Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

How I learn Languages

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
29 messages over 4 pages: 1 24  Next >>
magictom123
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4185 days ago

272 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 17 of 29
27 February 2010 at 1:15am | IP Logged 
Thanks to fanatic for his useful post. As he points out this is largely a collection
of older posts arranged with new material for his book. One thing I must say, and
forgive me if I'm missing something, is that there is no original idea here for
learning a language. Useful tips - yes, but original idea's - no. Hey, this isn't a
problem to me but I'm curious to know how well your books sell. A lot of the
information is common sense (and not just to a non-beginner language learner I would
have thought). Do you get feedback from readers of your books? For example, the usage
of 'memory links' is quite common as is the use of cognates to expand vocabulary
quickly (see the MT course's for that).

I'm sure your book contains other useful idea's and discussions but I would be
disappointed to buy a book called speed learning that told me to chat to natives and
watch dvd's (amongst other things admitedly).

Good luck with the book anyway.
1 person has voted this message useful



Katie
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 5310 days ago

495 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hungarian
Studies: French, German

 
 Message 18 of 29
27 February 2010 at 3:39am | IP Logged 
hi magictom,

I purchased fanatic's book long before I was a member of this forum and I found it really useful. The important thing in any book is not that it has radical, unheard of, new ways to do something, but in the delivery of it's ideas. I found fanatic's book to be supportive, encouraging, motivating and a great collection of some of the best techniques I have personally come across to learn languages.

It reminds me of all of the weightloss books out there - seriously, how many different ways can they say "eat less than your body burns"??? Apparently millions LOL
2 persons have voted this message useful



magictom123
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4185 days ago

272 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 19 of 29
27 February 2010 at 10:39am | IP Logged 
Hi Katie,

I'm glad you found fanatic's book helpful. I'm sure it is for many people. Since he
has only posted what he says is a chapter here then it would be unfair to judge his
whole book on such a small section. The point I was trying to make I suppose was that
if his post was merely a tidying up of previous posts into one conciseful list of tips
and hints then great.

However, for the means of discussion only (I'm not trying to personally attack anyone
or their book etc, these are just my own thoughts), I think you are completely off the
boil with your idea of what is important in a book. To take your idea of a weight
loss book, I haven't read any but if they all say the same thing, then surely only the
important ones are the ones that utilites new research, new techniques etc. to say
something new in a well presented way.

All I'm saying is that if I picked up a book in a bookshop and flicked through it and
the chapter on language learning said spend some time a day, chat to natives etc even
if I was a complete beginner, I would immediately put it down and think nothing of use
in there. I would be looking for something new, nothing something that if I put my mind
too I could probably think up myself in 10 minutes. Now everyone is different of
course, and I'm sure his book will benefit some, as you said it did you, but when the
idea's of a little a day stretch back a least 80 years with assimil, cognates used
thoroughly throughout MT's courses, and any guide you find online for language learning
will mention trying to speak to natives if possible.

Again, good luck with the book, but I just see this as how it appears here, a good
forum post and not the content of a book of any substantial use.
1 person has voted this message useful



Katie
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 5310 days ago

495 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hungarian
Studies: French, German

 
 Message 20 of 29
27 February 2010 at 3:52pm | IP Logged 
magictom - don't worry, I am not taking your comments as a personal attack, but I appreciate the care you've taken to ensure I don't feel that way. And just as I feel my comments are valid, I believe yours are also.

As a 'seasoned' learner, perhaps you wouldn't get as much out of the book as you would hope - I'm not sure as I don't know how much you know about language learning and how long you've been learning languages.

But there are lots of people out there who, like me at the time of purchasing the book, only know they want to learn a language. They have no idea how to go about it, and different activities to do to help your studies.

Even though the ideas are not radical and new, they are still strong, solid and beneficial to language studies. Having a resources where all of those ideas are put together is, in my personal opinion, very valuable. Just because something is obvious to one person, doesn't mean it is something that another person will just 'pull out of their mind' in a moment, if you understand what I mean.

For example, fanatic's book talks about using visual clues and 'anchoring' those clues to certain foreign words (one example is cochon in French for pig - so you imagine a cushion [the English version of the word] on your couch that is shaped like a pig... thus creating an anchor to help you remember). Now, I had heard about this technique & had used it in some other situations, so when I read it in the book, it was nothing new & radical... BUT it wasn't something I had 'remembered' and considered that I could use in my language studies. I found lots of things like this. Things that you KNOW about and have heard a million times, but aren't necessarily things you remember. I still refer back to the book on occasion to see if I've forgotten any of the ideas and can do something a little differently.

