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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4699 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 1 of 164
23 March 2009 at 9:05am | IP Logged 
This is a continuation of 'Teaching English to Parents', as I don't
believe that thread should get bogged down by this.

Cainntear wrote:

First up, most people read novels faster than the speed they speak at, and audio books are generally read out at a slower pace than conversation speed.

Secondly, some concepts take different numbers of words to express in different languages.

Thirdly, some words are longer in some languages than in others.

All in all that makes it very hard to follow along in parallel.


I find it very easy, especially after the first few hours of a language. Other forum members, such as Iversen, have experimented and found it possible.

The length of words is basically irrelevant for this, as is the number of words. Seriously different ways of expressing them can be a minor hurdle, but it's only a minor one.

The slow speed helps at first; later on, I like to increase the speed of the audiobook via software.

Cainntear wrote:

On top of all that, according to current neuroscience, there's only one "language channel"[*] in the brain -- the listening channel. When reading, the brain takes visual input and stimulates the auditory listening channel. If you're reading, your brain either A) the brain books out the channel to reading and blocks any incoming speech or B) you loose the track of the book when someone starts talking to you. So it's actually impossible to physically process both channels.

You can stop and switch, which I sometimes do with subtitled TV or DVDs (reading the subtitles quickly then listening to most of the spoken stuff, or glancing down at the subtitles as soon as I hear something I don't understand), but I was at a pretty advanced conversational level before I could do this.


I am not a neuroscientist; I don't know -how- this works; I merely know that it does - perhaps it involves fast switching. Given that the ability to follow along is quite simple and empirically testable (give yourself a parallel text, audio, and a few hours), reality needs to trump interpretations of research - it is quite easy to misinterpret, especially in fields which are not your own.


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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4699 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 2 of 164
23 March 2009 at 9:12am | IP Logged 
hypersport wrote:
The entire concept of L-R method as introduced here on this site comes straight from the school that teaches quacks how to give information to patients in need of real care. Pure bull$hit. Makes absolutely no sense and the people that get in line are the same sheep looking for the magic pill, the amazing never seen before secret that will have them master a language in no time, with no real work. Piss.

Look, I can speak for me. I started learning Spanish 3 years ago, and I'm considered fluent by many and can speak with any native speaker about most any subject, even if I have to go the long way around as my vocabulary obviously lacks in different areas.

There wasn't any magic involved, just lots of hard work, and I'm not done yet.

I did Rosetta Stone 1 and 2 and then went to LSLC and did Level 1 through its entirety more than 30 times. Then I did Level 2 in its entirety more than 20 times. I mocked and spoke over the speakers from the beginning. Then I found out here that there's a chick word for that called shadowing. Who knew? I've been doing it from the beginning.    During this time I switched my tv to a Spanish package and quit watching American TV. I started reading childrens books out loud and progressed to novels from Grisham, Sparks, Koontz, etc. I talked with all kinds of people online, in the city, at work, in the gym, restaurants, the soccer field, stores, everywhere. Made friends with many and continue to stay in touch on the phone. I started listening to podcasts during my workday. I had a go at FSI and realized what I had been missing there and am in the process of doing that course now, and yeah, I still speak it everyday with natives and get all my news in Spanish TV. Music too and Spanish radio in the car.

I live in America, but I have almost completely immersed myself in Spanish for the sake of becoming fluent in the least time possible.    

Yeah, I'm venting a bit, but it simply amazes me at how many people say thay want to learn a language, and so few actually put into practice that which will make it happen.

You see these guys post what they're GOING to do as they lay out there master plan before they've even started. This course, that course, some shadowing here and there, some L-R too of course as it seems to be legit, hell it gets discussed enough, must be, then some native materials. Unbelievable.
   


Not a single one of your objections has anything to do with L-R.

1) There are quacks out there, some of whom prey on people: yes. I'm sure you're also willing to admit there are non-quacks, though (if not, the term 'quack' has no useful meaning). Hence, this says nothing about whether or not someone/something is a quack.

Irrelevant for the merits of L-R, but: I certainly don't consider myself a sheep. I'm a computer scientist, a skeptic, a rationalist, and favor traditional over alternative medicine.

2) You worked hard, and so you don't like to think you missed an easier path for the same results: that's natural, but says nothing - for OR against - the existence of an easier path.

3) A lot of people talk and never get started on anything. Granted. This often involves Rosetta Stone and LSLC - more often than L-R and shadowing. The relevance of this fact: zero.


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Alkeides
Senior Member
Bhutan
Joined 4408 days ago

636 posts - 644 votes 

 
 Message 3 of 164
23 March 2009 at 9:14am | IP Logged 
Volte wrote:
traditional over alternative medicine.

Some forms of "alternative" medicine have been traditional for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. ;p
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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4699 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 164
23 March 2009 at 9:21am | IP Logged 
Alkeides wrote:
Volte wrote:
traditional over alternative medicine.

Some forms of "alternative" medicine have been traditional for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. ;p


Age says nothing about value. I've personally required surgery multiple times; if I was born even a century ago, I would be crippled.

I am not saying there is nothing of value in traditional medicine - aspirin wouldn't exist if it weren't for birch bark (... which I'm allergic to, but I digress).

However, alternative medicine systems simply have a much higher degree number of quacks at present, and this often causes serious harm to people. For intervention in acute conditions, I would say 'modern non-alternative medicine' is clearly superior.

I will agree that the term 'alternative' is unfortunate: it bunches together long traditions which have some worthwhile insights (mixed with some nonsense, unfortunately) with modern quacks who claim they can heal you by waving around colored pieces of plastic (and yes, this is a real example from my personal experience - I was brought to that quack against my will as a minor).

