Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Slow Learning: FR, HI, ancGR TAC 2015

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
164 messages over 21 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 20 21 Next >>
PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3582 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 153 of 164
20 May 2015 at 6:07am | IP Logged 
You're still making nice steady sensible progress there Jeffers... good work!

I must get a hold of that 'Détectives' someday, sounds great.

PM
2 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

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

 
 Message 154 of 164
26 May 2015 at 1:33pm | IP Logged 
My thoughts on vocabulary acquisition

In response to the contentious threads on vocabulary, I've been thinking about what I do and decided to write it down so I can think about it, reflect on how it works, and refine my practice. I've settled on writing about three "phases" but in reality there is a lot of overlap between these phases. However, each phase has a focus range of vocabulary.

Phase 1- Learn and cram (0-2500 words)

Main tools: textbooks, courses, frequency dictionary/list

Practice: In this phase my goal is to get used to the main vocabulary in the language, learning the most common 2500 or so words. Since I use courses, then initially this will be vocabulary learned from courses. After that I think a frequency dictionary is quite useful. If you use a course like Assimil you will gain at least an acquaintance with 2500 words or so. Nevertheless, I found it useful to work through the first 2300 words of a French frequency dictionary even after finishing Assimil. Half of the words were in Assimil, but I guess it was helpful to review them in a different way. Another course which would do this job well for French is Lingvist, since it is based around the most frequently appearing words and word forms.

Justification: I want to get reading as soon as I can. I don't mind readers, but to even read A1-A2 readers you need many words from the first 2-3000 words of a language. Cramming these words is very efficient because if you use the language much these words are going to be needed.


Phase 2- Read and add vocabulary (2500-6000 words)

Main tools: readers with running vocabulary, or any book you really want to read

Practice: In this phase my goal is to practice narrow or repetitive reading, adding vocabulary to learn to my SRS. By narrow reading I mean reading from a series, and by repetitive I mean picking a few sources to read several times (in my practice these methods blend). For Hindi repetitive reading I have two intermediate reader books with vocabulary lists at the end of each chapter, and several PDFs of reading material with vocabulary at the bottom of each page. My current practice is to read a chapter, underlining unknown words, then add the words to SRS. I then study the words while reading the chapter again a 2-3 times.   Meanwhile, I review previous chapters to keep the vocabulary fresh. For Hindi narrow reading I am currently using Tintin comics. By the time I finish with my Hindi reading materials I expect my vocabulary to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6000 words.

Another method of doing this phase would be to make frequency lists from ebooks. It is getting easier and easier to do something like this, but I still find my readers with running vocabularies very handy. I just wish I could find such a reader for French.

Justification: If cramming vocabulary from a frequency list is efficient, it follows that the further you get down the list the less efficient the task. I am arbitrarily drawing the line at about 2500 words for myself.   The advantage of learning vocabulary while practicing narrow/repetitive reading is that both reading and vocabulary study support each other. I can't guarantee that I'm not learning unusual words, but that doesn't matter because I'm making use of every word I study. Meanwhile, my Hindi reading fluency is growing by leaps and bounds.

Doing this I have learned about 250 words in Hindi over the past 4 weeks or so.   Last year I tried to cram 300 words of French in a month and it nearly did my head in. Although I generally find Hindi vocabulary harder to learn than French, learning these 250 words in a month has been a breeze. Clearly, for me anyway, learning vocabulary while reading the source material makes both reading and vocabulary study much more pleasant and easy.


Phase 3- extensive reading (6000+ words)

Main tools: any book you want to read

Practice: I already practice a certain amount of extensive reading and listening during phases 1 & 2, but I expect to come to a point where extensive reading will be my major method of working on a language, and I will only occasionally add new words to my SRS. This phase sort of begins when there are only a few unknown words on each page of the books you want to read.



I realize that these methods take a long time. If my goal was to "learn 8000 words" then this method would be inefficient. But since my goal is to be able to learn the language and use it in a variety of situations, I think this method is much better use of my time than blindly cramming. It will take a lot longer, but I will know more than just vocabulary. More importantly, I will enjoy the process a lot more.

