Years ago, I recall my father telling me that in WW2 (Second World War), a trick used by counter-espionage to flush out spies was to get them to do arithmetic in their non-native language. Something about numbers and how we hear/say them being deeply ingrained. I know I’m mis-remembering the story, but maybe you can see where this is going…
Today, listening to an RTP podcast about COVID-19, a blizzard of dates, statistics, (ie numbers) was thrown out for consumption. I had been marginally following the discussion (emphasis on marginally), but the numbers stopped me cold. I could hear them, but couldn’t internalize them.
Likewise, I’ve been stopped cold with the Estudo em Casa aulas on math(s). I can follow other aulas (geografia, historia, etc), but math stops me cold. And I have a degree in it and have even taught it.
Therefore, I’m wondering if there’s a place for some form of practice unit on hearing numbers (2, 3, 4 digit) and then allowing time to write them, before being presented with the visual answer. Something like the following:
spoken: “Trinta cinco”
(pause) (perhaps configurable… beginners get (say) 10sec, the more experienced can dial it back as they see fit to challenge themselves).
I write “35”
screen displays 35 so I can self-correct
It could be taken a step further - example: do simple arithmetic problems + - * /
spoken: vinte nove mais seis
Thoughts? Or are there other resources that can be brought to bear?