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 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
170 messages over 22 pages: 13 4 5 6 7 ... 2 ... 21 22 Next >>
iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3371 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 9 of 170
05 October 2014 at 2:12pm | IP Logged 
My 8th grade science teacher once taught us about molecules always being in motion. He said that if a person had his/her hand on a desk for a long enough time, eventually the molecules would line up in just the right way for that person's hand to go through the desktop. Of course, this could take several millennia or eons to happen.

s_allard wrote:
...I can't for the life of me understand why one wouldn't try to use at least a grammar book or a method and a dictionary when approaching a language. Why make things hard on oneself?

There are more efficient ways to learn as an adult. We can take advantage of all that we know, and have learned how, to do as an adult. A basic textbook, a phrasebook, a dictionary, a grammar, parallel texts and transcripts help to make the incomprehensible, comprehensible in a much more efficient way than "waiting for the molecules to line up just right". Combine these materials with TV, or audio and you're on to a winner. Or, hey, just keep doing what you're doing and expect a different result, maybe the molecules will line up just right!

Edited by iguanamon on 05 October 2014 at 4:47pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Michel1020
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3126 days ago

365 posts - 559 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Dutch

 
 Message 10 of 170
05 October 2014 at 2:17pm | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
Although this can be seen as an experiment of sorts, I consider this idea on par with the approach of young man
some years ago here who attempted to listen to Michel Thomas recordings continuously for 72 hours without
sleeping. We've never heard from that individual since.

I can't for the life of me understand why one wouldn't try to use at least a grammar book or a method and a
dictionary when approaching a language. Why make things hard on oneself?


For one thing we all manage to be quite fluent in our native language before we even know grammar exist.

In my opinion - grammar is not the thing to start with in any language and more so not in language with exotic script (exotic to what you know).

72 hours of listening to Michel Thomas or other similar stuff is not a bad idea - of course not 72 hours in a raw.

Whatever your method - refusing any help outside of it, would be quite stupid - but the opener says he knows this video only is not the best one.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 2253 days ago

949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 11 of 170
05 October 2014 at 2:37pm | IP Logged 
Michel1020 wrote:


For one thing we all manage to be quite fluent in our native language before we even know grammar exist.


We have several years of passive input before uttering our first words, often a few more years before anyone
outside of our immediate family can understand us, and then sometimes a few more years of dodgy grammar. We
also have patient, dedicated teachers who repeat ad nauseam for us, delight in any attempts we make to
communicate, and simplify their language when we don't understand. Our brains are wired for repetition. We
want to watch the same cartoon 45 times and read the same book 3 times a day for a month - not because we
know logically that it will help us acquire language, but because we're wired to enjoy it.

You can't compare the way that infants acquire language with the way that adults learn languages!
7 persons have voted this message useful



Ari
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4691 days ago

2314 posts - 5695 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 12 of 170
05 October 2014 at 3:17pm | IP Logged 
I'm afraid I'm tending to agree with the majority here. As a learning method, this will be extremely inefficient, bordering on useless, and as an experiment it will not bring any new knowledge. Watching movies is an amazing, powerful and fun way of learning a language that I recommend wholeheartedly. It can take you from beginner to intermediate with tons of fun along the way, but it will take thousands of hours to get you from zero to beginner.

So consider taking our advice. There are many seasoned language learners here, and we are all saying this is a bad idea. However, go through an Assimil course or get to the ChinesePod Intermediate level and then start watching, and it's a great idea.
2 persons have voted this message useful



YnEoS
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2363 days ago

472 posts - 893 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 13 of 170
05 October 2014 at 3:30pm | IP Logged 
For whatever it's worth, I spent 1000s of hours watching films in many different languages over several years before I started studying languages, and specifically Japanese media for over a decade since I was a teenager. All I think I picked up was several single word exclamations.

Of course I wasn't trying to learn any of it, so it's not quite the same as if I was actively trying to figure things out. I just mention this to emphasize that the language isn't going to just soak in automatically. I think you'll be able to know very quickly if your method is working or not. If you're not actively and continuously figuring out new words while watching, it's not working.

Edited by YnEoS on 05 October 2014 at 3:35pm

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AlexTG
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 2747 days ago

178 posts - 354 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Latin, German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 14 of 170
05 October 2014 at 3:32pm | IP Logged 
This experiment has already been performed many, many times, the technical term for the
guinea pigs is "Kung Fu buffs". The results are not promising. Similar results have been
shown for other languages, see "Anime buffs", "Bollywood buffs" and "European art house
buffs".

Edited by AlexTG on 05 October 2014 at 4:03pm

2 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3641 days ago

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

 
 Message 15 of 170
05 October 2014 at 4:45pm | IP Logged 
This is a very enjoyable and effective method starting around B1. But I've never heard of anybody starting from zero and succeeding.

Based on first-hand experience with Buffy, I know that's it's possible to turn 40% comprehension into 95+% comprehension just by sitting on the couch and watching TV. This is just Krashen's theory of i+1 input in action. And of course, if you can't get "i+1" input, there are ways to bridge the gap, as I mentioned in the cheating and consolidating thread.

But the gap between "zero comprehension" and "native children's TV" is too big to bridge easily. Even shows like Sesame Street and Caillou assume very well-developed language skills. Shows like Teletubbies might work—they're aimed at a far younger demographic—but there's very little verbal input per hour. Of course, there's also French in Action and Destinos, which try to produce video that can be understood from the very beginning. But I'm not sure they actually have enough hours to get you all the way to native TV without some sort of supplementation.

I think the best approach for adults who want to learn extensively is to use parallel L1 text, L2 text and L2 audio, and use that to bootstrap understanding. Good implementations of this idea include Assimil, L/R (particularly in a semi-related language) and subs2srs.

When evaluating extensive methods, I would suggest asking yourself two questions:

1. Can I make this input at least semi-comprehensible?
2. Can I enjoy this process?

If you answer "Yes" to both, it will probably work. If you answer "No" to (2), you'd better be prepared to either burn your ships, or to provide extraordinary quantities of will-power. If the answer to (1) is "No", well, I've heard of multiple attempts, none of them successful. If you do end up succeeding, I'd love to learn what you did differently.

Edited by emk on 05 October 2014 at 5:31pm

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Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
tinyurl.com/pe4kqe5
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2256 posts - 4045 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin

 
 Message 16 of 170
05 October 2014 at 6:22pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Shows like Teletubbies might work—they're aimed at a far younger demographic—but there's very little verbal input per hour.


... I learnt to do two or three toddler-like mispronunciations of Mandarin words from watching an episode of the Teletubbies. (Then again, my aim was not to learn anything, but to laugh with my friend at how stupid we were watching Teletubbies in Mandarin in the middle of the night, so I don't know if that counts.)


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