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Alkeides
Senior Member
Bhutan
Joined 4408 days ago

636 posts - 644 votes 

 
 Message 6 of 164
23 March 2009 at 9:33am | IP Logged 
Volte wrote:
Alkeides wrote:
Volte wrote:
traditional over alternative medicine.

Some forms of "alternative" medicine have been traditional for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. ;p


Age says nothing about value. I've personally required surgery multiple times; if I was born even a century ago, I would be crippled.

I am not saying there is nothing of value in traditional medicine - aspirin wouldn't exist if it weren't for birch bark (... which I'm allergic to, but I digress).

However, alternative medicine systems simply have a much higher degree number of quacks at present, and this often causes serious harm to people. For intervention in acute conditions, I would say 'modern non-alternative medicine' is clearly superior.

I will agree that the term 'alternative' is unfortunate: it bunches together long traditions which have some worthwhile insights (mixed with some nonsense, unfortunately) with modern quacks who claim they can heal you by waving around colored pieces of plastic (and yes, this is a real example from my personal experience - I was brought to that quack against my will as a minor).


Oh, I agree with you. I'm merely remarking that your terminology is somewhat confusing. :)
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4963 days ago

9078 posts - 16471 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 7 of 164
23 March 2009 at 10:03am | IP Logged 
It may be true that multitasking in reality just is ultrafast switching, but it really doesn't matter - the important thing is what you demonstrably can do. And I know for a fact that I normally listen to something while I'm working with my languages at home (but rarely on the job). If I couldn't write here on the forum while watching TV or listening to something then I wouldn't have written much here, because that's the way I do it. Of course there are limits: two people speaking at the same times is one too much, but I know from experience that I can read while listening to somebody speaking, so either there isn't a block, or (more likely) there is some ultrafast switching going on. With my weaker languages there is a limit: I have to focus on what is said, so I can't deal with more than one 'language channel' at a time (speech or writing), but I can listen to music and watch TV without sound, -so here there is a real block, but one that is related to the decoding of content, not the purely absorption of stimuli.

However in L-R the situation is different: here you essentially have the same text in two parallel versions, - one is typically audio, the other either a transcript or a literal translation, and my experiments have convinced me that this is indeed possible. There isn't any competition for decoding resources because you only have one decoding running, but from two sources. In fact I was quite surprised when I experienced first-hand that I could follow an audio example in GLOSS while reading the translation.

So why don't I use L-R more? Mainly because I find literature boring, and practically all audio books are literature. The speakers are either amateurs, and then the recording is generally bad and the voices are unpleasant, or it is a professional actor, and these have a nauseating tendency to dramatize everything - my ideal is something close to a good news speaker: clear and neutral. Of course listening get is even more boring with slow speech.

Because of this my method generally is to listen just enough to get a sense of how the languages sound (because I don't want to read with a 'pronunciation' that is totally out of contact with the real thing), and then I do a lot of reading. Listening in larger doses comes later, but before speaking (though I acknowledge that shadowing might be a good idea at this stage), and I have with several languages experienced a quite sudden shift from not understanding speech to understanding more or less everything - a socalled epiphany moment.But I would use L-R more, if I could find suitable sources. If there were an ridiculously easy "dummy" level of Gloss, then that would be the perfect thing for me.

btw. one by-product of my flirting with L-R is that I have made bilingual written texts the basis of my work with weak languages. Most translations are not so literal that you can immediately identify the role and meaning of each element of the target language text, but having a rough idea about the meaning saves a lot of time. Digital translations can serve the same purpose, - you can't trust them, but they may point you in the right direction (though only when used from the target language to your base language, because you per definition can't see when there is something vaguely rotten in a translation into a language which you don't master yet).



Edited by Iversen on 23 March 2009 at 10:52am

4 persons have voted this message useful



Jimmymac
Senior Member
United Kingdom
strange-lands.com/le
Joined 4413 days ago

276 posts - 362 votes 
Studies: Spanish, Mandarin, French

 
 Message 8 of 164
23 March 2009 at 10:11am | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:

On top of all that, according to current neuroscience, there's only one "language channel"[*] in the brain -- the listening channel. When reading, the brain takes visual input and stimulates the auditory listening channel. If you're reading, your brain either A) the brain books out the channel to reading and blocks any incoming speech or B) you loose the track of the book when someone starts talking to you. So it's actually impossible to physically process both channels.


The problem is you do not simultaneously listen and read at the same time as many people have maintained, including the famous 'creator' of this method.

I have found that at the beginning stages it is imperative to read slightly ahead of the audiobook, trying to be aware of as much of the audio as possible. As time goes by and you grow more comfortable with the process you slowly begin relying on the audio as the main form of input. The text then simply acts as a secondary guide. So, for me, at no point am I reading and listening simultaneously, I'm constantly switching between modes. So while SOME corners of CURRENT neuroscience argue for the existence of these conflicting channels it bears no real relevance to 'L-R'.

Now, instead of completely ignoring the anecdotal evidence of the likes of Volte, FSI, and myself over the all encompassing guiding (yet some what inconsistent at the best of times) light of science why don't you give 'L-R' a fair crack of the whip and see what happens. At the very least you will enjoy a couple of good novels.

At the same time I do not want to perpetuate the myth that 'L-R' is some sort of miracle cure. In my experience you will still have to devote a large chunk of time in reaching your goal of fluency but I do believe it is one of the more enjoyable paths to getting there.



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