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Has anybody tried the Gold List method?

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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BartoG
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 Message 89 of 222
22 March 2010 at 9:27pm | IP Logged 
Watching the Gold List videos, I was struck by the idea that finding gold would consist in identifying which words you don't remember. For a beginner, this shouldn't be a problem: there are lots of them! But for somebody who has been studying a language a while, there is real gold in knowing which common words you have inexplicably failed to master.

I can't speak to the value of a Gold List for learning a new language. I'm busy with the languages I'm already working on and am not going to take up a new one just to try it out. However, I can see real value in the Gold List as a refining tool. If you've studied a language a while, Gold List the glossary from a phrasebook. Since most of the vocabulary will be familiar, you could probably do three Gold Lists a day. Most of the words you'd only have to write once, but after eight or ten weeks, you'd have a clear picture of which everyday words you just hadn't picked up. Or Gold List the vocabulary in your text books (chapter by chapter). Then you'll have an idea which words you're picking up from the exercises and which ones need extra study.

Often in our zeal to learn every new thing about a language, we wind up with every last new word in our SRS and our notes, only to discover that we're seeing a lot of these words fifty times a study session and don't need any help remembering them. I can see this as a really useful tool for assessing which vocabulary you need to actively study and which vocabulary you're learning well enough from your lessons and language exposure.
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Iversen
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 Message 90 of 222
23 March 2010 at 10:24am | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
None of the vocabulary acquisition methods presented on this site are backed up by any kind of empirical data or "study data available for scrutiny". (Well, that I know of.)


I have tried to find scientific reports on the internet about acquisition of words, but it seems that anything that has that kind of pretentions (i.e. double-blind layout, statistical tests etc.) is based on learning meaningless syllables. And then you know that it has nothing to do with real language learning, and that the results - whatever they are - are irrelevant. Those who have proposed concrete techniques are mostly amateurs like myself who try out a technique on ourselves and then write about our results because others might benefit from trying, OR they are commercial enterprises who aren't eager to publish trustworthy data. There may be a lot of relevant research going on in our academic institutions, but then I don't understand why we don't hear about it.

Edited by Iversen on 23 March 2010 at 10:33am

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Arekkusu
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 Message 91 of 222
25 March 2010 at 2:33am | IP Logged 
Anyone for an update?
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Pyx
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 Message 92 of 222
25 March 2010 at 2:42am | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
Anyone for an update?

Hasn't been two weeks yet ;) How's it going for you?
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Pyx
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 Message 93 of 222
25 March 2010 at 2:45am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Arekkusu wrote:
None of the vocabulary acquisition methods presented on this site are backed up by any kind of empirical data or "study data available for scrutiny". (Well, that I know of.)


I have tried to find scientific reports on the internet about acquisition of words, but it seems that anything that has that kind of pretentions (i.e. double-blind layout, statistical tests etc.) is based on learning meaningless syllables. And then you know that it has nothing to do with real language learning, and that the results - whatever they are - are irrelevant. Those who have proposed concrete techniques are mostly amateurs like myself who try out a technique on ourselves and then write about our results because others might benefit from trying, OR they are commercial enterprises who aren't eager to publish trustworthy data. There may be a lot of relevant research going on in our academic institutions, but then I don't understand why we don't hear about it.

Iversen, I was wondering about this! Why would 'meaningless syllables' not have any relationship to 'real language learning'? I mean, what is vocabulary acquisition if not relating syllables to a meaning?
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
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 Message 94 of 222
25 March 2010 at 3:16am | IP Logged 
Pyx wrote:
Arekkusu wrote:
Anyone for an update?

Hasn't been two weeks yet ;) How's it going for you?

I keep doing a list or two a day, but I keep finding it hard to both "enjoy myself" and
finish writing all 25 words within the allotted 20 minutes. Even when I select the words
first. I'm thinking about shortening the lists.
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
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 Message 95 of 222
25 March 2010 at 3:17am | IP Logged 
Pyx wrote:
Iversen wrote:
Arekkusu wrote:
None of the vocabulary acquisition
methods presented on this site are backed up by any kind of empirical data or "study
data available for scrutiny". (Well, that I know of.)


I have tried to find scientific reports on the internet about acquisition of words, but
it seems that anything that has that kind of pretentions (i.e. double-blind layout,
statistical tests etc.) is based on learning meaningless syllables. And then you know
that it has nothing to do with real language learning, and that the results - whatever
they are - are irrelevant. Those who have proposed concrete techniques are mostly
amateurs like myself who try out a technique on ourselves and then write about our
results because others might benefit from trying, OR they are commercial enterprises
who aren't eager to publish trustworthy data. There may be a lot of relevant research
going on in our academic institutions, but then I don't understand why we don't hear
about it.

Iversen, I was wondering about this! Why would 'meaningless syllables' not have any
relationship to 'real language learning'? I mean, what is vocabulary acquisition if not
relating syllables to a meaning?

All syllables are meaningless, after all.
1 person has voted this message useful



BartoG
Diglot
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Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 96 of 222
25 March 2010 at 6:04am | IP Logged 
Language learning isn't about acquiring sounds. It's about acquiring means of signification. The signifier is linked with the signified. What's more, the word exists within a language framework. Depending on whether it's a noun, a verb, or whatever, there are a variety of sentences you can plug it into. So when you learn a word, you start with the association between the word and what it represents, and have besides that a sense of how the word fits into a larger linguistic framework. The more uses or associations available for the word, the better you're going to remember it.

If you try to learn just the vocabulary of a language without learning anything else, I don't know how far you'd get. I think most language learners wouldn't be capable of such a thing, however. It would be impossible to resist the temptation to try to make sentences with them, or to look up phrases, or some other such thing that winds up imposing a linguistic structure into which to place the word, even if that structure is wrong (as with people who naively start out by thinking that substituting French words for English words in the same sentence will make francophones of them).

What would be interesting to see is what happened if we got one of the designers of naturalistic conlangs to design a language for these experiments so we could actually double-blind test the learning of languages for which outside resources don't exist. I suspect that if you gave one group of learners just the words from this language, and the other example sentences, you'd discover that the Gold List - and any other vocabulary learning technique - worked better for those who had the sentences to hand. But that's just speculation on my part.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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