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Listening from the beginning

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
70 messages over 9 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 ... 5 ... 8 9 Next >>
Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4120 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 33 of 70
25 May 2011 at 2:00pm | IP Logged 
kmart wrote:
I don't think that's a given for everybody. For some people, seeing the written word, where the pronunciation rules are different to their native language, impairs their pronunciation abilities. They "see" the word in their head and keep trying to pronounce it with their native language rules.

This is the danger, yes. But...
Quote:
If they had only heard the language, but had not seen it written down, they wouldn't have a written picture, and would have to go on the sound alone, and thus their pronunciation would be better.

Not necessarily. As is often pointed out, we often try to "hear" things through the filter of our own language.

Basque, for example, has three phonemes (written Z, S and X) that approximate English S and SH. "only hearing" doesn't tell the learner which one they're hearing, and they end up mixing them up.

I say it doesn't matter whether you're teaching aurally or in the written form -- it is important that you make it clear which phoneme is being used at all times. We are not able to hear a new phoneme until it is made meaningful, and it will never be meaningful until we know it is there.

In an orthographically regular language*, the written form tells us what phoneme to use, and can help make every phoneme meaningful. Overuse of the written form does often lead to "reading relative to the native language", but that doesn't mean the written form should be avoided completely. Take what Michel Thomas did -- there was no writing in his classes, but he talked about spelling anyway, which was particularly useful in the Spanish R/RR distinction, because the students on the CD couldn't pronounce either sound, but they still knew which one they were trying to say at any given time.


* OK, no language is 100% orthographically regular, but some are at least highly regular.
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Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4120 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 34 of 70
25 May 2011 at 2:05pm | IP Logged 
schoenewaelder wrote:
So although children are pretty amazing learners, it actually takes them about 14 - 18 years to be able to converse on the same level as their parents, because there is no particular advantage in learning any faster than that. However, in certain specific circumstances (say immersion after being captured by another tribe) they seem to be able to achieve remarkable ability in only a few months.

You're talking about two different things here.

A child takes a dozen or so years to learn language in general, and does so at the same time as learning their native language (or languages).

Subsequent languages are quicker and easier to learn not because of specific motivations, but because they build on what the child already knows about language in general.

Learning a language is much less working than learning language.
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slucido
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
Spain
https://goo.gl/126Yv
Joined 4784 days ago

1296 posts - 1781 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Spanish*, Catalan*
Studies: English

 
 Message 35 of 70
25 May 2011 at 6:35pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:

slucido wrote:

We are mainly wired to learn through social interaction.


I'm mainly wired to learn when people don't interact with me.

But as anybody else I need to listen to a language in order to get it 'buzzing around' in my mind, and without the internet, radio and TV I would have had to listen to real living persons around me, which could mean that I would have to follow a course. So I'm happy that I live in an era where I can listen to things through the electronical media.


Are you sure?

What you are doing is a social interaction substitute. Listening and reading are sorts of social interactions otherwise you wouldn't pay any attention. We need some level of social interaction and emotional engagement to learn a language.



Edited by slucido on 25 May 2011 at 6:35pm

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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4659 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 36 of 70
26 May 2011 at 3:16am | IP Logged 
zuneybunny wrote:
I am currently learning Turkish with the FSI languages courses. Do you think this fits
with the criteria you gave? It's not really at native speed because it tries to let you
pronounce with it, but it's spoken by a native.

Thanks!

From a listening standpoint, a course with an audio component is better than one without. That being said, the
audio component of a typical course is inadequate to get you over that 10 minute threshold that I mentioned. There
are some courses with adequate audio, like FIA, but FSI isn't one of them. I recommend movies with subtitles,
podcasts, etc in the very beginning.
1 person has voted this message useful



kmart
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 4233 days ago

194 posts - 400 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 37 of 70
26 May 2011 at 2:25pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
kmart wrote:
I don't think that's a given for everybody. For some people, seeing the written word, where the pronunciation rules are different to their native language, impairs their pronunciation abilities. They "see" the word in their head and keep trying to pronounce it with their native language rules.

This is the danger, yes. But...
Quote:
If they had only heard the language, but had not seen it written down, they wouldn't have a written picture, and would have to go on the sound alone, and thus their pronunciation would be better.

Not necessarily.

That's why I said "some people" - I just think there can be some advantages, especially for first-time language learners, in not having too much reliance on the written word for pronunciation.
1 person has voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4120 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 38 of 70
27 May 2011 at 12:43am | IP Logged 
kmart wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
kmart wrote:
I don't think that's a given for everybody. For some people, seeing the written word, where the pronunciation rules are different to their native language, impairs their pronunciation abilities. They "see" the word in their head and keep trying to pronounce it with their native language rules.

This is the danger, yes. But...
Quote:
If they had only heard the language, but had not seen it written down, they wouldn't have a written picture, and would have to go on the sound alone, and thus their pronunciation would be better.

Not necessarily.

That's why I said "some people" - I just think there can be some advantages, especially for first-time language learners, in not having too much reliance on the written word for pronunciation.

Yes, but that's mere speculation.

Fact 1) Some people read things off paper and pronounce them like their first language.
Fact 2) Some people listen to things on tapes and pronounce them like their first language.

Now we have no proof that these are two distinct groups. The theory of learner styles would say that they are, but the theory of learner styles isn't supported by any good science.

Phonemics and phonemic awareness are established, recognised and well-studied with the field of linguistics and psycho-linguistics.

It therefore seems far more rational to me to assume that the biggest contribution to these learners' problems is a lack of phonemic awareness, regardless of "channels".
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steveboi
Newbie
Canada
oneyearmandarin
Joined 3044 days ago

4 posts - 4 votes
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 39 of 70
27 May 2011 at 9:51pm | IP Logged 
Can someone recommend good MANDARIN listening resources?

I know podcasts abound, but the beginner ones are full of English interruptions. I'm searching for conversations or
interviews that just go on and on.


thanks!

stevie campbell
1 person has voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4812 days ago

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 Message 40 of 70
27 May 2011 at 10:16pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
It therefore seems far more rational to me to assume that the biggest contribution to these learners' problems is a lack of phonemic awareness, regardless of "channels".


Let's not get into the discussion about visual and auditive learners again. I agree that the common factor here is that some learners are so bound to the phonemics of their own native language that they simply don't perceive anything that falls outside that pattern - and this happens both when they listen to a foreign language and when they try to read a text applying their defective perception of the sound system of that language.

Ultimately you need to listen very carefully to a language to learn its sounds and its intonations patterns, but I agree that some knowledge about sound production is essential if you want to be able to interpret the sounds you hear. In a sense the articulatory knowledge is the factor that makes it possible to transcend a purely phonemic analysis, which is all too likely to be influenced by your native language.



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