I'm house sitting now and on a different computer. So as not to tax it, I'm not playing any podcasts. Consequently, I have been doing my Dutch reading in silence. It's wonderful.
Previously, I had always read while listening to somthing, pounding linguistic competence into my thick skull. I listened to either Radio Nacional de España to assimilate good grammar and do better on my next test, Radio Nederland to reinforce what I was reading, or something from Portugal on occasion to not leave that language behind.
I always used to tell my ESL students to listen to radio and TV in English. I would tell them, "If you really want to speed things up, listen and read at the same time."
This silent time has helped me remember something else I have observed: Many kids are semiliterate because they have too much noise in their lives. Learning to read must be done in silence.
It is only in the past couple of days that there has been a major breakthrough: I read several pages without using the computer. For whatever reason, I was able to figure out word roots and only use the printed Dutch English dictionary. Ironically, I never would have thought of reading Dutch in silence if it hadn't been forced.