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Three rules for improving listening

  Tags: Listening
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
105 messages over 14 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 ... 5 ... 13 14 Next >>
osoymar
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 Message 33 of 105
26 March 2013 at 11:41pm | IP Logged 
I can confidently say that I find it easier to understand an audiobook in German than
to read the same book, assuming that I'm not looking up any words. Moreover, I can
listen to the audiobook while driving or walking, although occasionally I'll have to
skip back a minute or two if my focus shifts.

The main advantage of an audiobook over a book is that the reader is providing
emotional context through the intonation. I might mix up Verwalter and Vergewaltiger on
the page, but I doubt that would happen in an audiobook.

I don't know how to measure the impact of this study method, assuming I consider it to
be a study method. I definitely learn a few words, but I could probably learn more with
the equivalent of audio flashcards. The problem being, of course, that I would soon
fall asleep and crash into a telephone pole.

I suspect the real value of extensive reading or listening is in solidifying and
enriching understanding of vocabulary that I have learned formally, and priming the
pump for vocabulary that I have yet to learn- thus those wonderful "aha" moments when I
come across a word and I already have some weird, subconscious associations with it.

This is all specific to a language similar to my native language, that I'm reactivating
at a medium level. Changing any of those variables could completely change the outcome.
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Ari
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 Message 34 of 105
27 March 2013 at 6:59am | IP Logged 
Gala wrote:
I think Ari's contention would probably be true, for me at least, if it was confined to strictly audio material without transcripts and translations. But when it comes to audio-visual material, absolutely not, especially if you're talking about shows like soap operas or cartoons that have fairly predictable story-lines, a great deal of repetition of themes, exaggerated body language and facial expressions, and where the characters' words are often directly related to their present physical activity.

This is a very good point. Thanks for that. As tavos says, it does require enough understanding to "decode" most of what you're hearing, though. And I want to point out that I explicitly said you don't need to know every single word, but enough to be able to understand what's going on (were it presented in written form).
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Ari
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 Message 35 of 105
27 March 2013 at 7:01am | IP Logged 
osoymar wrote:
I can confidently say that I find it easier to understand an audiobook in German than to read the same book, assuming that I'm not looking up any words.

Makes sense to me, though I don't think it's very relevant to this discussion. The advantage I cited for reading as a tool for expanding your vocabulary was precisely the fact that it's a lot easier to look things up.
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g-bod
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 Message 36 of 105
27 March 2013 at 11:39am | IP Logged 
I may be just imagining it, but I think that if I spend a lot of time listening to stuff that is mostly comprehensible it gives a huge boost to my listening ability and a slight boost to my speaking ability, especially pronunciation. However, if I spend a lot of time listening to stuff that is mostly incomprehensible, it seems to have a negative impact on my ability overall. It's as if my brain automatically tunes out of the language altogether if I get too much information I can't make sense of.
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kujichagulia
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 Message 37 of 105
27 March 2013 at 1:59pm | IP Logged 
g-bod wrote:
I may be just imagining it, but I think that if I spend a lot of time listening to stuff that is mostly comprehensible it gives a huge boost to my listening ability and a slight boost to my speaking ability, especially pronunciation. However, if I spend a lot of time listening to stuff that is mostly incomprehensible, it seems to have a negative impact on my ability overall. It's as if my brain automatically tunes out of the language altogether if I get too much information I can't make sense of.

g-bod, I think you summed up exactly how I feel, and that is the reason why I'm thinking of not listening to incomprehensible audio when I could be listening to comprehensive audio.

Did I mention that this thread is awesomeness on toast?
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osoymar
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 Message 38 of 105
27 March 2013 at 9:58pm | IP Logged 
Ari wrote:
osoymar wrote:
I can confidently say that I find it easier to understand an
audiobook in German than to read the same book, assuming that I'm not looking up any
words.

Makes sense to me, though I don't think it's very relevant to this discussion. The
advantage I cited for reading as a tool for expanding your vocabulary was precisely the
fact that it's a lot easier to look things up.


I'm really comparing extensive reading with extensive listening- looking words up
inherently makes it intensive reading or intensive listening. In that case I definitely
agree that intensive reading is preferable.

Anyway, apologies for the tangent.
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Gala
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 Message 39 of 105
27 March 2013 at 11:50pm | IP Logged 
Ari wrote:
Gala wrote:
I think Ari's contention would probably be true, for me at
least, if it was confined to strictly audio material without transcripts and
translations. But when it comes to audio-visual material, absolutely not, especially if
you're talking about shows like soap operas or cartoons that have fairly predictable
story-lines, a great deal of repetition of themes, exaggerated body language and facial
expressions, and where the characters' words are often directly related to their
present physical activity.

This is a very good point. Thanks for that. As tavos says, it does require enough
understanding to "decode" most of what you're hearing, though. And I want to point out
that I explicitly said you don't need to know every single word, but enough to be able
to understand what's going on (were it presented in written form).


I may not have explicitly stated it, but I think that it was implicit in what I wrote
that I did NOT have the knowledge of the language to have understood most of what was
going on in telenovelas when I first (and for several months, at least) began watching
them, if I had been reading the scripts. It was the visual cues that enabled me to
actually learn many words and phrases in context before I ever came across them in
written form.
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sillygoose1
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 Message 40 of 105
28 March 2013 at 1:24am | IP Logged 
What are you guys' thoughts on languages closely related also? For instance, let's say I have a C1 level in Swedish and I want to learn Norwegian. How much studying do you think would be needed for Norwegian before I should start watching tv and listening to the radio. Couldn't one hypothetically start a bit earlier in the "listening to the unknown" stage, to the contrary of a C1 in German and learning Mandarin, and still get good results?


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