Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Learning exclusively with authentic video

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
170 messages over 22 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 15 ... 21 22 Next >>
s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3596 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 113 of 170
14 November 2014 at 6:02am | IP Logged 
victorhart wrote:
s_allard wrote:
The importance of L1 subtitles is not really enjoyment and
motivation. Those are secondary effects. The real importance is meaning and therefore
clues as to what is being said in the language.


s_allard, I fundamentally disagree with you.

The only reason that I’m watching movies with subtitles is because of enjoyment. I am
able to decipher many words without any subtitles, simply from context. I could
already give you dozens of examples in Mandarin of terms I have learned purely from
visual/audio cues. You are simply wrong in thinking that is not possible. The
“links between sounds and meaning” are already there.

Yes, subtitles provide more links and thus facilitate deciphering words. That is an
advantage. On the other hand, it is equally true that the brain cannot concentrate
nearly as well on the audio while it is simultaneously trying to read in L1. That is
an obvious disadvantage to the use of L1 subtitles.

...

I take note that right now and up to the 200 hour listening level, L1 subtitles are used 70% of the time.
How can we separate what has been learned through the subtitles and what has been learned purely
from visual/audio clues?

What exactly is the role of subtitles if not to provide meaning?, and this is the clue to enjoyment. As I
have mentioned earlier, I dare anybody to listen to a few hours of unsubtitled Youtube videos in a
totally unknown language and see how much can be learned just from visual/audio clues. Here is a
movie in Mandarin with no subtitles. Actually there is some English spoken by some rough types. The
rest is all in mandarin.

Fighting 2014 in Mandarin

For example, it would be interesting to see how one would could figure out how to say butterfly in
Mandarin just by watching this film. Without L1 subtitles there is no way of deducing meaning except
by pure conjecture, and this is very inaccurate for specific vocabulary and grammar.

The real proof of the pudding here is to eliminate the subtitles entirely right now and not wean oneself
off them as their utility diminishes. I would think that after 1000 hours of listening with subtitles the
amount of subtitles necessary would diminish.

I'm generally not a negative person, and I'm interested in different approaches to learning, but here I
believe that this idea of watching incomprehensible videos for 30 minutes a day as a way to learn a
language like Mandarin is so inefficient as to border on sheer folly. I put it just a notch below listening
to recordings of a language while sleeping. It doesn't work.

Edited by s_allard on 14 November 2014 at 6:04am

5 persons have voted this message useful



victorhart
Bilingual Tetraglot
Groupie
United States
mandarinexperiment.o
Joined 1873 days ago

66 posts - 155 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese*, Spanish, French
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 114 of 170
14 November 2014 at 5:53pm | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:

For example, it would be interesting to see how one would could figure out how to say
butterfly in Mandarin just by watching this film.


I am so glad you asked! I have not watched that film (I will give it a look), but I
will tell you exactly how I learned the word butterfly without subtitles. Watch from
0:45-3:40 of this Qiao Hu
episode
.

(I simply ignore the Mandarin subtitles, by the way, as I understand none of them.)

I also learned how to say "to fly" from that same song. (sounds like "fay" in
English)

Then, when watching the movie Casablanca without any subtitles, I learned how to
say "airplane", because it's the same as "to fly," but with an extra syllable at the
end. It sounds like "fay gee" in English.


The term repeats countless times in the last part of the movie, so if you already know
"fay," it's easy to pick up. Here is a clip with two instances.

Do you see now how you can learn words without subtitles?

Here are some other words I understood for sure from that same Qiao Hu episode, which
I watched at about the 100-hour mark of my experiment. Not to mention many others I
think I understood or sort of understood.

I love, You love, daddy, to be, Look!, Great!, my belly, head, shoulders, belly/tummy,
butt, sheep, hands

And here are some full phrases I understood. This was at 100 hours of listening, by
the way.

“Butterfly, fly, fly, fly.”
“Daddy, it’s a butterfly.”
“Tap your hands / Tap your head / Tap your belly.”
“Tap Qiao Hu’s head.”

By the way, I'm a bit embarrassed to say it, but I actually like that baby song about
butterflies. And I enjoyed watching the whole Qiao Hu episode well enough.

Now, I agree with you on several of your explicit or implicit points:

1. Subtitles make deciphering words a lot easier.
2. Understanding what you're watching makes it a lot more enjoyable.
3. Pure video, or video with subtitles, is not an efficient way to acquire new
vocabulary at a very low level in an utterly foreign language.
4. Compared to my experiment, a method that included at least a little formal study
and some speaking and character study would probably be more effective.

