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Arekkusu’s TAC 2012 Team ne nur

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 81 of 407
17 March 2011 at 9:36pm | IP Logged 
Pero estudias muchos otros idiomas!
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 83 of 407
24 March 2011 at 8:01pm | IP Logged 
Most of the successful things we do to learn languages are not done deliberately.
Talent may just be the difference between doing these things instinctively and needing
to be taught.

Generally, I don’t think teaching methods matter – it’s what you do with the
information you come across that really matters. I’ve never used a deliberate method
and, until recently, I never really put much thought into what I do when I learn
languages. I always just followed my instincts. Lately, however, quite a few people
around me have been asking for help and I feel that I need to analyze the mechanisms I
employ.

Since these mechanisms are instinctive and unnoticed, it’s unlikely I’ve identified
every important one, but here’s the process I’ve identified thus far:

1-     Filtered Input
2-     Meaningful Habit Formation
3-     Monitoring/Updating

Filtered Input


As I’m not very patient, I need to make fast progress in order to remain motivated.
When I start studying with any method, I filter the information and concentrate on what
matters, skipping over what I consider useless, namely anything I won’t need to express
myself in the short term.

I still keep an open mind and expose myself to the other vocabulary presented, because
I could be wrong, and important words will eventually turn up often enough that if I
pay attention, I will still learn them over time, at least passively. Usually though,
only a portion of what is presented is useful to me.

On the other hand, I pay particular attention to grammar, and I concentrate a lot on
the complete sentences that are introduced. They offer crucial insight into how the
language works. I also pay close attention to pronunciation and general intonation.

Meaningful Habit Formation

When I encounter a new sentence structure, I try to turn it into a meaningful
utterance. I use it in a context (in my head) where I need to express this information.
I repeat it several times until I can say it without pause or hesitation, and until it
feels natural and the words can accompany how I feel. At that point, I twist it around
alternately changing the subject, the object, the verb, the tense, I make it longer,
etc., each time making sure it remains meaningful to me. If I'm unsure about
pronunciation, I look it up. Having a precise understanding of pronunciation makes
acquisition and retention easier to me.

As I do this, something else happens: I’m creating new habits. These new phrases become
progressively automatic and the result is that I can use them to express myself
naturally when a similar context arises in real life. Often times, I will even prepare
for upcoming encounters in my head by having internal conversations, and I will look up
words as needed. Note that this can be done just about anywhere, so there is no excuse
not to improve!

This particular step, I feel, is essential to achieving fluency early on. Many
polyglots concentrate on vocabulary acquisition and don’t care much about fluency, but
I concentrate on expressing myself as much as I can with the little vocabulary I have.
I will also acquire a larger passive vocabulary, which will allow me to understand
answers that cover more than my active vocabulary.

Monitoring/Updating

Habit formation is crucial in my quest for fluency. However, habits are inevitably
formed at an early stage of the acquisition process and my understanding of words,
usage, grammar, etc., is bound to be inaccurate at least occasionally and will need to
be updated. As a result, it’s important to monitor new input to detect wrong
assumptions and update habits as needed. This new information comes from exposure, and
sometimes from the answers and corrections of native speakers. Not being understood is
also a huge indication that something is wrong, and I try to address it right away by
rephrasing over and over until I get it right, making a mental note of what didn’t get
the message across. The new rewording will likely haunt me and become a large part of
my internal discussions for a while.

Some people are afraid of forming bad habits, and some will even avoid speaking for
lengthy periods of time for that reason, but I think that forming bad habits is not
only inevitable, it can also be helpful: as long as I continue to monitor new input and
I’m willing to update my habits, the fact that I made an assumption -- even a wrong one
-- is a very powerful mechanism for detecting and remembering future errors. If I
expect the language to behave a certain way and it doesn’t, I know right away that
something is wrong and it becomes easier to notice, correct and remember.


