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Shadowing vs Echoing

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maxb
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 Message 1 of 24
18 April 2005 at 8:13am | IP Logged 
Since there has been some talk about the "shadowing" method   in this forum recently, I would like to know the advantages of using this method compared to the echoing approach used by e.g. Pimsleur. I have read that it is more natural to shadow, since it is easier to learn a song by singing along with someone who knows it than by singing it after them. I don't agree with this. I have learnt a lot of jazz music by ear (I'm an amateur jazz pianist) and I did that by listening to the recording and imitating it not by playing or singing along with it.
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Seth
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 Message 2 of 24
18 April 2005 at 11:56am | IP Logged 
I'm not sure the terminology is correct.

The great thing about Pimseleur is that it is not simple echoing (most of it at least) like 99% of the other programs out there, but rather CREATING new sentences in the target language. This is what's great about "Anticipation Response," as those who promote it say it leads to automaticity. Unfortuntaely, Pimseleur courses are so incredibly limited that the learner becomes proficient in a tiny amount of the language.

In theory, I don't see why shadowing would be "better"...but I suppose the bottom line is you can't argue with results.


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ProfArguelles
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foreignlanguageexper
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 Message 3 of 24
18 April 2005 at 7:16pm | IP Logged 
Let us define:

Echoing = listen, then repeat
Shadowing = listen and repeat simultaneously

I believe that echoing can be an invaluable technique when you are working one on one with a phonetician who can correct your pronunciation and intonation. However, when you are working on your own, you really have no way of determining the accuracy of your rendition. When you shadow through earphones, however, you should at least instinctively and immediately perceive when you are "flat," and with constant repetition of the same material, you will begin to automatically compensate by modifying your pronunciation.

I appreciate your analogy to learning music for I am an amateur classical flautist and I have learned music by ear, not by attempting to play along, but by remembering the tune. However, the process of learning a melody and the process of mastering accent and intonation are not at all the same.
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maxb
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 Message 4 of 24
19 April 2005 at 4:21am | IP Logged 
Maybe learning a melody by ear is not the same, but I do seem some similarities between learning to improvise jazz and mastering the accent of a foreign language. Although I have limited experience in the area, it seems to me that learning an accent is about mastering a rythmic and melodic system. You have to learn some different melodic and rhythmic patterns which are used when forming sentences. This is excactly what you do when learning jazz improvisation. You start by copying your favourite players and learning their phrases and when you have understood the musical language of jazz, i.e. the melodic and rhytmic patterns you can start creating yourself. I feel a very strong correlation between copying a jazz phrase and mimicking a sentence.
It seems to me to be essentially the same process. Even though imitating music is usually easier.
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Farley
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 Message 5 of 24
29 June 2005 at 1:46pm | IP Logged 
Ardaschir wrote:
Let us define:

Echoing = listen, then repeat
Shadowing = listen and repeat simultaneously


I have question about Echoing vs. Shadowing for Assimil users. How close is the following "echoing method" described on www.fluentfrench.com to shadowing? David Tolman has two articles on www.fluentfrench.com; the first article is on the 2 modes of listening, the 1st for meaning, and the 2nd for sound, "where all the magic occurs". There is a second article on "Echoing", using the ear as a "feedback mechanism". After 20-30 minutes of echoing you not only learn vocabulary and intonation, but your mind switches to the new language. Would shadowing work better here to detect your flat spots and enhance your ability to switch to the new language?

Thanks,
Farley

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ProfArguelles
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foreignlanguageexper
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 Message 6 of 24
29 June 2005 at 7:17pm | IP Logged 
Your links are only to the main page, not the articles, and I couldn't track them down easily. Could you please either provide direct links or paste the paragraphs in question here?
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Farley
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 Message 7 of 24
29 June 2005 at 7:25pm | IP Logged 
The first Article on www.fluentfrench.com/
# There are two listening modes: Listening for meaning
# Listening for sound

Listening mode 1 is commonly called "listening comprehension." This is when you listen to a TV or radio show and try to figure out what is being said.

