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Do you use Lang-8 regularly?

  Tags: Corrections | Writing
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
30 messages over 4 pages: 1 2 3 4  Next >>
Senior Member
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Portuguese

 Message 1 of 30
07 December 2012 at 7:26am | IP Logged 
I would like to know if anyone is currently using Lang-8 regularly, or on occasion, or has quit using it. Any experiences with Lang-8 that you would like to share?
1 person has voted this message useful

United States
Joined 2821 days ago

59 posts - 91 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese, Sign Language
Studies: French

 Message 2 of 30
07 December 2012 at 8:25am | IP Logged 
I typically go in spurts where I use Lang-8 frequently, or don't use it at all for a
month or two.

From personal experience I've found Lang-8 to be a fantastic resource for improving
output. If you take the time to really go over the corrections that people write for
you and then rewrite the entire piece, or at least the parts with mistakes, you'll
notice much more improvement than if you just sort of glance over it.

With Japanese I found the comments I got helpful in making me sound more natural.
Since most of the people on there aren't Japanese teachers and won't give you specific
grammatical rules, they'll just tell you it sounds off or feels weird. This helps you
learn which of the three words you learned for "situation" sounds best, or what's the
best way to order this sentence to connect ideas.

One piece of advice I got for my writing in Japanese was to put anything time related
near the beginning of the sentence. As I'm sure you know from studying Japanese, as
long as you have the correct particle, you can generally move things around in the
sentence and still be grammatically correct. Being grammatically correct and being
natural aren't always the same thing.

I've also used Lang-8 to have my speaking corrected. I recorded a video, put it on
youtube then linked it in my post and asked if anyone would give me feedback on
anything strange they noticed. I got one or two really good comments that helped my
intonation / pronunciation.

If you get creative, there are tones of uses for Lang-8.

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Senior Member
Joined 3238 days ago

629 posts - 813 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, EnglishC2, German
Studies: Japanese, Spanish

 Message 3 of 30
07 December 2012 at 10:05am | IP Logged 
Have been posting there every day in December so far. 1,3,5th etc. in Japanese and the
rest in German. Only one of my German entries received any correction at all, but the
Japanese are more active on Lang-8, thus I kind of like that site, thus my Japanese
entries has always been corrected.

I think I will continue using it during TAC 2013, but I'll only post once a week in
each language. (1 German + 1 Japanese entry per week)

Edited by stifa on 07 December 2012 at 10:07am

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Senior Member
Joined 3212 days ago

1031 posts - 1571 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Portuguese

 Message 4 of 30
07 December 2012 at 2:07pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the input. Yes, I try to post there when I have time. It can be very helpful, but sometimes I get many corrections on the same sentence, and it is hard to decide which correction to use.
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United States
Joined 3897 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 5 of 30
07 December 2012 at 3:33pm | IP Logged 
I found lang-8 to be enormously useful when I was a bit above B1, because my French was full of errors: Missing adjective agreements, confusing over when to use ce sont, and stuff like that. These mistakes are easy for a native speaker to correct, especially when I rarely wrote more than 100 words.

By the end of my 30 days of intensive lang-8, though, I made far fewer grammatical errors, and I was writing longer essays. My corrections said things like, "Huh, I wouldn't say it that way," and "That sounds really weird," and "There's a much more natural way to say that." These sorts of corrections demand far more of the reader, and I generally only receive them from specific friends that I met on lang-8.

So I think that lang-8 is terrific when you're working on B1 or B2, but it becomes more difficult to use effectively as your writing improves, because it's much easier to correct a 100-word essay full of blatant errors than a 400-word essay that sounds clunky and unnatural.
5 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 3746 days ago

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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 Message 6 of 30
08 December 2012 at 2:27am | IP Logged 
I've used it on and off for a few years. I'll write nothing for a while, then a lot in a short while. I believe I used it
for Japanese, German, Esperanto, Finnish (and maybe Spanish).

I think it's particularly popular in Japan so it works well in that language because there are lots of users, but
that's not the case in all languages unfortunately. I've had texts be read by 100 people in 2 hours, then
another will be read by 5 people over 2 days. Always a bit of a gamble. But it gets easier if you help people
and establish relationships.

With Japanese people, always go back to comment or write a thank-you note, at least. That's just how it's
4 persons have voted this message useful

atama warui
Senior Member
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594 posts - 985 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, Japanese

 Message 7 of 30
08 December 2012 at 3:48pm | IP Logged 
I used lang-8 for 2 years and have quit it when my posts received no longer any corrections other than for the style.

IMHO, emk is right in that it becomes kind of obsolete once you hover around B2, because there won't be many errors left, just strange formulations - and those are fixed best by a lot of immersion.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
learnlangs.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4835 days ago

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Speaks: German*, English, French, Esperanto, Greek, Mandarin, Latin, Dutch, Italian
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swahili, Indonesian, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese

 Message 8 of 30
08 December 2012 at 4:50pm | IP Logged 
I have used lang-8 beyond B2 for French, writing essays on social issues. I agree that
there are fewer native speakers who correct these, because correcting isn't as straight-
forward, but in my experience there are still enough native speakers who will correct
you, for French at least. I do think it's important to write and to receive corrections,
especially at C1/C2 level, because I have not seen natural correction happen there as
much (it's easier at the lower levels because you encounter issues more often). Having
majored in French Studies at university, I have probably read more classics of French
literature than the average French person, and a fair amount of academic writing, but my
writing was still full of mistakes and unnatural phrasings. Lang-8 has been a help there.

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