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Studying beyond the beginner’s level

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
mjf
Diglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 5873 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, French, German

 
 Message 1 of 2
17 June 2008 at 3:26pm | IP Logged 
Dr. Arguelles,

I have a number of questions regarding language study beyond the beginner's level. (I apologize if you've addressed these elsewhere.) If you have time in your busy schedule to answer them, it would be greatly appreciated.

1. Types of material (at different levels)
You've reviewed beginners' courses (e.g., Assimil). What about beyond that? Graded readers and the like? Or only "authentic material"--books, newspapers, films, Internet?

2. Dictionaries (again, at different levels)
Bilingual or unilingual?

3. Vocabulary review
Did you use flash cards (or word lists, or a program like SuperMemo) to review vocabulary, or did you just learn vocabulary through repeated input?

4. Translations
Did you ever use translations of books (e.g., dual language texts, interlinear texts, translated books) to help make a text understandable? (Same question for translated subtitles for films.)

5. Production
You've emphasized shadowing and scriptorium. Did you actively try anything else to practice speaking or writing after a certain point, or did production continue to "emerge" (as Stephen Krashen thinks) after sufficient input?

6. Memorization
Did you ever try to memorize material (dialogues, articles, or sections of texts) as a way to learn? (As Heinrich Schliemann said he did with Homer et al.)

7. Interference from studying more than one language at a time
Closely related ones didn't interfere, at least on the production level?

Sorry for the many questions, but any additional light you can shed on your learning process would be most helpful.

M.J. Frishman

Edited by mjf on 18 June 2008 at 12:45pm

1 person has voted this message useful



ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 7124 days ago

609 posts - 2102 votes 

 
 Message 2 of 2
03 July 2008 at 7:01pm | IP Logged 
Mr. Frishman,

In answer to your questions:

1. Types of material (at different levels)
You've reviewed beginners' courses (e.g., Assimil). What about beyond that?
Yes, when they exist, graded readers are the next step of choice.

2. Dictionaries (again, at different levels)
Small pocket bilingual dictionaries are best for travelling around in the country. Unilingual dictionaries are best overall, but you cannot use them profitably until you are advanced, so a large bilingual desk dictionary is also necessary in order to get there.

3. Vocabulary review
No, I never used flash cards, word lists, or a program like SuperMemo.

4. Translations
Yes, I make extensive use of translations of books (dual language texts, interlinear texts, translated books) in preference to looking up words in a dictionary at the intermediate level. Watching films has never been a significant part of my repertoire.

5. Production
My experience has always been that, if I build a strong enough foundation on my own, then when and if I visit the land where a language is spoken, it comes alive on its own in very short order.

6. Memorization
Did you ever try to memorize material (dialogues, articles, or sections of texts) as a way to learn?
No.

7. Interference from studying more than one language at a time
Closely related ones didn't interfere, at least on the production level?
No.

Alexander Arguelles

1 person has voted this message useful



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