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Arekkusu’s TAC 2012 Team ne nur

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

 
 Message 201 of 407
13 September 2011 at 7:42pm | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
Though I've never spent a lot of time thinking about how best to correct others (a potential new thread?), I instinctively just listen, correct sentences or words that would otherwise be unintelligible (or would be to others) and I take note of the rest. I then address the issues covered in my notes at the end of a train of thought. I also make a deliberate effort to correct first and foremost things that could potentially have a general effect on other words or phrases or could be applied to many situations. There is little point in spending time correcting at length a word that's rarely used.


Considering that I am not a teacher and I am generally participating in a language exchange on a 50/50 basis, I usually let my partner dictate how much they want me to correct them. Although it doesn't always work out. This details man I complained about in my earlier post also wanted me to correct everything in the same way, but he rarely seemed to take note of the corrections I gave, particularly with respect to pronunciation. Clearly it was a partnership that was never going to work!

Actually, my flute teacher at university was also very concerned about correcting every detail. I could never get to the end of a phrase in my lessons without being called up on one issue or another (or usually several!). I think the fear of "bad habits" is even more pervasive in music education than it is in languages. I went from being humbled, to being destroyed and finally got stuck with being very frustrated as I couldn't focus on dealing with every little problem at the same time and was unable to distinguish which were the most important things to work on. I would say that the other flute students in my cohort were divided with half believing they had an excellent teacher and half believing they had a terrible one.

I do think that the occasional humbling experience is good to keep you grounded, but I wouldn't make it a regular part of my lifestyle!
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Sprachprofi
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Germany
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 Message 202 of 407
13 September 2011 at 8:43pm | IP Logged 
I asked my language partner to use this method with me. I like it better than either
constant corrections or constant uncertainty over whether I'm right or whether they're
just tolerating my mistakes.

I believe that taking notes or getting a look would faze me more; they're harder to
ignore. If it is a minor mistake that I want to ignore, having it in writing would be
demotivating.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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 Message 203 of 407
13 September 2011 at 8:55pm | IP Logged 
Sprachprofi wrote:
I believe that taking notes or getting a look would faze me more; they're harder to ignore. If it is a minor mistake that I want to ignore, having it in writing would be demotivating.

My partner gives me a look whenever I make a mistake I repeat often; this allows me to correct myself without being told anything. I like that. Of course, this only happens when she knows I can fix it.

I suppose a tap would do the same, except that it would remove the option of only being told about that mistake after I'm done talking. I'll consider it, but it doesn't feel quite right, somehow.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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 Message 204 of 407
16 September 2011 at 8:17pm | IP Logged 
In post 196, I mentioned that as I met my language partner, it took me about an hour to reach a certain state of efficiency where the speed of my speech had become optimal.

Yesterday, I met another language partner, and the same thing happened in about the same amount of time. My partner was also able to confirm that it was real, i.e. it's not just in my head.

I now think what happened was “flow”.

Wikipedia defines flow as --

”the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.”

You can also see Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talk about it in a TED video here.

[NOTE: I’m not the first to mention flow on this site. There was a short-lived thread on it back in 2008, addressing flow in language learning, albeit in more general terms (http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9207&KW=flow). My focus though is with attaining flow when speaking a foreign language you are learning.]

When I reach that state of flow, I feel confident and speaking becomes effortless. It’s enjoyable and motivating. Since this state is optimal for my learning, extending its duration would obviously be beneficial. I assume that any learning done during a period of flow is easier, more efficient and probably has more lasting effects on my fluency. Seeing as my meetings with language partners are finite in time, the only way to extend the duration of flow is to reach it earlier.

I know from my experience that I can reach flow rather effortlessly in about an hour or less of focused conversation. I can conclude from this that some of the winning conditions are already in place. I also know that there have been times in the past where flow was not reached, so I have some idea of what might have prevented it.

The most important question for me now is to determine, on the one hand, what factors prevent flow and how to avoid them, and on the other, what successful factors are already in place and how I can make the most of them, and what other factors might help me reach flow earlier.

From what I read online, the time it takes to reach flow depends a lot on the type of task you do (and presumably on the person and the surroundings). Most of the time, though, the estimates seem to hover around 15 to 30 minutes. This appears to be less than it takes me when speaking Japanese, so either I’m doing a more difficult task, and the nature of a conversation means that distractions abound and are difficult to control, or else perhaps it’s just that the process is not efficient enough.

Before I continue to analyze what factors impede or facilitate the attainment of flow, I’d like to ask you what factors affect your flow. I’ll be particularly interested in answers that pertain directly to oral practice of a L2+ language.

Edited by Arekkusu on 16 September 2011 at 8:52pm

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
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3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
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 Message 205 of 407
18 September 2011 at 3:57am | IP Logged 
Reading Japanese is so darn frustrating -- even if I understand everything, I still have no idea how to
pronounce it with the correct pitch!
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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 Message 206 of 407
18 September 2011 at 5:44pm | IP Logged 
Interesting little pdf about pitch accent.

Edited by Arekkusu on 19 September 2011 at 3:51pm

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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 207 of 407
19 September 2011 at 5:31pm | IP Logged 
What an encouraging week it's been! Met with my language partners twice, met lots of new Japanese people at the exchange group, got loads of practice and received plenty of (seemingly heartfelt) praise for my Japanese!

Interestingly, one of the girls at the exchange group keeps reverting back to Kansai-ben. Though it was disconcerting at first, I'm getting used to it little by little.

Another girl I met said she's moved around a lot as a child and so was forced to learn the various dialects of each region. She even deliberately studied Kansai-ben by watching movies; apparently, speaking standard Japanese was seen negatively by her classmates.

I spent some time trying to figure out the pitch patterns of numbers... surprise, surprise, there are no patterns! There is even some discrepency between Standard Japanese and Tokyo-ben (Kanto-ben?). For instance, 60, is either roKUJYUu or roKUjyuu, respectively.

Anyway, a good week all-around for Japanese.
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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 208 of 407
20 September 2011 at 4:06pm | IP Logged 
Dilemma of the day: should I accept to be corrected for naturalness, or is it so intrusive that I should rather trust my own ability to pick up natural ways of speaking from input alone?

Perhaps speaking in a more natural way is not quite yet my main concern. It will be soon (it's on my list), but not quite yet. I'm still concerned with reaching a high degree of ease in the language and I think I'd rather not get corrected when my sentences are correct, yet not perfectly natural sounding. A bit is fine, but I still think I can pick up quite a bit from listening myself. I prefer to pick it up from an answer rather than from a correction.


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