That said, the additional points I'm trying to make, which you may not agree with
entirely (and that is fair enough), are:

1. Watching movies and other video is probably useful at any level.
2. Using subtitles has the disadvantage of not allowing you to focus very well on the
audio.
3. Getting used to the phonemes, cadence, and mode of oral expression in a language is
a very important task that takes a long time. Focusing your full attention on natives
speaking from early on is very useful.
4. Subtitles can also be very misleading in trying to learn new words.
5. There are serious pitfalls to using translations in learning a foreign language. I
have seen this time and again with students. These pitfalls become more apparent at
higher levels, as depending a lot on translations often creates a ceiling, and many
people cannot seem to overcome that barrier and learn to speak naturally, fluidly, and
with good grammar.
4. In sum, there are tradeoffs between using more formal, abstract study and more
immersive methods. Some of these tradeoffs involve short-term learning vs. long-term
results.

Edited by victorhart on 14 November 2014 at 9:13pm

3 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3698 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 115 of 170
14 November 2014 at 6:44pm | IP Logged 
victorhart wrote:
4. Subtitles can also be very misleading in trying to learn new words.

At least in my case, this seems to be a non-issue. Let me quote a couple examples from my log. (Keep in mind that everything below the white line is hidden when I first hear the audio.)

emk wrote:
Bad translations, and gradual refinement of knowledge

On the left, a card with a totally inaccurate translation. It actually reads something along the lines of "I believe that's enough for today." I looked up hoy "today" just to be sure. But even at my level, this kind of mistranslation is no problem—I already have enough context to sort out most problems.



On the right, an older card that suddenly makes a lot more sense. Lo hacía is starting to feel like "made him." And the first time through, I guessed that donde trabajaba meant something involving "work", but now that I've seen many more examples of donde and -aba, I'm pretty certain this means something like "where he worked."

The learning process is robust. A badly translated subtitle or poorly-chosen cognate won't throw me off indefinitely, because I'll eventually see more evidence.

Sure, I guess wrong sometimes, but it's a pretty minor problem in practice. Due to spaced repetition, I have a growing number of examples floating around in my head (and coming up for review periodically), and any incorrect theories will eventually prove untenable in the face of accumulating evidence.

victorhart wrote:
5. There are serious pitfalls to using translations in learning a foreign language. I have seen this time and again with students. These pitfalls become more apparent at higher levels, as depending a lot on translations often creates a ceiling, and many
people cannot seem to overcome that barrier and learn to speak naturally, fluidly, and with good grammar.

I agree that trying to translate on the fly is poor idea, especially once a student reaches B1 or so. It's too slow for speaking or listening, and it warps the language into unnatural shapes. But that doesn't mean that beginners can't benefit from translations.

The trick is to use the translation as a crib when deciphering the L2. For example, when Iversen is learning a language, he often sticks interesting articles into Google Translate to get a rough translation (and he keeps his eyes open for translation errors). When I'm using Assimil or subs2srs, I rely on the L1 and L2 text to understand the L2 audio, but my goal is always to hear and understand the audio directly in the L2.

And it works fine: After three hours with my Avatar cards, for a total of 113 cards and 368 reps, I can actually sit down and watching the first 10 minutes of Avatar, and I can understand about two thirds of it directly in Spanish, with no translation. The hardest part has been internalizing Spanish verb endings.

Admittedly, my Spanish is only good for those 10 minutes of video. But within those 10 minutes, I can watch it in much the same way that I'd watch French or English.

victorhart wrote:
4. In sum, there are tradeoffs between using more formal, abstract study and more immersive methods. Some of these tradeoffs involve short-term learning vs. long-term results.

I'm not convinced that explicitly studying grammar or even cramming vocabulary does any long-term harm, provided that students also listen and read and write and speak a lot. We have plenty of highly successful polyglots here on HTLAL who study grammar directly.

Or to give another example, I used a chart of Spanish verb endings to determine that -aba was 3rd-person singular imperfect, and -ió was third-person singular preterite:

Quote:
Pero cuando el mundo más lo necesitaba, ¡desapareció!...
But when the world needed him most, he vanished.

But when I hear that scene, I just understand el mundo más lo necesitaba directly, without translation or thinking about grammar. In other words, the studying helped perceive the audio correctly, but it's not somehow magically blocking me from understanding the audio the same way I would in a stronger language.
6 persons have voted this message useful



s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3596 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 116 of 170
14 November 2014 at 7:05pm | IP Logged 
victorhart wrote:
s_allard wrote:

For example, it would be interesting to see how one would could figure out how to say
butterfly in Mandarin just by watching this film.


I am so glad you asked! I have not watched that film (I will give it a look), but I
will tell you exactly how I learned the word butterfly without subtitles. Watch from
0:45-3:40 of this Qiao Hu episode.

(I simply ignore the Mandarin subtitles, by the way, as I understand none of them.)

I also learned how to say "to fly" from that same episode. (sounds like "fay" in
English)

Then, when watching the movie Casablanca without any subtitles, I learned how to
say "airplane", because it's the same as "to fly," but with an extra syllable at the
end. It sounds like "fay gee" in English.


