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Sentence Method question...

 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
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I
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Wales
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14 posts - 14 votes

 
 Message 1 of 27
14 April 2009 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
Hi,

and sincere apologies if this has been covered.
My question is:

Is it best to have the TL in the question field of supermemo, and the native language in the answer field, or vice-versa?

I know people would argue, "do both ways", but which is ultimately the best way?

Thanks

Edited by I on 14 April 2009 at 4:41pm

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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 2 of 27
14 April 2009 at 5:59pm | IP Logged 
Passive knowledge comes first, so having your native language in the question field before you have seen the target sentences is a bad idea.
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Cainntear
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Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 3 of 27
14 April 2009 at 6:20pm | IP Logged 
jeff_lindqvist wrote:
Passive knowledge comes first, so having your native language in the question field before you have seen the target sentences is a bad idea.

I assume I will be putting his own sentences into Supermemo, so he will definitely have seen the sentences already.

I personally don't believe in the passive-first school of thought. Passive language doesn't automatically become active and many people get caught in the passive trap -- they can understand lots but can't say a thing. In fact, there's whole populations like this -- one of the near-universal stages of language death is a generation with passive understand but zero active command.

However, from my experience it would appear to be pretty much impossible to learn something actively and not be able to understand it when you encounter it receptively (excepting problems with accent or orthographical variation).

Furthermore, when dealing with sentences receptively/passively, you don't have to understand the whole thing -- certain parts of the phrase carry redundant information, and you can understand the phrase while ignoring these.

EG "I went ** Paris last year." Any fluent English speaker knows that's "to", and will always say "to", but there are plenty of learners who, despite receiving massive amounts of correct input, continue to say "at" or "in", because the input does not force them to notice the correct preposition.

But these shortcuts are not available when we produce the target language -- you have to know the word to say it.

So I, my advice:
Native Language->Target Language
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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 4 of 27
14 April 2009 at 6:54pm | IP Logged 
OK, you have a point in that "I" enters the information himself, and thus will have seen the content. I (who believe in doing both directions) have experienced getting random results, some word/sentences are easy in one direction and some in the other. There have been occasions when I've had to work for ages to get through a bunch of Native->Target cards, most likely because I hadn't seen the Target words/sentences enough times to even have a slightest clue.

My "passive-first" approach is as simple as adding the content as Target->Native, and give it a day or two. By then, I will have seen the cards a few times each and then I add Native->Target. So, just a few days delay.
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Javi
Senior Member
Spain
Joined 3910 days ago

419 posts - 548 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*

 
 Message 5 of 27
14 April 2009 at 10:34pm | IP Logged 
I wrote:
Hi,

and sincere apologies if this has been covered.
My question is:

Is it best to have the TL in the question field of supermemo, and the native language in the answer field, or vice-versa?

I know people would argue, "do both ways", but which is ultimately the best way?

Thanks


I use SRS as part of what we could call the input method, that's to say, I learn from native content that I choose myself. In this context only target-target flash cards make sense, especially for sentences. The problem is that we haven't got a clue about the way you learn, the materials you use, or the stage of learning you are at, so whatever advise would be pointless. SRS is only a tool and can be used in and a number of different ways as you can see from the replies you've got.

Edited by Javi on 14 April 2009 at 11:17pm

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Javi
Senior Member
Spain
Joined 3910 days ago

419 posts - 548 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*

 
 Message 6 of 27
14 April 2009 at 11:14pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
[QUOTE=jeff_lindqvist]
Furthermore, when dealing with sentences receptively/passively, you don't have to understand the whole thing -- certain parts of the phrase carry redundant information, and you can understand the phrase while ignoring these.

EG "I went ** Paris last year." Any fluent English speaker knows that's "to", and will always say "to", but there are plenty of learners who, despite receiving massive amounts of correct input, continue to say "at" or "in", because the input does not force them to notice the correct preposition.


The advise to cope with that trouble in the context of the input method has been on the web for ages. I've tried it out and I think it works reasonably well. I won't rephrase it because it's crystal clear in its original form. I've actually got a lot of flash cards which only point is to illustrate the use or lack of use of a preposition, an article, a verb ending, etc.

I don't think that your comments are fair on the input question. For starters we need to know what it is, and in this respect I think a rough summary could be like this:

1) You learn to understand understanding (searching the input for content)
2) You learn to produce observing the language carefully

Well, it looks like I rephrased it after all :)

Edited by Javi on 14 April 2009 at 11:18pm

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Cainntear
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Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 7 of 27
15 April 2009 at 6:13pm | IP Logged 
Javi wrote:
The advise to cope with that trouble in the context of the input method has been on the web for ages. I've tried it out and I think it works reasonably well.
...
I don't think that your comments are fair on the input question.

You can do that, but I don't believe it's optimal, for two reasons:

1. What they call "reading for content", I just call "reading", because that's the natural, normal way to read. I. Have. Had. Many. Students. Who. Read. Out. Loud. Like. This. because they've been taught to "read" every word. As far as I'm concerned, this isn't really reading. I've seen people who never get past this stage, so this strategy can be and is damaging to some learners.

2. Students who read "fluently", ie flowingly, will make the same mistakes with prepositions, articles etc as they do in their own speech. Students. Who. Read. Stiltedly will read the prepositions as written. But 10 seconds later, if you can prompt them to use one of the structures in the sentence they've just read, they'll make the same mistake as always.

OK, I know that reading for form/reading to learn can be done, but after a while it gets difficult to stay attached to the meaning[*]. Furthermore, it takes a lot of effort to overcome the natural tendency to do things the lazy way. Going from your native language to your target language removes the temptation, so removes the effort required to overcome the temptation.


[*]Compare with stories of teachers who become so focussed on a student's spoken form that they'll respond to sentences like "my grandmother has died last night" by correcting it ("my grandmother died last night").
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