Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Learning exclusively with authentic video

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
170 messages over 22 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 1 ... 21 22 Next >>
Bilingual Tetraglot
United States
Joined 3580 days ago

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

 Message 1 of 170
05 October 2014 at 4:55am | IP Logged 
I'm conducting a language acquisition experiment in which I endeavor to learn Mandarin
exclusively by watching authentic video sources--especially Chinese films and
children's shows. Due to personal time limitations, I put in an average of only 30
minutes a day.

Besides the desire to learn Mandarin in a relaxing and fun way, my main goal
is to test the hypothesis that watching movies and other authentic video sources can
be an effective way to learn--even for a beginner. After my experiment is over, I hope
to add speaking and reading to my skill set, using a different approach.

I don't claim that this is the best method. On the contrary, in my opinion, the best
method for most learners may be to immerse yourself simultaneously in reading and
listening, while practicing speaking and writing with the help of a native teacher (or
native friends, colleagues, etc.) Furthermore, given sufficient motivation and some
type of contact with native speakers and authentic sources, a wide variety of methods
can produce excellent results.

The use of authentic video can be a fantastic component of any language acquisition
strategy. I'm taking a rather extreme approach in order to isolate the variable.

I hope to stimulate some discussion on using authentic videos as a learning strategy
by sharing the gist of my experiment.

Edited by victorhart on 05 October 2014 at 5:10am

4 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5206 days ago

156 posts - 271 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*
Studies: Mandarin, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Persian, Arabic (classical)

 Message 2 of 170
05 October 2014 at 5:38am | IP Logged 
If you mean to learn by passive assimilation and little of no study, you are heading into a huge waste of your time.
7 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4932 days ago

361 posts - 921 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese, English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, French
Studies: Mandarin, Danish, Russian, Norwegian, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Greek, Latin, Nepali, Modern Hebrew

 Message 3 of 170
05 October 2014 at 7:45am | IP Logged 
I think there's a general consensus that cuts across both the language education and independent language
learning communities that learning exclusively by passive video watching is a poor method, and generally
ineffective. Watching movies and other native videos is a decent way to improve your comprehension once it is
already at a decent level, but at the absolute beginner level, some kind of study is really useful.

If you're learning a language closely related to one you know, some people can shortcut the absolute beginner
stage and go straight to partially comprehending movies and shows. In this case, the method, though far from
the best, will eventually work. It seems precarious, though, for a speaker of only European languages
approaching Mandarin. It may be extremely difficult to begin to crack the code of what anything means and what
the pieces even are--something that can be done much more effectively in a few weeks or months of study.

I guess my question is what are your goals? If your main goal is to learn Mandarin, I would advise to abandon the
experiment. If it works at all, it'll slow you down. Watching videos is a good way to improve comprehension, but
it's an ineffective way of breaking into an opaque language. If your goal is to show that exclusively using video is
a good method, I would also say don't bother, as we're pretty sure that it's not. Unless you feel really strongly
about the matter, have had an epiphany and want to prove everyone else wrong...

If your main goal is to investigate what it's like to try to break into a language exclusively by watching authentic
videos, then I think it's a cool experiment. It would be interesting to hear about the difficulties involved and the
degree to which it's feasible at all. There's merit in trying impractical things, simply to discover for yourself and
show for others what it's like.

victorhart wrote:

The use of authentic video can be a fantastic component of any language acquisition
strategy. I'm taking a rather extreme approach in order to isolate the variable.

This basically hits the nail on the head. Authentic video is useful, exclusive use of authentic video is ineffective
compared to balanced strategies, but maybe you can learn something from the experience.

Edited by robarb on 05 October 2014 at 7:48am

4 persons have voted this message useful

SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 6782 days ago

4250 posts - 5711 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 Message 4 of 170
05 October 2014 at 10:44am | IP Logged 
Related thread:
Hours of listening to fluency

There were some posts about the TV method some years ago. Also for Mandarin. I was not impressed by anything else than the poster's patience to stick to the method for >1000 hours without knowing the language.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5472 days ago

725 posts - 1352 votes 

 Message 5 of 170
05 October 2014 at 10:49am | IP Logged 
Well, someone did the experiment Tibetian by osmosis: He tried to learn Tibetian by listening to the radio. You can read his blog about his experiences. After 46 days of daily listening he understood his first sentence. After 134 days he quit frustrated.
I think there is no need for further experiments of this sort in order to prove how poor the method works...

Edited by Cabaire on 05 October 2014 at 10:50am

2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 4890 days ago

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

 Message 6 of 170
05 October 2014 at 11:51am | IP Logged 
There are many ways to use "authentic videos" - just watching them, playing with speed and or looping on scenes, sentences, words, sounds...

Watch the video in one of your languages or have some subtitles.
Listen to the soundtrack without the video.

Documentaries about things you know or the news are a little more easy than big movies with Gong Li and co or other fictional things.

Audio books and radio speeches will expose you to more chinese than most videos.
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 4406 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 7 of 170
05 October 2014 at 12:35pm | IP Logged 
This guy did 2000 hours of Mandarin TV and apparently got to a point of understanding quite a bit (frustratingly he doesn't really quantify what that means but I think I read elsewhere that this was perhaps 25% comprehension).

To be generous let's assume he got to 50% understanding.

2000 hours / 30 mins/day = approx. 11 years TV watching to get to 50% understanding. thousand-hours.html

On the other hand this guy apparently learnt Italian as a child by watching cartoons during the holidays:

TV method, or how I learned Italian

I am using TV a lot to learn German and it works, but you need to do a lot of input, much more than 30 minutes per day. And German is an easy language for an English speaker to learn. 30 minutes a day for Chinese with no other help is just going to be frustrating I think.

The Tibetan link is I think misleading as the person was apparently passively listening, which is very different from actively watching a show and trying to work out what the words mean as you watch.

Edited by patrickwilken on 05 October 2014 at 12:39pm

3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5303 days ago

2704 posts - 5425 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 Message 8 of 170
05 October 2014 at 1:38pm | IP Logged 
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?

4 persons have voted this message useful

This discussion contains 170 messages over 22 pages: 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 0.5156 seconds.

DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2024 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.