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Learning Styles

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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frenkeld
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 Message 9 of 55
26 November 2005 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
patuco wrote:
although my favourite method is reading like a maniac. Not sure what learning style that would come under! Visual?


I find that forcing myself to read and reread portions of a book aloud adds a significant audio component to reading and also seems to make one somehow think directly in the language, more so than reading purely "visually".


This is the approach used by Charles Duff in the late 1950's in his "for beginners" textbooks on French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Russian, some of which are still in print (Spanish and Russian, I believe, but others available used on Amazon). While old-fashioned in the days of widely available comprehensive audiocourses, this approach does allow one to internalize a language quite well.
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patuco
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 Message 10 of 55
26 November 2005 at 2:57pm | IP Logged 
frenkeld wrote:
I find that forcing myself to read and reread portions of a book aloud adds a significant audio component to reading and also seems to make one somehow think directly in the language, more so than reading purely "visually".

I agree with you, although I have always encountered two main problems with this:
1. I read slower when I read out loud, which means that after a while I get frustrated at the lower speed.
2. I always think that my pronounciation might be wrong, especially with new words.
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frenkeld
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 Message 11 of 55
26 November 2005 at 3:23pm | IP Logged 
patuco wrote:
frenkeld wrote:
I find that forcing myself to read and reread portions of a book aloud adds a significant audio component to reading and also seems to make one somehow think directly in the language, more so than reading purely "visually".

I agree with you, although I have always encountered two main problems with this:
1. I read slower when I read out loud, which means that after a while I get frustrated at the lower speed.
2. I always think that my pronounciation might be wrong, especially with new words.


I would not suggest making it the *only* way one reads books, but doing it with a page or two once in a while, or with a single newspaper article, seems to be beneficial. I've also toyed with the idea of recording myself reading, but have not gotten around to it yet (perhaps out of deep-seated fear of finding out just how bad my accent is).

As for pronunciation, how much of a problem this might be would seem to depend on the language. Some have a fairly phonetic writing system, and the dictionaries may indicate pronunciation in phonetic alphabet for others. There are even talking electronic dictionaries - I don't know how good those can be these days.

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patuco
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 Message 12 of 55
26 November 2005 at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
frenkeld wrote:
I would not suggest making it the *only* way one reads books

Neither would I otherwise it would really be a miserable language learning experience!


frenkeld wrote:
I've also toyed with the idea of recording myself reading, but have not gotten around to it yet

So have I. Also, I've thought about asking a native speaker to hear me reading aloud (far too embarassing) although I might as well have a conversation instead!

Edited by patuco on 26 November 2005 at 5:43pm

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luke
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 Message 13 of 55
26 November 2005 at 7:25pm | IP Logged 
frenkeld wrote:
forcing myself to read and reread portions of a book aloud

If my voice can't take reading aloud, even listening to a book on tape and reading along silently helps a lot. The native speaker will read the book faster than I could if I was doing it aloud. If the material is unfamiliar, reading the translation while listening helps a lot too. I happily notice my ability to translate on the fly improving. I found myself dreaming in the target language a couple days ago after listening to an interesting book on tape and reading the English translation. It was like my mind had to post process the reading. So, you really can learn in your sleep ;)

For me, this reading/listening is more effective than spending the same amount of time watching TV in the target tongue.

Edited by luke on 30 December 2005 at 8:57pm

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patuco
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 Message 14 of 55
27 November 2005 at 4:13am | IP Logged 
luke wrote:
For me, this reading/listening is more effective than spending the same amount of time watching TV in the target tongue.

Probably because it's active learning rather than just "sitting there".
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luke
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 Message 15 of 55
27 November 2005 at 5:25am | IP Logged 
Reading is definitely more active than laying on the couch watching TV. I can be reasonably content just understanding what's going on in a TV program at my current level. I've been thinking of ways to make TV more active, but haven't used the primary technique I came up with much. The idea is, describe what's happening in the program. Basically a narrative or paraphrase. For me, that's a little harder than just hearing a speaker and translating. Describing requires additional interpretation of the often non-verbal messages. I guess this ability would improve with practice though. Ideally, one would have a more advanced or native speaker who could guide you closer to the story during commercials if you're off the mark.

Edited by luke on 30 December 2005 at 8:57pm

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frenkeld
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 Message 16 of 55
27 November 2005 at 9:23am | IP Logged 
patuco wrote:
luke wrote:
For me, this reading/listening is more effective than spending the same amount of time watching TV in the target tongue.

Probably because it's active learning rather than just "sitting there".


I wonder if it has more to do with the lack of repetition in watching TV, unless one records the TV program. Even watching the same episode twice makes a big difference, and if one has it in a format that is easy to work with piecemeal, one can get even more out of it.

For that reason, my own preference for audio is a file on a computer, and for audiovisual a DVD. Even a streaming radio broadcast on the net I record in a (big) .wav file via an appropriate Winamp option, and then listen to it a few times. For movies, DVD remote controls have an "A-B repeat" button, whereby you press it in the beginning and then at the end of the segment you want to see repeated, and then one can watch it over and over till one's nose bleeds.

Otheriwse, watching TV is akin to quickly reading through a page in a book once and never coming back to it again - hardly the thing a beginner does reading, so no reason to do it with the audiovisual sources.



Edited by frenkeld on 27 November 2005 at 10:23am



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