But to achieve fluency, you have to get past the listening comprehension stage and maximize the amount of time you spend in listening mode 2: Listening for sound.

Small children spend a lot of time in listening mode 2, but as adults, we have to work to get there. We need to budget time and understand what we are trying to do.

Here's what you need:
# an audio or video recording
# a transcript of every word on the recording
# (optional) A translation of the French transcript. This will save you time: you won't have to look up words in a dictionary to figure out the meaning.

First, choose a portion of the recording (8 to 10 minutes is a good length) and work on understanding all of the meaning. Read along with the transcript so that you can recognize every word as the speaker says it. Depending upon your level, this may take 20 minutes or a few hours spread over multiple sessions of study.

Once you understand every word, you no longer will have to “listen for meaning;” you’ll be free to “listen for sound” and you may even catch yourself trying to mouth the words as you hear them. This urge to practice saying the words is quite natural. If you feel it, go with it.

The goal is to spend as much time in the “listening for sound, accent, and intonation” stage as possible. This second listening mode is where all of the magic occurs. See our article on echoing for more information.

A last pointer: you don't need a lot of recordings. We recommend re-listening to the same recording dozens, even hundreds of times. As you go on, your ear will slowly mould itself to the new language. After a few weeks, you will hear things that you weren't able to hear at the beginning of your studies.
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Farley
Triglot
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 Message 8 of 24
29 June 2005 at 7:26pm | IP Logged 
And the 2nd:
Echoing -By David Tolman, Publisher of Fluent French Audio

When learning a new language, I enjoy trying to "echo" recordings of native speakers.

Echoing is repeating everything that's being said on the recording. It's kind of like singing along to your favorite radio tune. You get better and better at matching the rhythm and voice of the speaker.

Echoing does not involve memorization.   You don't say what the speaker says at the exact same time he or she says it. Instead, you echo the speaker; you say everything you hear as you hear it. You'll find that the more you practice, the more you will hear.

If you're new to the language, you will not be able to echo a recording of a native speaker right away. It may take you a few weeks of listening to the material before you can speak along with it.

Here are the stages:

Stage 1. Listen while following along in the transcription.
This is the only step that resembles homework. Learn to match what the speaker is saying with what is written in the text. You are learning to understand the spoken language.

Stage 2. Listen to the recording without reading along in the transcription.
Here, you are learning to better understand the speaker. By listening again and again, you accomplish two things: 1) You continue to let the rhythm of the language sink into your subconscious. 2) You work on your vocabulary by trying to understand what is said and by periodically looking back to the text for help. Move to the next stage ASAP.

Stage 3. Echo the speakers on the recording.
Echoing is the active mimicking of the native speaker; it will help you "mould your ear" to the new language.

The only problem with "echoing" is that it requires speaking out loud. You must find a place where you can spend 20 to 30 uninterrupted minutes at a time echoing out loud. You must speak out loud for two reasons: 1) to keep your mind from wandering, as it would if you were just listening, and 2) so that the language-processing part of your brain can help you mould your speech to sounds on the recording. Specifically, you need to think of your ear as a "feedback mechanism" in the language processing loop. If you don't speak out loud, your ear can't give you any feedback as to how well you are mimicking the new language. Echoing native speakers helps you retrain your ears, which up until now have been adapted to "hear," to "look for" English sounds.

"So why," you may ask, "must I spend at least 20 minutes at a time echoing?" Well, I recommend that amount of time because, for me, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes of hearing nothing but another language for my mind to completely switch over to that language.

You can continue echoing the same recording daily for many weeks. Unless you already speak like a native, you will continue to learn from echoing the same material.

I used to have a 30 minute ride to work. I would echo recordings of French radio that I had brought back with me from France. I was alone, so I could speak out loud and just revel in the purity of the language. You'll find that echoing is a lot of fun.

If echoing seems hard, remember, languages are like oral gymnastics. You are using your tongue, lips, and vocal cords in new ways to make new combinations of sounds. It takes time and lots of repetition to get better. Just keep at it!


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