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Devising a systematic outline for advice

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
12 messages over 2 pages: 1
Senior Member
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 Message 9 of 12
20 April 2009 at 3:00pm | IP Logged 
"The Polyglot Council of Elders"

Perhaps a little dramatic in effect, but seriously intended as a concept. The idea is to take the long term knowledge of polyglots, their language strategies and establish an academic discipline and repository of knowledge. As the school of polyglottery expands, it will become impossible for the Professor to maintain a one to one relationship with all his pupils. The topic covers passing on his ideas through trusted individuals, and refining the discipline without getting tied down in the day to day management of each individual. Perhaps a more mundane title would suffice,

"The Established Board of Polyglottery"
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PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 11 of 12
21 April 2009 at 10:23pm | IP Logged 
Dear Professor Argüelles,

I quite agree with the proposals that have been made by Mr Iversen and Mr Malone, and
I would not want to re-write their points as they live up to my own expectations;
however I do remember how you had written somewhere on this forum that scriptorium and
shadowing are only a mere two techniques out of the great number that you have used to
learn languages successfully. Perhaps you could present some more of them, even if
they are not as extraordinary as the two mentioned before?

Personally I am interested in different techniques of learning vocabulary - as I
recall, you prefer not to learn them out of context, but does it mean that you condemn
activities such as creating wordlists, using Spaced Repetition Software and so on? The
other thing that came to my mind is grammar analysis - as you personally devote much
time to it, as we can see on your study chart - while many people claim that you can
learn a foreign language without studying its grammar at all (which I am personally
not so sure of). Perhaps on your webpage you could present your viewpoints on studying
grammar and some techniques of doing it?

For example, I have found quite an interesting viewpoint on teaching grammar in a book
called "A Course In Language Teaching" by Penny Ur - as it is a book for future
language teachers, but some of the techniques presented there can be used for learning
grammar on your own as well. There are listed 7 types of grammar practice (from a mere
awareness of a given structure's existence to acquiring fluency in using it) which may
be useful for learners and which I could present in another thread if anyone would be

Piotr Kolibabski

Edited by customic on 21 April 2009 at 10:24pm

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Senior Member
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 Message 12 of 12
23 April 2009 at 1:18am | IP Logged 
ProfArguelles wrote:

I.     Selection (of materials, of languages, etc.)
II.     Procedure and technique for study
III.     Planning and sequencing
IV.     Study habits and discipline


First off, I would like to thank you for your very informative and helpful extended video on shadowing. It made your technique so much clearer. Now, looking back at your original post on shadowing using a course like Assimil, I see how you mentioned each of the techniques, but until I watched your video, I didn't quite grasp your method.

I think the an answer to the following questions would be helpful and interesting. I'm sure you will know under which heading they belong, as I can seem them under any of those headings.

When should I go after a larger bilingual work once I have a foothold in the language (such as after completing an Assimil course with your shadowing technique)?

What criteria should I use for selecting that work and subsequent works? Interest? Difficulty? A Great Book? Audio availabile?

When do I add more bilingual works to my study repertoire? E.G. If I'm at the level where I am reading Don Quijote, albeit with some difficulty, how many times should I go through it before going through another work, such as Cien Años de Soledad? How often should I return to Don Quijote?

Do you have an opinion on the Parallel Listening technique? Parallel Listening involves a recording of the same material in two languages split onto left and right recordings channels which was brought to us by Miss Hopper. E.G. Two recordings of an audiobook are edited (one is sped up or slowed down) to be the same length. One can focus on either or both channels.

Edited by luke on 23 April 2009 at 11:19am

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