effect.

Today my blog and I are profiled on Blogger Effect, in the Heart of Blogging series there. Please check it out! I am now on my second day of a more structured program. For me, structured does not mean