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gb   Verenigd Koninkrijk

It's not just time accumulated or words read or words learned

March 21 om 12:45

For those who are not interested in stats, read no further.

Speculating about which stats are the most useful...

There definitely seems to be an effect that if you don't do *enough* you forget. That ranges from no work at all down to a bare minimum to keep your T2 maintained.

What is the bare minimum to maintain a language? I don't know but it seems to be that if you only do it once a week it's not enough. Is 1 minute a day enough? I suspect not either.

Also... if you are doing the bare minimum are you actually improving?

I doubt it.

The stats while useful for motivation do not seem to be answering that question.

So.. let's look at the problems with each of the meaningful stats:

Time accumulated is obviously suspect. If you do an hour a week you will forget almost everything in between.

What is the minimum? Unknown but definitely something to think about.

It also can't be words read *only* for the same reason: you can read material above your level and retain nothing.

It also can't be total words known *only* because obviously if all you're doing is memorizing words then you will only be able to understand baby-speak because phrases, grammar and collocations are all part of normal speech.

Therefore I hypothesize that there is a minimum amount of time needed (a threshold if you will) that you need to be above daily for a minimum part of say, a year, and if you are below that threshold of engagement then you will forget faster than you learn.

My gut feel is that to improve it's somewhere more than a half hour a day and somewhere less than 4 hours a day.

What say the linguistics folks? Are there any studies answering the questions of what is the minimum to not suffer from attrition and what is the minimum to actually improve (rather than just not suffer from attrition)?