In my last post, I wrote about how to effectively use audiobooks to improve your listening, reading, and pronunciation. In this post I would like to talk about 4 ways you can use community language learning websites to get feedback and corrections on your writing and speaking. On the links page, I briefly mentioned using italki, govoluble, and rhinospike, but I would like to show you real results in practice. I’m currently studying Russian and trying to get feedback on my writing and speaking.
After listening to an audiobook of one of Chekhov’s short stories, “The Bishop”, I decided to write a short reflection.
I really love to read short stories by Chekhov and also love listening to audiobooks by Baba Vera. She is an excellent actress and reader. I highly recommend listening to her recordings. I just now read Chekhov’s short story, “The Bishop”. I feel sad now because I realize that life is short, but that it continues after we die. The main character, the bishop, could be interpreted as Chekhov himself because he is worried about his fame and what will happen after he dies. It’s ironic that Chekhov worried about his fame because today he is one of the most famous Russian writers. The main character’s mother behaves awkwardly like Chekhov’s mother; for example, she does not know whether to speak formally or informally to her son. He loves his mother very much, but their relationship is awkward because of his fame.
As best as I could, I wrote this in Russian and submitted it as a notebook entry on italki.
Afterwards, I incorporated the corrections and submitted them as a notebook entry and recorded my voice on govoluble.
Then I also submitted the corrections from italki as an audio request on rhinospike and later received an audio recording from a native speaker. It’s difficult to express the pride one gets from listening to your own text naturally spoken by a native speaker. It’s comparable to the joy I get from writing a piece of music and listening to a musician perform it.
And lastly, I recorded myself speaking the same text and uploaded it to youtube to gain access to even more viewers and to get their feedback and comments as native speakers.
With a little hard work and dedication, you can easily integrate community feedback into your language learning process and start to see immediate results. I hope these ideas help you with your language studies and please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!