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Moving from B2 to C2

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Kc2012
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 Message 129 of 177
23 February 2015 at 4:55pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
It was also a surprise that it would generate so much animosity. It has been in
severe risk of been closed before time, but it seems that the tone has been slightly less acrimoneous
on the last couple of pages - let's keep it like that.


Yes I chose to ignore that fact as it seems things have settled down ;)

Edited by Kc2012 on 23 February 2015 at 4:56pm

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mrwarper
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 Message 130 of 177
23 February 2015 at 5:07pm | IP Logged 
It is interesting to note that although what one needs to do with input to improve is apparently varied, judging from what accomplished people actually do, making mistakes and needing to shake them off is truly universal.

garyb wrote:
[...] But in most cases, it's people in the situation I described in one of my previous posts, where they speak a lot of English but mostly with other non-native speakers. That's probably also a factor as they'll reinforce each other's mistakes.

My English teacher used to say "Everything rubs off -- except good habits!" -- I might add, those you really have to hammer in :)

Maybe that's how we subconsciously work by default (how our brains work, some would say) -- we accept what we hear around without ever questioning it, unless a conscious effort is made, which would make the independent checks and questioning something like a 'second layer' in our acquisition of information. Accepting information would be universal, questioning it and subsequent filters would have to be learned. If we wanted to use such a hypothesis to explain the persistence of basic mistakes in long-term, partial immersion situations, we'd have to see if this happens only when people are surrounded by others who still make the same mistakes.

Or maybe we work on a 'first come, first-served' basis, so the first bits of information we acquire stick better, and subsequent ones are increasingly less likely to replace them without external reinforcement.

s_allard wrote:
the assumption here is that exposure to the good forms will automatically eliminate the bad ones in the reader's output. This doesn't always work because mistakes have become so fossilized that[...]

Maybe we simply do a subconscious weighing of instances, and we take it for granted that 'right' is whatever we run into more frequently.

Maybe keeping hypothetical 'weeding out' mechanisms going on needs to be learned too, and we naturally stop at some point, fossilizing more mistakes the sooner we stop.

One way or another, I am an advanced learner and checking my stuff is now second nature to me, but even so I've caught myself countless times self-correcting and thinking 'hey, I thought you had learned that once and for all' :)
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Cavesa
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Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
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 Message 131 of 177
23 February 2015 at 8:18pm | IP Logged 
Well, I find the post about exposing yourself to lots of high quality material, mostly
high quality authors and educated speakers to be very good advice with only one point
missing. Celebrated authors and well educated natives will surely benefit you and help
you get to high levels in general. But most people you are likely to meet won't speak
like Dickens (or rather a celebrated author writing in their language).

It seems to be a common struggle of learners I know to have learnt through formal
channels (such as studying a language at school or later at university) that you need
less formal language very often. So, some popular literature for young people, some
magazines, jokes, a sitcom taking place in a bit slangy setting, all that is an
extremelly useful part of learning at high levels as well, in my opinion.

Now that I think of it, does a learner beyond B2 learn more of the correct, standard
language or more of the natural, colloquial one? I know the hardest challenge have
been the less standard sources for me, such as the tv series Engrenages for example,
and I think they taught me really a lot. The standard French and highly educated
speakers were quite ok at the B2 already, if I remember correctly.

Well, I'm sorry kc2012, I don't think the trouble was your thread. Sallard and me have
been disagreeing for quite some time with some mistakes on both sides. I've tried to
avoid his discussions but that in reality means avoiding lots of threads I am
interested in and, given some reactions I get, I don't believe my posts are only
perceived negatively so I don't think I should basically just leave the forums.

I'm only sharing experience with an approach based on things available to me and
obviously useful and working just fine. I am not forcing the opinion on anyone, I am
just not going to claim my experience untrue just because some people do not agree and
can't let the question leave open. I called the testing centre today and was informed
I probably passed the C2 exam. It is still not the final result, the center is waiting
for the second opinion on my writing. I'm writing further info in my log, if anyone is
interested.

Having read this thread, I got a few new ideas for my next language to bring to high
level in the years to come, thanks to everyone for that.
4 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
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 Message 132 of 177
24 February 2015 at 12:37am | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
As victorhart said, you want to frequent high-quality and trustworthy sources or models. This is where good advice is very valuable. If I may use that dreaded word tutor again - or let's say resource person - I would say that it's important to get guidance as to what is proper or not. This is especially important in languages with major regional differences.

Uniform languages pose their own difficulties as there's a specific standard that everyone has to meet, and anything that sounds off will be assumed to be a mistake, rather than regional variation.

Quote:
In my opinion, the key hallmark of high proficiency is the mastery of idioms. This encompasses things like puns, fixed expressions and proverbs. For people who are interested in passing exams, this is what really wows examiners. Great grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are important, of course, but the ability to use the language to a second degree shows real mastery.

Idioms are overrated, and as single units of the language there's nothing that impressive or difficult about them. It's also incredibly easy to overuse them and sound silly or just too much like a learner. While you need to "show your stuff", as Shekhtman put it, it shouldn't be too obvious either.

Although of course in some cases it's a sad reality that it's better to know many cliches than to be original and creative.

Edited by Serpent on 24 February 2015 at 12:39am

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tarvos
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 Message 133 of 177
24 February 2015 at 1:26am | IP Logged 
Well, in languages there is creative and there is wrong. And as a learner what you may
find creative is just as likely to be... wrong.

Edited by tarvos on 24 February 2015 at 1:26am

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Serpent
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 Message 134 of 177
24 February 2015 at 3:10am | IP Logged 
True, but that's a whole continuum, or even a two-dimension system. Different natives definitely vary in what is creative but acceptable to them and what isn't.
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1e4e6
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 Message 135 of 177
24 February 2015 at 3:20am | IP Logged 
Using idioms is good, but overusing them and using them in wrong situations sounds
very annoying. I have heard non-natives use the idiom about two birds and one stone,
except I know one person who keeps using it about how cheap something costs, and
another one who keeps messing up and getting the number wrong "two stones and one
bird". I had a classmate who kept saying that he was "on his road" when he was late,
and if I did not infer that he messed up the expression "on my way", I would have
asked what the hell that even meant.

Then there was the guy who kept saying, "taking a piss" instead of "taking the piss",
and more often than normal, trying to sound more idiomatic: "Come on guys, I am just
taking a piss"...

Probably at C level also just speaking with perfect grammar should be the most
important. A native probably knows when idioms sound overrused, and might get annoyed
or irritated, might even be saying silently to themselves, "Enough!", but perfect
grammar and grammatical constructions can always be used.

Edited by 1e4e6 on 24 February 2015 at 3:36am

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Serpent
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 Message 136 of 177
24 February 2015 at 3:31am | IP Logged 
We (non-native English speakers) also love saying that it rains cats and dogs... This one is even mentioned in Gunnemark's book.


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