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Deliberately suboptimal audio

  Tags: Listening
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
23 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
tastyonions
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 Message 1 of 23
18 January 2013 at 3:35pm | IP Logged 
I had an idea today: take some learner content, which is typically extremely clear and evenly spoken with absolutely no background noise, and distort or muffle it with other sounds (e.g. music, since music is very often playing in public environments, or background speech / "crowd noise" of some sort), in order to make the speech tougher to understand and the audio environment more like what one would experience out in the wild.

Has anyone tried anything like this? If so, was it helpful?

I suppose that things like movies and interviews are a bit less clear and more realistic than typical learner content, but even in those the dialogue tends to be more prominent in the audio stream than it would be if one were there in person.

Edited by tastyonions on 18 January 2013 at 3:35pm

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renaissancemedi
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 Message 2 of 23
18 January 2013 at 3:53pm | IP Logged 
You are really creative with your language learning! Yes, it's a good idea, but why not just tune in a tv channel and see what happens?

When I was preparing for my Cambridge Proficiency in English exams (maaaany years ago), the best advice I got on listening comprehension was this: swich on your tv on cnn or bbc or whatever, and let it play as you do whatever else in your home. There were news, films, live reporting, many accents, it was great. Soon I was able to understand almost everything without sweating too much.

Edited by renaissancemedi on 18 January 2013 at 3:54pm

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sans-serif
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 Message 3 of 23
18 January 2013 at 4:20pm | IP Logged 
I've listened to plenty of sped-up audio, which isn't quite the same thing but still similar in many ways. I would like to think that my listening skills have improved, although the only thing I can say for sure is that I've gotten better at listening to sped-up audio. ;-)

Another thing I've noticed is that it's usually significantly easier to understand speech I'm listening to my headphones than when I hear something on the TV or through speakers, especially at lower volumes.
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tarvos
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 Message 4 of 23
18 January 2013 at 4:46pm | IP Logged 
This sounds like TY audio recordings. It happens, but the fact that it happens doesn't
mean people shouldn't bother to record things properly.
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Snowflake
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 Message 5 of 23
18 January 2013 at 4:59pm | IP Logged 
Search in YouTube to find "raw" audio in your target language. A lot of those will have background noise, etc.
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sillygoose1
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 Message 6 of 23
18 January 2013 at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
It's a good strategy that I use also.

Often times I like to find audio with static and try to understand it, then when I switch to a normal show or something my comprehension seems better.

Duolingo's recordings are an exception.
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hrhenry
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 Message 7 of 23
18 January 2013 at 5:56pm | IP Logged 
I get plenty of "distraction" in whatever I'm listening to just by the fact that I'm
usually doing it in public. I usually only have one of my earbuds in, so I can be
alerted to anything needing any sort of caution around me, and that allows for all sorts
of ambient noise to mix in and try to divert my attention.

Extra points for doing this on public transportation. There's even more distraction
when you're being pushed/pulled by irate fellow passengers.

R.
==
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emk
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 Message 8 of 23
18 January 2013 at 6:28pm | IP Logged 
tastyonions wrote:
I had an idea today: take some learner content, which is typically extremely clear and evenly spoken with absolutely no background noise, and distort or muffle it with other sounds (e.g. music, since music is very often playing in public environments, or background speech / "crowd noise" of some sort), in order to make the speech tougher to understand and the audio environment more like what one would experience out in the wild.


For the longest time, I was exposed to two sources of French audio: my wife's speech (which I can understand under a wide variety of conditions), and French streaming radio over good headphones or speakers.

When I took the DELF B2 exam, however, they played a difficult radio broadcast over cheap "boombox" speakers, all while city buses honked their horns below. If that wasn't bad enough, one of the students taking the exam had disappeared into thin air, and the proctors were whispering to each other in the corner of the room.

So I think your idea makes a lot of sense. Of course, all you really need to do is listen to French while washing the dishes or driving a car. :-)




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