Edited by Arekkusu on 27 March 2011 at 8:27pm

23 persons have voted this message useful



g-bod
Diglot
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5071 days ago

1485 posts - 2002 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, German

 
 Message 84 of 407
24 March 2011 at 9:07pm | IP Logged 
Just wanted to say thank you for an interesting post. I seem to have done quite well at bedding down techniques to improve my passive understanding, but have so far been at a loss when it comes to developing fluency. I will try to take on board some of your suggestions and see if I can make them work for me.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 85 of 407
24 March 2011 at 9:10pm | IP Logged 
g-bod wrote:
Just wanted to say thank you for an interesting post. I seem to have done quite well at bedding down techniques to improve my passive understanding, but have so far been at a loss when it comes to developing fluency. I will try to take on board some of your suggestions and see if I can make them work for me.

Let me know how it works out! I'm very curious to see if these things generally work for other people.
1 person has voted this message useful



Rob_Austria
Heptaglot
Groupie
Austria
Joined 4091 days ago

84 posts - 293 votes 
Speaks: German*, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Portuguese, Japanese
Studies: Croatian, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic (Written), Turkish

 
 Message 86 of 407
24 March 2011 at 11:47pm | IP Logged 
Let me just say that logs like this one make all the doubts I had about joining language learners on the Internet and exchanging information vanish within a second. Honestly, it is so refreshing to read your messages because they are full of passion about what you do. Besides, you give some really useful advice to other language learners and I have also benefited greatly from some of the responses you get because they, too, contain many useful hints and tips. I hope I'll be able to offer similar help to other people from time to time. I'll try to do my best, anyway. And, just for the record, your progress in Japanese within such a short period of time is almost mind-blowing. Hats off!
2 persons have voted this message useful



Rob_Austria
Heptaglot
Groupie
Austria
Joined 4091 days ago

84 posts - 293 votes 
Speaks: German*, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Portuguese, Japanese
Studies: Croatian, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic (Written), Turkish

 
 Message 87 of 407
25 March 2011 at 12:01am | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
Snowflake wrote:
Can you order TV dramas online? There should some places that have reasonable prices, like maybe Ebay. I personally heavily use TV programs and movies...it's probably 80-90% of my work.

Finding TV dramas for free is not a problem, but they have no subtitles. Proper Japanese DVDs would, but that option is infinitely more costly. Buying a 2-hour DVD and having it shipped to Canada is more expensive than paying a tutor for 2 hours.

I'm not mentioning that it would require a Japanese DVD player since I bought one the last time I went ;)


Well, to be honest, I found the DVDs to be not so expensive considering what American sitcom series cost here in Europe. Besides, I just use my normal DVD player but I guess this is due to the fact that you have the same system as the Americans and that's obviously different from the Japanese and European one.

I bought most of my DVDs online from Malaysia. They were much cheaper than what I would have had to pay had I bought them in Japan. At least that's been my experience. I don't know why those DVDs were so expensive in Japan.

Here's the link if someone is interested: http://www.zoommovie.com/japanese-tv-series-dvd/index

(By the way, sometimes the titles are written in Chinese Mandarin on the DVD box but the audio is Japanese - if in doubt, check their online descriptions for each movie).

I've never had any problems with their services.
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 88 of 407
25 March 2011 at 1:06pm | IP Logged 
Rob_Austria wrote:
Let me just say that logs like this one make all the doubts I had
about joining language learners on the Internet and exchanging information vanish within
a second. Honestly, it is so refreshing to read your messages because they are full of
passion about what you do. Besides, you give some really useful advice to other language
learners and I have also benefited greatly from some of the responses you get because
they, too, contain many useful hints and tips. I hope I'll be able to offer similar help
to other people from time to time. I'll try to do my best, anyway. And, just for the
record, your progress in Japanese within such a short period of time is almost mind-
blowing. Hats off!

Thank you for your kind words, Robert!


1 person has voted this message useful



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