I know you've only seen a small portion of the book, so to give you an idea, there are actually 21 chapters covering different areas in the book. It ranges from determining your reasons to learn a language, to discussing what some of the best tools/programs/etc are with reviews and some recommendations, to how to make the best use of each of these tools - to get the most out of them, and full explanations of different ideas (such as using audios, reading, increasing vocabulary techniques, grammar, etc). As I mentioned, to a seasoned language learner, perhaps these aren't of interest - but they are important ideas and principles that the new language learner should know/understand.

As for my comment about the delivery of the information in the book, my point was that HOW information is delivered is important - the use of the language etc. And I believe my comment that most books have the same information, just expressed differently, is valid. I believe that the reason the books continue to sell is that different learning & personality types require information to be presented in a particular way in order to 'get it'. You can be told something 50 times, but until the information is presented to you in a way that you can relate to and understand, the information falls on deaf ears.

The fundamentals of language learning in their most basic form don't really change. There is no quick cure, new 'fandangle' way to learn a language. There is definitely new research and new ideas - but if you look at them closely, they all relate back to those fundamentals.

I think this is an interesting topic :)
5 persons have voted this message useful



William Camden
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4864 days ago

1936 posts - 2333 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, French

 
 Message 21 of 29
27 February 2010 at 5:26pm | IP Logged 
Flashcards with the basic L2 on one side, L1 on the other are useful. In my own case, I
worked through the German Vis-Ed vocabulary during a summer vacation and when I resumed
my German class at school, my performance in the language went from average/reasonable to
before the flash cards, to very good.
By themselves, flashcards don't make you fluent, but then there is no one "magic bullet"
for learning an L2. A combination of methods are needed, as noted by the OP.
1 person has voted this message useful



magictom123
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4185 days ago

272 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 22 of 29
27 February 2010 at 9:25pm | IP Logged 
Katie,

I read your comment with interest and you do make a good point about a new language
learner having a good resource from which to plan things out as they set sail on
learning a language. I just feel, that such a book is of limited use. Hey, maybe I'm
wrong. I'm not a seasoned language learner - I am just learning my second language now
and I bow down to fanatic's superior knowledge both in techniques used and languages
spoken. Again, I can't helping thinking that someone who wnats to learn a language may
already have a good idea of which one they want to learn and these days, with site such
as this which are incredibly easy to stumble upon and find great information, I just
don't see how beneficial such a book would be. A search on prospective languages
online would also bring up useful information. Having said that, I know nothing about
the book industry or the people who buy books such as this. It does seem with language
learning in particular that many people have had bad experiences at school and may want
to be lead by the hand in being told A,B,C about a language and language learning.

I don't make a point of commenting on threads such as this usually but I just felt I
had to comment on the nature of the first post, which I found to be in-depth and
interesting but at the same time not the kind of thing that would make me, in the
middle of a book shop, go: 'wow, i've gotta buy this'. Alas, that is just me and to
the people it benefits, the book can only be a good thing. So, I feel no need to
pursue this discussion further and wish everyone here good luck in their continuing
language studies.
1 person has voted this message useful



Katie
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 5310 days ago

495 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hungarian
Studies: French, German

 
 Message 23 of 29
27 February 2010 at 10:37pm | IP Logged 
magictom - no worries! :) It was actually interesting to look at things from a different perspective - and it reminded me to get the book out and have another look at it! :) Different things appeal to different people - perhaps you and I are just on the opposite ends of the 'appeal' barometer! LOL

I still think we raised some good stuff that perhaps another person will find useful! Thanks for friendly debate!
1 person has voted this message useful



fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
Joined 5738 days ago

1152 posts - 1817 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Dutch
Studies: Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Modern Hebrew, Malay, Mandarin, Esperanto

 
 Message 24 of 29
01 March 2010 at 7:35am | IP Logged 
There are two books being discussed here.

The chapter at the beginning of the thread is taken from my new book, Speed Learning. That is the only chapter dealing with learning languages. Mainly, the book is about learning and study methods and how to accomplish more for your efforts.

Katie is referring to my language book, Fast Easy Way to Learn a Language, which is all about learning languages. Go to my web page for a sample chapter from it, How I became a language addict. The chapter can also be found on the members' page of this forum where I introduce myself.

I believe there is material in both books you won't find anywhere else.


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 29 messages over 4 pages: << Prev 1 24  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.2969 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2021 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.