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Has anybody tried the Gold List method?

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
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 Message 57 of 222
19 March 2010 at 4:28pm | IP Logged 
Pyx wrote:
Arekkusu wrote:
Pyx wrote:
Arekkusu wrote:
Pyx wrote:
   Let us know how that Goldylist-thingy is working out for you as soon as you get some results! :)

I'll let you know as soon as I hit the 8000-word mark.

Looking forward to your report next week, then!

Don't mean to rain on your parade, but the method insists that I wait 2 weeks ;)

But Woodpecker doesn't! Don't screw with people that'll peck your wood, man! :D

Consider yourself lucky, I'm usually pretty picky on who gets to peck my wood...
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Woodpecker
Triglot
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United States
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 Message 58 of 222
19 March 2010 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
I think I'll pass, thanks.
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s_allard
Triglot
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Canada
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Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 59 of 222
19 March 2010 at 11:13pm | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
I don't think vocab lists are, by any means, a complete "method" in themselves, so I try not to expect that from them. However, I think there can be great value gained from them. I think of vocab lists as one possible way to "bootstrap" yourself to get started in a language. By quickly browsing through a few hundred common words in a new language, you can easily get yourself ready to read actual native content in that language.


I agree basically with this position. I probably differ more with those folks who attempt to learn thousands of words from lists. In my opinion, once one goes beyond being able to get the gist of things with a few hundred words, it's important to start thinking in terms of entire phrases and collocations.

Let me remind everyone that in all languages it is a well known fact that only a small number of different words account for most of the words in most examples of spoken and written language. Some people refer to Zipf's law or the Pareto principle; for purposes of language learning, it boils down, in my opinion, to concentrating on mastering the most important words and structures of a language.

For example, in French something like 25 verbs make up over 50% of the verb forms in ordinary spoken speech. My statistics may be off, but the point is clear. Instead of trying to learn 500 French verbs, master the 25 first and then progressively work your work through the others as they come up.

For these very reasons I believe that with a vocabulary of 1000 words well learned one could get by very well in French and probably fool a lot of people. Now if you want to read French literature and newspapers it's a different story, but even there an extensive knowledge of the basic forms will go a long way.
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doviende
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
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 Message 60 of 222
20 March 2010 at 1:45am | IP Logged 
The problem with these percentages is that even if you know those 25 words, and they come up in every sentence, you still won't understand those sentences as they are spoken to you. Also, once you add in some more specific (but less frequent) words that help you in a couple of everyday situations, then the number starts to shoot upwards. Having a low limit like 1000 is a difficult task.

In principle, though, I mostly agree. There is really a core of the language that you need to master and have it always ready. If you can fluidly produce the basic things from that core, then it becomes an easy task to learn another 20 - 100 new words in a short time period in order to deal with a new potential situation.

I think it's possible to go the other way around, though. Taking what Iverson said earlier about learning many many more words right at the start, I'm starting to imagine that one should actually do this backwards. Instead of learning the core really well and then expanding your vocab later, you could learn tons of vocab as fast as you can and then use your extensive vocabulary superpowers to read and listen to tons of native material that would help you cement the core parts.

I think this relates well to the idea of having a good balance of "intensive" and "extensive" reading, but I'll have to think more about just concentrating on massive vocab, which is a slightly different path than intensive reading (which is more well-rounded, not focusing entirely on vocab).

This relates to my current Swedish project quite well, because I have a wonderful frequency-based wordlist of 2000 common words that each have an example sentence. I keep thinking that I'm not using this list to its full potential, since I've only made flashcards for the "A" and "B" words so far. It's just much easier to stay interested if I'm reading a real book instead of playing with a wordlist. It does look like my ability to read would be greatly increased if I spent more time on the list first, though. Maybe I just need more hours in the day ;)
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Pyx
Diglot
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China
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 Message 61 of 222
20 March 2010 at 1:47am | IP Logged 
"extensive vocabulary superpowers". Phrase of the day.
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ellasevia
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2011
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Germany
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 Message 62 of 222
20 March 2010 at 2:51am | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
This relates to my current Swedish project quite well, because I have a wonderful frequency-based wordlist of 2000 common words that each have an example sentence.


What is this source and where can I purchase/find it? I have been looking for just such a thing.
2 persons have voted this message useful



doviende
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
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 Message 63 of 222
20 March 2010 at 3:37am | IP Logged 
here it is: http://www.folkuniversitetet.se/out/swedex/dok/flik4/swe_alf _feb21.pdf
entitled "Alfabetisk lista över samtliga specifikationer".

It's alphabetic, and each word has at least one example sentence.
(edit: sorry, i had a space in the url. fixed now hopefully)

Edited by doviende on 20 March 2010 at 4:28am

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ALS
Senior Member
United States
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 Message 64 of 222
20 March 2010 at 4:28am | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
here it is: http://www.folkuniversitetet.se/out/swedex/dok/flik4/ swe_alf_feb21.pdf
entitled "Alfabetisk lista över samtliga specifikationer".

It's alphabetic, and each word has at least one example sentence.
(edit: sorry, i had a space in the url. fixed now hopefully
edit again: ummm...for some reason i can't make it work. it always reinserts the space in the url)


Wow, this is pretty awesome. Know of any like this for other languages?


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