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Listening from the beginning

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irrationale
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 Message 57 of 70
26 June 2011 at 10:16am | IP Logged 
I'm curious about studies done on listening to slow L2 versus listening to native speed L2.

In my experience with Chinese, I listened to rapid, noise distorted speech on VOA talk shows, and my listening comprehension improved by a huge amount, even though I didn't understand every word. After a month or two of every day listening, the language seemed to slow down and I could more easily distinguish words and sounds, even if most of the words I didn't know.

It seems that while listening to L2 slow may be efficient in the sense that you will more easily understand it, you will not be getting used to native speed, which is often very different from slowed down speech in more than just speed (for example Americans pronounce more letters that disappear in fast speech). You will also be hearing less words in total in the long run.

What is comes down to I suppose is if L2 is slowed down by a factor of X, will it be X times more likely that you will understand the word? If it is slowed down by 3, but it is only twice as likely that you will understand the word, you are better off listening to native speed since in the long run, statistically speaking you will understand more words.
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Jeffers
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 Message 58 of 70
26 June 2011 at 1:40pm | IP Logged 
irrationale wrote:
I'm curious about studies done on listening to slow L2 versus listening to native speed L2.

In my experience with Chinese, I listened to rapid, noise distorted speech on VOA talk shows, and my listening comprehension improved by a huge amount, even though I didn't understand every word. After a month or two of every day listening, the language seemed to slow down and I could more easily distinguish words and sounds, even if most of the words I didn't know.

It seems that while listening to L2 slow may be efficient in the sense that you will more easily understand it, you will not be getting used to native speed, which is often very different from slowed down speech in more than just speed (for example Americans pronounce more letters that disappear in fast speech). You will also be hearing less words in total in the long run.

What is comes down to I suppose is if L2 is slowed down by a factor of X, will it be X times more likely that you will understand the word? If it is slowed down by 3, but it is only twice as likely that you will understand the word, you are better off listening to native speed since in the long run, statistically speaking you will understand more words.


I suppose it depends on how good your ear is for picking up sounds. Some of that is innate, and some comes through practice. For me, it is more efficient to listen to slowed down speech initiall, but move up to full speed speech soon. For others, it would be more efficient to listen to full speed speech right away because they are more skilled at picking out sounds in general. I imagine this improves the more languages you learn.

But some of us will always struggle to pick out words. I sometimes struggle in my own language, and I know some people with autism do as well, because their autism affects how they receive sounds. I know a boy who has perfect hearing, but apparantly he has trouble processing what he hears. The result is that when he speaks, he sounds very much like a person with hearing difficulties.
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Cainntear
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 Message 59 of 70
26 June 2011 at 4:32pm | IP Logged 
irrationale wrote:
It seems that while listening to L2 slow may be efficient in the sense that you will more easily understand it, you will not be getting used to native speed, which is often very different from slowed down speech in more than just speed (for example Americans pronounce more letters that disappear in fast speech). You will also be hearing less words in total in the long run.

People when speaking carefully speak differently -- they speak how they think they should.

This can be actually mean mispronouncing things [eg differentiating the vowels in -er (driver) and -or (doctor), or -ant (pedant) and -ent (different)] which is unarguably a bad thing.

However, it can also simply be overpronouncing, which isn't always bad if it helps the learner pick up an accurate phoneme map of the language. EG unstressed "e" and "er" in German often sound the same to English speakers, and making a bit of a stronger distinction to begin with may prevent the learner confusing the two.

Quote:
What is comes down to I suppose is if L2 is slowed down by a factor of X, will it be X times more likely that you will understand the word? If it is slowed down by 3, but it is only twice as likely that you will understand the word, you are better off listening to native speed since in the long run, statistically speaking you will understand more words.

Sorry, but statistics are about proportion not absolute values. If you only understand 40% of the words in a recording, you won't understand the recording as a whole. If you understand 80% of the words in a recording, you'll understand the general gist of the recording.

Also, if you're working with native materials and slowing them down on your PC, you'll be able to relisten later at full speed, which you'll understand better.
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The Real CZ
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 Message 60 of 70
27 June 2011 at 12:45am | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:

This can be actually mean mispronouncing things [eg differentiating the vowels in -er (driver) and -or (doctor), or -ant (pedant) and -ent (different)] which is unarguably a bad thing.


I don't know if that's a good example. Where I'm from, the -er in driver and -or in doctor sound exactly the same, same with the -ant in pendant and -ent in different.
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Lucky Charms
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 Message 61 of 70
27 June 2011 at 3:10am | IP Logged 
The Real CZ wrote:
Cainntear wrote:

This can be actually mean mispronouncing things [eg differentiating the vowels in -er (driver) and -or (doctor), or -ant (pedant) and -ent (different)] which is unarguably
a bad thing.


I don't know if that's a good example. Where I'm from, the -er in driver and -or in doctor sound exactly the same, same with the -ant in pendant and -ent in different.


I think this is exactly what Cainntear meant. He says that differentiating between them is wrong, but some native speakers do it anyway when they're speaking slowly for a
foreigner.
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The Real CZ
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 Message 62 of 70
27 June 2011 at 5:23am | IP Logged 
Oh, going back and rereading his post it makes sense now lol.
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irrationale
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 Message 63 of 70
27 June 2011 at 8:21am | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:


Quote:
What is comes down to I suppose is if L2 is slowed down by a factor of X, will it be X times more likely that you will understand the word? If it is slowed down by 3, but it is only twice as likely that you will understand the word, you are better off listening to native speed since in the long run, statistically speaking you will understand more words.

Sorry, but statistics are about proportion not absolute values. If you only understand 40% of the words in a recording, you won't understand the recording as a whole. If you understand 80% of the words in a recording, you'll understand the general gist of the recording.


I was talking about probabilities of understanding each individual word, that is, I was referring to expected outcome of total understood words.

For example, if we have a string of N words we could say for simplicity that at a certain speed, the probability of understanding each word is Y, so the total expected value of total words understood would be N*Y. If at 1/3 speed the probability of understanding any word is Z, N would now be N/3, then the expected value would now be N/3*Z

So if N*Y > N/3*Z, then listening to the first speed results in a higher amount of expected understood words.

Edited by irrationale on 27 June 2011 at 8:27am

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liuzf
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 Message 64 of 70
27 June 2011 at 9:49am | IP Logged 
Thank you, Leosmith, very appriciate your post.I think I can take your experiece as a nice example.


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