Here is my manifesto: slow learning is deep learning. If I lived in Wittenberg I would nail it to the cathedral door.

Comments and constructive feedback are welcome.

Edited by Jeffers on 26 May 2015 at 1:42pm

5 persons have voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2639 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 155 of 164
27 May 2015 at 10:47am | IP Logged 
I am obviously very sympathetic to this sort of approach.

I guess I think you can probably go direct from Stage 1 to Stage 3. I did do SRS for a year at the beginning, but I am not sure how much that really helped. At least since I have stopped doing SRS my vocabulary acquisition has been growing by leaps and bounds. It's just much harder to measure as I can't count cards.

I guess the stages for me are more like: (1) cram 2500 words; (2) read with pop-up dictionary; (3) read without dictionary. (Of course, 2 might not work for some languages).

I asked this on the original thread: Do you think you need to cram more words up-front for languages that don't have any obvious cognates to your L1? Or is the 2500 number pretty fixed whatever the difficulty of the language?

And what do you think this approach says for slow-and-steady grammar acquisition?

Edited by patrickwilken on 27 May 2015 at 10:50am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

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

 
 Message 156 of 164
29 May 2015 at 7:03pm | IP Logged 
Your three phases are pretty much the same thing in concept, patrickwilken, only in my version I SRS in phase 2 but the intention is similar.

In actual practice I haven't done these three phases in a systematic way. I'm currently working on phase 2 in Hindi, but I haven't done phase 1 properly. I crammed 1000 words or so in 1991 (which I thought it was a huge amount!) and I've been building slowly ever since. For French I've crammed around 2500 words, but I'm not really doing my phase 2 because I don't have any texts this is convenient to do like I have for Hindi. So for French I'm mainly learning by reading with a pop-up dictionary, and only occasionally putting words in Anki.

In answer to the question about languages without obvious cognates, I think there is certainly a difference in the vocabulary threshold for reading depending on how close languages are. It is certainly easier for me to get reading proper novels in French since it seems about half of words I haven't learnt yet are cognates or close. However, the difference in vocabulary needed is probably more up to the individual learner than the language they are learning.

I'm not sure about grammar. My personal preference is to cram a general overview of grammar early by doing a course, and then learn the subtleties of grammar by experience. Like with vocabulary, I think learning done over a longer period of time, with regular contact with native material, is deeper and more resistant to forgetting than grammar learnt quickly.


By the way, the concept of "slow learning" isn't my own, although I did make up the slogan "slow learning is deep learning" for myself. I read an article a few years ago in an education magazine (TES) about the slow learning movement, which was inspired by the slow food movement. In a nutshell, they are against driving towards targets and standardized testing because those things have a way of taking the joy out of learning, and students who don't or can't keep up end up becoming disenchanted.

Edited by Jeffers on 29 May 2015 at 7:11pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

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

 
 Message 157 of 164
02 June 2015 at 10:37am | IP Logged 
Yesterday I ordered myself a copy of Assimil Hindi sans peine. I've been using a "found" copy from the internet and decided I needed a legitimate copy for several reasons. First of all, I am uncomfortable using copies of anything under copyright since it affects the author, and since I want publishers like Assimil to continue to produce good courses. I always intended to use the internet copy as a trial just to see if it was a good course. Secondly, the scan of the text I've been using is pretty bad and hard on the eyes. I think once I get the book I'll use the course more regularly. And the reason that pushed me to plunk down the 76 euros is the mp3 CD it comes with. It's been brilliant to be able to listen to Assimil Sanskrit on my phone with the embedded lyrics on display. If you don't know, Assimil mp3s have lyric tags so that some devices can display the words. I have this for Sanskrit and Using French, and it's so great for reviewing on the go that I'm considering buying the mp3 CD for NFWE if it's possible just to get the CD. [EDIT: scratch that. You can download the mp3s from the Assimil site, but it costs 55 euros for the mp3s alone!]

