Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Three rules for improving listening

  Tags: Listening
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
105 messages over 14 pages: 13 4 5 6 7 ... 2 ... 13 14 Next >>
sillygoose1
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2822 days ago

566 posts - 814 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, Spanish, French
Studies: German, Latin

 
 Message 9 of 105
24 March 2013 at 9:52pm | IP Logged 
What would you recommend for the harder stuff where there may not be transcripts? For example, I'm watching sitcoms and I'm noticing that it's not necessarily the vocab itself I have problems with, but rather how a native speaker cuts the words short/rate of speech. Like how English speakers say "wanna" and "gonna". Is this something only a native speaker can understand? Do you think that by watching TV/movies one can really understand all of the intimacies of a language?

And how would I go about listening for new words if I've never seen it before? Is this something one can learn solely through context?
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4783 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 10 of 105
24 March 2013 at 10:32pm | IP Logged 
Ari wrote:
Extensive reading (by which I assume you mean reading without looking things up) is also crap for improving your vocabulary.
...
It's hard to look up a word if you don't know how it's spelled. It's pretty easy to get the pronunciation from a dictionary (and lots of electronic dictionaries have recordings, too), but it's hard to get the spelling from a recording.

Once again, it depends. In a related language you can probably learn more by extensive reading, and it also becomes much more useful if you read something where you know the content (HP, LOTR, The Little Prince etc)
In a language like Spanish, Finnish or German looking up a word you've heard is fairly trivial, and that's a good skill to have. (My gut feeling is that Swedish is like that too, btw, at least compared to Danish or French)
Ari wrote:
Quote:
But with reading you determine the pace. with listening, you can only choose a different recording and perhaps even edit it, but the time slot for every individual word is still small. It's possible to read a word 100 times (in context, of course) and still stop to think of it every time; it's very unlikely with listening.

I still don't understand how you're disagreeing with me here. I'm saying listening to material where you don't know a lot of the words but you can figure them out because they're cognates is a great idea. Isn't that what you're saying, too?

I'm also saying that for the "unknown knowns" (as opposed to Prof Arguelles' "known unknowns" :D) listening is better than reading, and that you can learn them efficiently without looking up. Hence, neither listening nor extensive reading are necessarily crap for the vocabulary.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4783 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 11 of 105
24 March 2013 at 10:57pm | IP Logged 
sillygoose1 wrote:
What would you recommend for the harder stuff where there may not be transcripts? For example, I'm watching sitcoms and I'm noticing that it's not necessarily the vocab itself I have problems with, but rather how a native speaker cuts the words short/rate of speech. Like how English speakers say "wanna" and "gonna". Is this something only a native speaker can understand? Do you think that by watching TV/movies one can really understand all of the intimacies of a language?

And how would I go about listening for new words if I've never seen it before? Is this something one can learn solely through context?
First of all, get 100% comfortable with the words that are said the way you expect them to be. Your understanding of them should be fairly effortless.
I think pausing may be a good strategy in this case. The problem is not just that you didn't understand a word - the problem is that you need to concentrate on the next one and soon the next sentence. Pause and without necessarily translating or repeating try to understand what the person just said. Take a breath. Continue listening.

You may also want to experiment with deliberately suboptimal or accelerated audio, using slightly easier recordings and possibly even transcripts.

For your specific languages, there are also materials for learning (about) the slang/highly informal language and the dialects.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3095 days ago

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

 
 Message 12 of 105
25 March 2013 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
Ari wrote:

Extensive reading (by which I assume you mean reading without looking things up) is
also crap for improving your vocabulary. It's great for improving reading speed, for
solidifying your grasp of vocab you already know and for learning common ways of
expressing things and so on, but while it may improve your vocabulary it's not a very
efficient way of doing it. Again, right tool for the right job. So yes, if I want to
improve my vocabulary, I'm going to look things up.



I agree with most of what you've written Ari, but you do tend to exaggerate for
rhetorical effect, when describing something as "crap" just because it might be
less efficient than something else. We could argue for ages which is more efficient:
taking the time to look everything up, and thus reading less but knowing the words
more, or not looking up all the words, and learning words through the context, while
reading more.

Personally, trying to understand every word used to slow me down so much that I
couldn't finish a page of anything. Recently, I've discovered the value of just
pushing through without looking up much, and I find both my comprehension and
vocabulary increasing, whereas before I used to quit in frustration. Of course, this
comes down to learning preferences... not scientifically established, just a matter of
experience.

My current pattern is to use books with CD's at a little above my comprehension level.
I listen to the CD several times first. Initially, I probably understand about 50% of
what I hear; I may know more of the words, but they get lost in the flow of speech.
But I get the gist of the story, and then with repeated listening I understand more and
more of the story. Then I take the book and begin to read. I avoid looking things up
on the first reading, but I check google translate on my phone from time to time when I
just can't make sense of a sentence. By the 2nd or 3rd reading I find I understand
most of the book (meaning there's only 1 or 2 words on a page I don't get).

I guess my point is that, "learning styles" aside, people have different ways that are
effective for their learning. As far as I am concerned, it mostly amounts to what we
are able to keep up with. Trying to look up every word only stopped me from reading,
so it was not effective for me. Accepting a level of uncertainty might stop others
from continuing, so it would be more efficient for them to look up every word. My
point is not about the science (or lack thereof) of learning styles, it is about
keeping going. Basically, if you keep up with input which interests you enough to
persevere with it, you will learn more effectively than if you follow a method which
just doesn't appeal to you.

To get back to the original post: I quite agree with Ari about listening to something
that you would understand in written form. But on my first listen, since it is going a
lot faster than I would when reading it, I still miss most of what I'm hearing. What
is important is that it is audio that I will be capable of understanding, it just takes
a couple of listens to get it all to sink in.

Finally, learning styles might be easily blown off with a pithy quote and a link to an
article. But if I enjoy learning more in a visual way, then I will persevere more in
that method. And I hope we can all agree finding a way of learning that keeps us
learning is more useful than finding a more "efficient" method which we won't keep up.
13 persons have voted this message useful



Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
tinyurl.com/pe4kqe5
Joined 3952 days ago

2256 posts - 4045 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin

 
 Message 13 of 105
25 March 2013 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
As for rule #3, it may just be my ADD brain but I find that finding interesting content on just the right level automatically keeps me focused. When I don't have that kind of content, walking around while listening usually does the trick, and so does doing mindless chores.
2 persons have voted this message useful



French_please
Newbie
Joined 2453 days ago

6 posts - 6 votes
Studies: French

 
 Message 14 of 105
25 March 2013 at 12:26pm | IP Logged 
Audio books + text = ?
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4783 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 15 of 105
25 March 2013 at 1:21pm | IP Logged 
Sometimes great, sometimes an illusion.
2 persons have voted this message useful



DaraghM
Diglot
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 4337 days ago

1947 posts - 2923 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French, Russian, Hungarian

 
 Message 16 of 105
25 March 2013 at 4:41pm | IP Logged 
Ari wrote:
Don't waste your time listening to stuff that contains a bunch of words you don't know. Listening is crap for expanding your vocab.


I don't agree with this. I prefer to hear unknown words before I read them. If I read them first, I won't be sure how they're pronounced exactly . Also, if I listen to material I already know, this won't help me when faced with real world scenarios. Personally, I feel a lot of language learners don't spend enough time listening extensively, and especially to unknown material.



12 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 105 messages over 14 pages: << Prev 13 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3281 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2019 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.