The term repeats countless times in the last part of the movie, so if you already know
"fay," it's easy to pick up. Here is a
clip with two instances.

Do you see now how you can learn words without subtitles?

Here are some other words I understood for sure from that same Qiao Hu episode, which
I watched at about the 100-hour mark of my experiment. Not to mention many others I
think I understood or sort of understood.

I love, You love, daddy, to be, Look!, Great!, my belly, head, shoulders, belly/tummy,
butt, sheep, hands

And here are some full phrases I understood. This was at 100 hours of listening, by
the way.

“Butterfly, fly, fly, fly.”
“Daddy, it’s a butterfly.”
“Tap your hands / Tap your head / Tap your belly.”
“Tap Qiao Hu’s head.”

By the way, I'm a bit embarrassed to say it, but I actually like that baby song about
butterflies. And I enjoyed watching the whole Qiao Hu episode well enough.

Now, I agree with you on several of your explicit or implicit points:

1. Subtitles make deciphering words a lot easier.
2. Understanding what you're watching makes it a lot more enjoyable.
3. Pure video, or video with subtitles, is not an efficient way to acquire new
vocabulary at a very low level in an utterly foreign language.
4. Compared to my experiment, a method that included at least a little formal study
and some speaking and character study would probably be more effective.

That said, the additional points I'm trying to make, which you may not agree with
entirely (and that is fair enough), are:

1. Watching movies and other video is probably useful at any level.
2. Using subtitles has the disadvantage of not allowing you to focus very well on the
audio.
3. Getting used to the phonemes, cadence, and mode of oral expression in a language is
a very important task that takes a long time. Focusing your full attention on natives
speaking from early on is very useful.
4. Subtitles can also be very misleading in trying to learn new words.
5. There are serious pitfalls to using translations in learning a foreign language. I
have seen this time and again with students. These pitfalls become more apparent at
higher levels, as depending a lot on translations often creates a ceiling, and many
people cannot seem to overcome that barrier and learn to speak naturally, fluidly, and
with good grammar.
4. In sum, there are tradeoffs between using more formal, abstract study and more
immersive methods. Some of these tradeoffs involve short-term learning vs. long-term
results.


It should be pointed out that the video resources for the examples of learned Mandarin are the Qiao Hu
series designed specifically to teach Mandarin to young children. I looked at the video referred to
above and enjoyed it very much. One of the things that is good about this series is that it isolates
words with images so that it's easy to associate sounds and meaning. For example starting at 20:45
there is a review of animals and their names.

All this is very good and is certainly highly recommended. But it is a far cry from listening to adult
fiction videos as the sole resource. So let's say that the experiment is about using authentic videos
with L1 subtitles and in conjunction with videos for the teaching of Mandarin to children. I can see
how this can work to some extent.

But while we are looking at authentic videos for learning, here is a series that in my opinion takes the
totally opposite approach to what we are discussing here. It's the Easy Language series of videos in the
target language with L2 and English subtitles. Here is a recent addition for German:

Easy German

Here you have a combination of 1. The visual recording, 2. The audio, 3. A transcription of what was
said and 4. The translation into L1 (English).

This is perfect. I don't waste time trying to guess what has been said. I can concentrate on learning
how to imitate the spoken words.

What more can you want? Actually, I would like some technical commentary by a teacher who could
explain what is happening linguistically. If I were learning to speak German, this would be a great
resource.

I don't see any disadvantages of using L1 or L2 subtitles if they can be turned off, as is the case with
DVD's and television programs here in North America. The subtitles are useful for learning but they are
certainly not to be used permanently.

Compare this short episode for German to the Qiao Hu for Mandarin. The subject matters and the
audiences are totally different of course, it's evident that the Easy German product is much more
efficient. Now, if the Qiao Hu episode had optional transcriptions and L2 subtitles, that would be great.
3 persons have voted this message useful



victorhart
Bilingual Tetraglot
Groupie
United States
mandarinexperiment.o
Joined 1873 days ago

66 posts - 155 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese*, Spanish, French
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 117 of 170
14 November 2014 at 8:00pm | IP Logged 
s_allard and emk, You are not easily impressed! :-)

s_allard wrote:
It should be pointed out that the video resources for the examples of
learned Mandarin are the Qiao Hu series designed specifically to teach Mandarin to young
children.

You seem to have missed the Casablanca example.

s_allard wrote:
But it is a far cry from listening to adult fiction videos as the sole
resource.

Well, I never said I would do such a thing.

1 person has voted this message useful



s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3596 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 118 of 170
15 November 2014 at 12:44am | IP Logged 
I think we can put a positive spin on this whole thing. Let's say that this so-called experiment has the
following parameters:

1. Watch videos in Mandarin for 30 minutes each day.
2. When judged useful, activate English language subtitles and to a maximum of 70% of viewing time.
3. When judged useful, watch videos designed to teach Mandarin Chinese to young native speakers.

