With days consumed by Dutch classes and nights dedicated to work, everything else has suffered a bit, from correspondence to blogs. Still, it was a productive week in Maastricht and good to catch up with friends and activities.
I have really been working on vocabulary; drilling into The Green Book (The Delftse Methode), setting up my VTrain flashcard program for Dutch, and compiling a list of new words. I got the core elements of the first ten chapters of the green book entered along with works that I’m noting from class, e-learning, and newspapers, about 2000 in all, so far. (I’m happy to share them if anyone is trying to do the same and doesn’t want to replicate the work; I’ll probably donate the set to VTrain when I’m done).
It’s making a difference. I’m doing a newspaper each day and I can see a difference in what I can do, week to week. Where I was struggling with a couple of words per sentence, I’m now down to a couple of words per paragraph.
I’m also writing daily paragraphs to my Dutch neighbor, which she corrects and sends back to be. It’s about ten sentences on whatever topic is of interest that day ( but more of a Tumblr-post than a blog entry). Again, it makes a difference: I’m getting to where I can pick words and phrase thoughts so that I can express them.
Friday, we each had an in-class assignment to compose a tour of Maastricht for a hypothetical group of 20 people, then read it out loud and take questions. It had to have meals, attractions, costs, times…I quickly ran into complications like We will meet (ontmoeten) then we will meet again (treffen) that were wholly new to me, but support things I tend to say all the time. I was really happy with the progress – the class is still ahead of me by a few chapters, but I’m holding my own.