Category: Diary

Resolutions for 2015

Il etait une fois une petite fille qui s’appellait Layinka…

I would like to make myself a couple of promises and keep to them. Having glanced at my past posts, and remembered the effort I put daily into immersing myself in Chinese. One of the secrets to keeping on track was keeping a Diary. That was the goal and remains the goal of this blog. My life up until 2012 was similar to that of a student’s. I went to work and in my spare time I worked on Chinese. Fast forward to 2013, my life has been that of a ‘wife’… I get home… too tired to do anything. Now its 2014, and the situation is somewhat worse. Having been blessed with a bouncing baby girl in January 2014, changed countries three times and dealt with my husband’s job hunting career… things are a little bit overwhelming. I guess ‘life’ really starts at this point. Now I have to learn how to manage and balance the different yet exciting aspects of my life while never keeping my eye off  what matters to me as an individual and as a part of my ‘new family’.

So what are my wishes for 2015?

I wish to get back to learning Chinese on a ‘regular’ basis. I wish to work on my Portuguese on a daily basis.



My fuzzy Goals?

My daughter is Brazilian and because of this I have made learning Portuguese my priority. So the content of my subsequent posts will be from the perspective of a language learner who is also a mum….

My goals are: Learn Portuguese, in order to transmit it to my daughter.

Learn Chinese for myself and develop a language learning system.


Having redefined my goals, I now have to write down a couple of SMART Objectives…. Stay tuned.


Eu sou brasileira…

It has been a while since I posted anything.  I hope that despite the absence you are all finding this blog useful. 

I am currently far from learning any Chinese. I am currently learning Portuguese simply because I am currently in Brazil and will be there for a couple more months. Unlike learning Chinese I am not passionate about Brazilian Portuguese however if you want to go about doing your business you have NO CHOICE but to learn it 🙂 I must say that being fluent in French and understanding Spanish make understanding Portuguese much easier. I do wonder if anybody out there would be interested in this portuguese learning chapter of my life. 😀 


In the meantime I wish you all Feliz Natal and a happy New Year. 

Take care

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Personal Learning Log


Complete > 10 chapters in both Spanish and Chinese.

Complete all four MGMAT books. (RC, EQ, SC and WT).


Update progress table when possible.


1 & 2

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat
Reading Comprehen
Sentence Correction
Word Translation

Task for each week day:

One chapter from each GMAT book per day (IV).

One chapter from each language book per day (II).

Week 1: Weekend Review

Week 2: Mock exam for GMAT.

Mock listening  and oral Test for Spanish and Chinese.


TIP 1:

On, the general advice is to keep an error log. In their own words:

Be sure to track your errors. One of the most common mistakes that GMAT test takers make when preparing for the GMAT is that they do not spend time to track their performance on practice problems/tests.  It’s absolutely critical to keep a log of your errors in order to determine your strengths and weaknesses; this will allow you to tailor your GMAT prep to ensure to focus on the specific subjects where you need the most help.”

I have decided to apply this advice to my language learning experience as well as the GMAT preparation.

Do check out:

How To Learn From Your Errors article written by MGMAT. It is good to get the general idea and then apply some of their advice to your language learning approach.

TIP 2: Your success depends on how well you implement necessary changes and maintain those changes.

TIP 3: Don’t dwell on the past, just move on. Somedays you will not do anything, and on other days you will triple your efforts. My experience from revising for the GMAT has taught me that discipline and tracking your errors are key. My experience has also taught me that when working in a team, I thrive when I receive and give feedback. The GMAT and Chinese learning activities are activities that I undertake alone and I will now have to think of ways to say and receive well dones from myself. <— This must sound odd to some but it is something that I discovered and I think that if I can work on this, I will encounter fewer learning obstacles.





Learning to understand Chinese is one thing. Learning to read Chinese is another thing. Writing Chinese is time consuming, I have decided to cut that out of my Chinese learning diet and prioritising RECOGNITION over recalling and writing characters from memory. In a bid to race through this initial process of learning Chinese and getting to a higher level of language I will skip the writing for a good three months at least. 

Nonetheless, I have thought up ways of working on character recognition. One of those ways is simply creating flash cards with words that I know that contain the new character I want to learn. I match a flash card with the new Chinese character to a flash card with a word whose root contains the new Chinese character. I think this is known as making associations. Here I am associating single characters to a group of characters that are a part of a word. 

This seems to work so far. I am advancing in the learning, and not being slowed down by the Chinese character memorising exercise. I wonder what you think about doing this? 

As you can tell, learning is organic. It changes and changes and you really need to keep up with yourself 🙂