I had been frustrated for a long time trying to find a music player for Android that will display embedded lyrics. This weekend my search was over when I found Rocket Player. Rocket Player is designed to have a clear and uncluttered interface, but that does mean that at first you wonder how to do anything. When you turn on Show Embedded Lyrics, it takes the lyrics from the mp3 tags and puts them over the album art. If the lyrics are long you can scroll up and down. I can't recommend Rocket Player enough, especially since embedded lyrics work on the free version. I think I'll drop a few £££ on the paid version to support the developers.

I did have a problem with the lyrics display at first, which I think was caused by the built-in music player on my devices "fixing" the tags based on internet information. What I did was to change the Album Name tag and the Artist Name tag so that it wouldn't get false information from some database. When I copied those over to my phone and kindle fire, the lyrics showed for every track. I was very impressed with the developers because I made a tech support request and got an email back within about an hour, written by one of the developers.

Edited by Jeffers on 02 June 2015 at 1:13pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3582 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 158 of 164
02 June 2015 at 11:27am | IP Logged 
Hi Jeffers,

Your vocab acquisition methods seem perfectly logical, as do patrickwilken's for that
matter. As you said they are similar really, just that you stick with SRS for longer.
I guess I'm repeating the obvious but it's nice to read how some other people acquire
vocab as we all bounce of each other with regards to learning methods.

As for the lyrics display- great idea. I can't justify re-purchasing anything though
myself that I already own as I've already invested rediculous numbers of briefcases
full of cash (unmarked bills of course) on courses. Perhaps in the distant future I
could justify it if I ever get the point of needing to purchase a new course (God help
me). But yes, great feature, indeed.

Seems you're progressing slowly and deeply in your languages Jeffers. Easy and steady
does it. I admire your consistent progress :)

PM
2 persons have voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2639 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 159 of 164
02 June 2015 at 12:24pm | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:

I'm not sure about grammar. My personal preference is to cram a general overview of grammar early by doing a course, and then learn the subtleties of grammar by experience. Like with vocabulary, I think learning done over a longer period of time, with regular contact with native material, is deeper and more resistant to forgetting than grammar learnt quickly.


This was exactly my approach to German, though instead of a doing a class I read through a grammar book slowly over a month to get an overview.

I wonder if that some point I am going to have to go back and systematically study grammar, but I find that I am more and more allergic to theoretical discussions about languages. I want to do German, not talk about it! How far that attitude holds me back I don't know.
1 person has voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3015 days ago

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

 
 Message 160 of 164
02 June 2015 at 1:09pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
Jeffers wrote:

I'm not sure about grammar. My personal preference is to cram a general overview of grammar early by doing a course, and then learn the subtleties of grammar by experience. Like with vocabulary, I think learning done over a longer period of time, with regular contact with native material, is deeper and more resistant to forgetting than grammar learnt quickly.


This was exactly my approach to German, though instead of a doing a class I read through a grammar book slowly over a month to get an overview.

I wonder if that some point I am going to have to go back and systematically study grammar, but I find that I am more and more allergic to theoretical discussions about languages. I want to do German, not talk about it! How far that attitude holds me back I don't know.


I had a flick through the Fluent in 3 Months book in a bookstore, and although Benny does very little explicit grammar study when he first learns a language, he finds it helpful to study the grammar when he is more advanced with a language. He says once he knows how to use it, grammar study clarifies things for him. I sort of think I might do something like that, but like you I find it more interesting to read the language. I have French Grammar in Context, which is supposed to be an intermediate/advanced grammar. Only time will tell if I ever work through it.

It's not that I don't learn grammar regularly. I have been using several courses for my languages, but I end up trying to spend more time reading, watching and listening. I could justify that saying I'm self-immersing, but really it's because I find it more interesting, and it is a hobby after all!


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 164 messages over 21 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21  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 0.3125 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.