This is not bad. I think this could work somewhat. At least it's not just watching incomprehensible videos.
                                     
1 person has voted this message useful



victorhart
Bilingual Tetraglot
Groupie
United States
mandarinexperiment.o
Joined 1873 days ago

66 posts - 155 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese*, Spanish, French
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 119 of 170
15 November 2014 at 2:51am | IP Logged 
Thanks for putting a positive spin on it, s_allard.

s_allard wrote:
I dare anybody to listen to a few hours of unsubtitled Youtube videos
in a totally unknown language and see how much can be learned just from visual/audio
clues. Here is a movie in Mandarin with no subtitles. Actually there is some English
spoken by some rough types. The rest is all in mandarin.

Fighting 2014 in Mandarin

For example, it would be interesting to see how one would could figure out how to say
butterfly in Mandarin just by watching this film.


So I watched 15 minutes of the movie you mentioned on YouTube without subtitles. Pure
video. I stopped because it's a really bad film, but that's beside the point.

In the first 4 minutes, I wrote down the words I understood clearly. There were 11.
This shows that watching pure video is good review.

Of those 11 terms, there were 2 that I consider unconsolidated vocabulary. These are
terms I have heard before, but not truly learned. For example, if I heard them in
isolation, without the visual clues, I wouldn't understand. This shows that pure video
can help me learn or consolidate vocabulary.

During those first 4 minutes, I didn't decipher any completely new terms, and I
stopped taking notes.

However, at exactly 12:27, I believe I did learn a completely new term, from pure
video without subtitles. I believe I learned the verb for "to shoot" - something like
"shu ji" in Mandarin. I hope this clarifies how my method works.

By the way, to your specific question, between 8:24 and 8:54, the term for butterfly
is repeated so many times, that I believe if I didn't know it already, I would have
been able to decipher it.

s_allard wrote:
The real proof of the pudding here is to eliminate the subtitles
entirely right now and not wean oneself off them as their utility diminishes.


I’m not going to do that because I don't want to give up enjoying Chinese cinema or
watching the occasional Disney movie with my daughter. However, I will try to reduce
the use of subtitles significantly right away, and then continue to reduce them much
more quickly than in the projections I posted initially. As a matter of fact, since I
began keeping careful track on November 3, I’ve watched with subtitles under 54% of
the time - an immediate reduction of 14 percentage points. Thus, I hope that my
experiment will not only be a bit more convincing, I believe I will also learn more
effectively. But that's where we disagree . . .

Edited by victorhart on 15 November 2014 at 2:53am

1 person has voted this message useful



s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3596 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 120 of 170
15 November 2014 at 5:37am | IP Logged 
victorhart wrote:
...

In the first 4 minutes, I wrote down the words I understood clearly. There were 11.
This shows that watching pure video is good review.

Of those 11 terms, there were 2 that I consider unconsolidated vocabulary. These are
terms I have heard before, but not truly learned. For example, if I heard them in
isolation, without the visual clues, I wouldn't understand. This shows that pure video
can help me learn or consolidate vocabulary.

During those first 4 minutes, I didn't decipher any completely new terms, and I
stopped taking notes.

However, at exactly 12:27, I believe I did learn a completely new term, from pure
video without subtitles. I believe I learned the verb for "to shoot" - something like
"shu ji" in Mandarin. I hope this clarifies how my method works.

...

If I understood this correctly, except for the "shoot", that I'll return to later, there were no new words
learned here. These were simply words that had been heard before. This includes butterfly that is
revisited here but was learned in the Mandarin learning video.

But let's look at the only new word learned here and see how this method works. In the scene in
question, there is a military rifle marksmanship contest and at that moment a command is given to
start shooting. I would translate the command by "Fire!" rather than "Shoot" but that's a minor detail.

Here we have an isolated word or audio sequence associated with a clearly defined action. We can
deduce that the audio sequence can be associated with the action "to start shooting". It might be a bit
premature to say that we have isolated the Chinese equivalent of the English word "to shoot". In a
similar fashion, one could probably isolate words for Hello and Goodbye from telephone conversations.
But the fact remains that nearly all the dialogue is totally incomprehensible. Even if 11 terms are
understood, or recognized, during the first 4 minutes, that hardly tells us what was being said. And
later on when butterfly or hudie is repeated a number of times, that's all that can be recognized. What
is being said about the butterfly?

Now that we've established that this method or so-called experiment is not based on solely using
fiction videos with no subtitles nor using learning materials, I can see the possibility of learning
something. I still maintain that this method is very inefficient and that a lot more can be learned in
much less time using other methods and techniques discussed here.


3 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 170 messages over 22 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22  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 0.3594 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.