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Speak from day one

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
9 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
JayR9
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4433 days ago

155 posts - 162 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 1 of 9
21 January 2014 at 9:11am | IP Logged 
Hello, I have looked on here to see if there are other posts relating to Benny Lewis's speak from day one
package but I had no luck whilst using my phone.
I do apologise if there is.

However, I am wondering if anyone has purchased the package and can share with us your thought about it.
All thoughts about it even if you haven't purchased it.

I am always looking for more resources and programs to help me with language learning and came across
this. Just wondering what it's like and is if worth me to invest in it?

Thanks in advance,
Jay
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 5265 days ago

2615 posts - 8806 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 2 of 9
21 January 2014 at 12:37pm | IP Logged 
I bought Benny's Speak from Day 1 package almost two years ago. It included a short book (really a set of text-heavy slides), translations into quite a few languages, and a collection of video interviews with other polyglots. The whole package runs US$97, which in my mind is quite expensive for what you get.

At the time, I was doing full-time French immersion, so I read the French translation of the book. I didn't watch the videos.

The book is short, and it's very much aimed at first-time language-learners who have yet to reach B1. If you can already carry on a conversation at least one foreign language, then you're honestly not going to get a lot out of the book. (Benny has recently said as much.) I never did get around to watching the videos, but there are a lot of them, and they're with some very cool people.

So I think it comes down to three questions:

1. Are you a first-time beginner, just starting out?
2. Do you think that Benny's language-learning methods sound like fun?
3. Can you afford to spend $97 on a whim?

If the answer to all of these questions is "Yes", then you might enjoy the package. If the answer to any of them is "No", you're not going to get much out it and you should strongly consider skipping it (unless you really want the interviews). In any case, Benny has a book coming out, which will be a lot cheaper and which will go into a lot more detail.

FWIW, if I were going to spend a lot of money on language learning, I'd go for either:

- Idaho Ness's Mimic Method Courses, which focus almost exclusively on the accent. For $75, you get some really nice explanations of how to make all the sounds, plus some several challenging singing exercises and a surprising amount of personal feedback. For $75, it's actually some of the cheapest accent training available. But Idaho Ness is a musician, and you will be expected to sing! (Full disclosure: I got this at half price as a beta tester.)

- A month of Khatzumoto's IMX: Immerciless Immersion Inundator. Here on HTLAL, rapp has the Spanish version of this (included with the Neutrino package), and he really seems to like it. As I understand it, for $75, you'll get a month of emails with lots of links to interesting TL materials to read, watch, etc. Unfortunately, it's not available for French yet, or I would have checked it out for a week or two.

- A DVD box set containing several seasons of a cool television series.

Anyway, any of those would be cheaper than the Speak From Day 1 package. So if you're not a first-time language learner below B1, you might be better off spending your excess money elsewhere.
17 persons have voted this message useful



shk00design
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4177 days ago

747 posts - 1123 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Studies: French

 
 Message 3 of 9
21 January 2014 at 6:56pm | IP Logged 
According to the polyglot Steve Kaufmann on a YouTube video he stated it was impossible for Benny Lewis to
make the claim to be fluent in Mandarin in 3 months unless he is studying the language for 10h / day. The
spoken language is quite straightforward but it is picking up the characters that tend to take much longer.

Right now I'm using Victor Learn French with a set of videos on everyday situations like meeting someone, at the
grocery store, at the train station, etc. I don't think relying on any 1 source is the way to go. In the last 6 months
of improving my Mandarin, I actually spent a lot of time listening to news broadcasts, radio discussions, watching
movies, TV dramas and anything I can find to get my exposure to the language up.

As good as Benny Lewis' learning series, it is not a 1-stop shopping. Throughout the week, you rework your
schedule to include days you'd listen to news in English and other days you'd listen in your target language.

Edited by shk00design on 21 January 2014 at 6:58pm

1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 5265 days ago

2615 posts - 8806 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 4 of 9
21 January 2014 at 7:38pm | IP Logged 
shk00design wrote:
According to the polyglot Steve Kaufmann on a YouTube video he stated it was impossible for Benny Lewis to
make the claim to be fluent in Mandarin in 3 months unless he is studying the language for 10h / day.

Benny's Mandarin experiment was a little crazy. He was very socially isolated and he seemed more than a bit stressed. Anyway, there's a great photo on his blog from when he was studying Mandarin:


"No pain no gain"

When push comes to shove, Benny can study like a maniac.

Anyway, he ended up falling well short of "fluent", according to Andreas Laimboeck (the director of a Chinese school) and Fiona, a instructor, who spoke with him in person:

Quote:
Spoken

Speaks at good B1 (European Framework) level, but a lot of work left to get to fluency, which I think shouldn’t really surprise anyone who is involved in studying/teaching Chinese.

If you look at his progress for someone who was in a full immersion program for three months and partly worked in English while studying (blog writing in his case) it is overall very impressive though. I would say it if he hadn’t been blogging in English while studying and had a few more grammar lessons with a good teacher he might have made it to spoken B2 level. To further progress he would need to start to focus more on Chinese characters though.

Personally, I'm not very interested in assessing Benny's language skills. There are tests and professionals who do that, and it's hard work even if you know the language. :-) But as far as I know, Benny has never reached B2 in a "difficult" language (one with an unfamiliar writing system and no relation to a language he already speaks) in 3 months. Corrections are welcome, of course. And I'm sure he'll try again.

Anyway, it should come as no surprise to anyone on HTLAL that it's possible to make enormous gains with 3 months of hard work. And one nice thing about Benny's methods is that he puts himself in position where he has no choice but to use the language—even if he's still awful at it—which gives him a massive incentive to improve. I did something much the same around A2 in French, and 6 weeks later I had made significant progress, because it was horrible having the verbal skills of a two-year-old. Early immersion can be brutal, but it certainly cures the "on-again, off-again" studying that plagues many first-time beginners.

That said, I still recommend that most HTLALers save the $97 and skip the Speak From Day 1 package. If you're interested in his methods, you can always pre-order his book, which will include more material, as well as access to a bunch of video interviews with interesting polyglots. The Speak From Day 1 package just isn't a good match for any HTLALer who's already reached the intermediate level once: folks around here are not "typical" language learners, and they already have a strong support network and proof that success is absolutely possible.
11 persons have voted this message useful



JayR9
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4433 days ago

155 posts - 162 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 5 of 9
23 January 2014 at 8:11am | IP Logged 
Thank you for your feedback and opinions. I always like to hear what others think. Especially as I am only a
beginner in language learning. I will also check out the ones you suggested too, so thank you for them.

For now, I think I will leave it and not continue to purchase this package. I might wait for his book and have a
read of that.

Thanks again.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 5265 days ago

2615 posts - 8806 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 6 of 9
23 January 2014 at 12:23pm | IP Logged 
No problem! If you're interested in other resources, please feel welcome to check out our Learner FAQ, which has losts of useful information contributed by HTLAL members.
3 persons have voted this message useful



JayR9
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4433 days ago

155 posts - 162 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 7 of 9
23 January 2014 at 9:57pm | IP Logged 
Yes definitely. Thank you, I will check it out.
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 6330 days ago

9753 posts - 15779 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 8 of 9
24 January 2014 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
Not to hijack the thread, but as a name of a book, something like "learn any language and speak from day 1" would be sooo much better than fluent in 3 months...


1 person has voted this message useful



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