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Listening from the beginning

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Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 49 of 70
30 May 2011 at 10:16am | IP Logged 
kmart wrote:
I agree we are both making assumptions here, but how about this example...

A learner studying Italian in written form, may easily make the error of pronouncing the present tense conjugation of "avere" with an "h" sound at the beginning, as they read "ho, hai, ha" etc (in fact I know a woman who does just this, several years after she commenced studying - she does usually correct herself, but she can't seem to shake her instinctive initial error).

But a learner listening to audio, without any written reference, would never pronounce the incorrect "h" because they don't know it's there. They may, in fact, spell it incorrectly, because the initial impression they had of the word did NOT contain an "h" (again, I know someone who intially learned by audio only, and she does have this spelling problem (but I don't do it very often)). ;-)

BUT...

Many learners who learn Italian by all-audio methods fail to learn consonant gemination (long consonant sounds written as double consonants). By changing the input channel from written to spoken, we do not actively address the question of phonemic awareness, which I believe is the root of the problem.

The example of H convinces a lot of people because it's a very clear and obvious fault, and it is considered "basic" whereas many teachers consider gemination "advanced", but they both arise from the same problem: phonemic awareness. Moving to spoken to eliminate /h/ is treating a symptom, but it doesn't cure the underlying disease.
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Arekkusu
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Canada
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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
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 Message 50 of 70
30 May 2011 at 1:31pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
The example of H convinces a lot of people because it's a very clear and obvious
fault, and it is considered "basic" whereas many teachers consider gemination "advanced", but they both
arise from the same problem: phonemic awareness. Moving to spoken to eliminate /h/ is treating a
symptom, but it doesn't cure the underlying disease.

...which is that the average learner -- or even teacher, to a degree -- knows next to nothing about
phonology or phonetics. He has no idea what a geminate consonant is, and even if he hears something
odd, he can't quite tell what it is, let alone define that as a geminate or even as a difference that matters. If
it doesn't matter in English, he assumes it mustn't matter in Italian either. He also has no idea whether
there are geminates in English because he's never spent a moment thinking about his own pronunciation.

In that context, it's virtually impossible for the learner to determine what the phonological differences are
between his language and the one he is learning, or to discern which differences matters from which don't.
4 persons have voted this message useful



zuneybunny
Diglot
Newbie
United States
turkishtrip.wordpres
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32 posts - 52 votes 
Speaks: English, Mandarin*
Studies: Spanish, Turkish

 
 Message 51 of 70
31 May 2011 at 5:07pm | IP Logged 
leosmith wrote:
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.


Thanks, but you mentioned in your tip that...

Quote:
I recommend listening to beginner podcasts. It takes a lot of beginner podcasts
to reach 10 min of native material, but do your best. It shouldn’t be too long before
intermediate podcasts and movies are comprehensible
enough for you to use.

I don't see how I can both fulfill this AND select materials that are at native level.
I've only been learning Turkish for 2 weeks, and I can't understand anything in an
audio played at normal native speed. The FSI courses I can understand just fine.

Could you please clarify how exactly you are doing this? 10 minutes of audio at native
speed (in which case I can't understand anything, therefore I'm not getting any
comprehension from it AT ALL), or at less than native speed and have comprehension?
1 person has voted this message useful



leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4743 days ago

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Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 52 of 70
01 June 2011 at 3:29am | IP Logged 
It's really hard at first. If you want to listen to a lot of beginner podcasts, that will probably be less frustrating to you for the time
being. But I recommend you to start listening to intermediate stuff, movies with subtitles, etc as soon as possible. Just 10 min at
first, if it's frustrating, or if your time is limited. You may think you're getting nothing out of it, but it would be unusual if you
didn't recognize a few words. Work at it; it's a skill that you can develop. It will take a while, but if you keep this up you'll definitely
learn new vocab and reinforce things just by doing those 10 min a day.

When I started Russian, I used Pimsleur. I supplemented it with russianpod101 beginner podcasts. Shortly after I added movies
with subtitles, and intermediate podcasts, and wished I had started them earlier.

The audio component in FSI alone is not sufficient. By that I mean it doesn't optimize your listening, as I explained in the first post.
They give you a taste of audio, and leave the rest up to you. The rest is what I'm talking about. If you prefer to go all the way
through the program without supplementing your listening, then you have completely missed the point of this thread.

If you were to listen to the audio component of another beginner program for 10 min, provided it matches my criteria, that would
be ok. For example, assimil usually has some nice comprehensible audio. But relying on a tiny bit of audio in FSI, spoken at slow
speeds, isn't enough. Listening ahead isn't a good idea either, because it will make it boring for you when you have to use it again.
2 persons have voted this message useful



kmart
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 4317 days ago

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

 
 Message 53 of 70
01 June 2011 at 12:22pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
kmart wrote:
I agree we are both making assumptions here, but how about this example...

A learner studying Italian in written form, may easily make the error of pronouncing the present tense conjugation of "avere" with an "h" sound at the beginning, as they read "ho, hai, ha" etc (in fact I know a woman who does just this, several years after she commenced studying - she does usually correct herself, but she can't seem to shake her instinctive initial error).

But a learner listening to audio, without any written reference, would never pronounce the incorrect "h" because they don't know it's there. They may, in fact, spell it incorrectly, because the initial impression they had of the word did NOT contain an "h" (again, I know someone who intially learned by audio only, and she does have this spelling problem (but I don't do it very often)). ;-)

BUT...

Many learners who learn Italian by all-audio methods fail to learn consonant gemination (long consonant sounds written as double consonants). By changing the input channel from written to spoken, we do not actively address the question of phonemic awareness, which I believe is the root of the problem.

But that is what Michel Thomas is for - "dovremmmmmmo" !
;-)
2 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3102 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
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Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 54 of 70
25 June 2011 at 7:57pm | IP Logged 
I'm surprised no one has mentioned it, but music you like in your target language is a great way to get listening practice without being bored, although I guess it "counts" as passive listening since you probably focus more on the music than the words at first. But as you continue listening you begin to hear the words more and more. Music has become an essential part of my language learning toolkit.

Someone on this forum or another mentioned a great internet tool for developing listening comprehension with music, which I will repeat here: http://lyricstraining.com
You watch a video in karaoke mode or game mode. Karaoke mode means the lyrics just appear below the video. Game mode means the lyrics appear with blanks, and you have to type the missing word or the music pauses. They sort the songs in three levels, and have songs in English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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 Message 55 of 70
25 June 2011 at 9:01pm | IP Logged 
kmart wrote:
But that is what Michel Thomas is for - "dovremmmmmmo" !
;-)

Yup, that's one of his strengths, and also my point: even when you learn by an audio method, there's things that you will never notice unless you are specifically taught them
2 persons have voted this message useful



Minya
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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22 posts - 38 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Korean

 
 Message 56 of 70
26 June 2011 at 4:17am | IP Logged 
I agree with OP. (Original Poster)

I've flirted with a few languages, and I always listen to them a lot. For instance, I listen to a lot of Japanese music and learn a lot of lyrics so I can sing it. It helps me with my pronunciation and I have a lot of fun while I'm listening/singing. I'm trying to do the same with Korean. So far, I've been watching some Kdramas (of course lol) and some music. I know Korean is harder then Japanese when it comes to sounds though. Listening to things you are interested in helps a lot and keeps it in your memory.


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