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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4859 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 49 of 90
09 April 2007 at 11:00am | IP Logged 
Interesting quote from one of Linguamor's suggested reading articles (http://www.languageimpact.com/articles/gt/nonbegnr.htm)

Quote:
Merrill Swain (1985) examined the French ability of children who had been in a school immersion program for seven years. These children, who were from English speaking homes, had received all of their elementary education in French. Yet after seven years of receiving truly massive comprehensible input in French, they still did not control the French language like native French speaking children did. Why not? Probably there were a number of problems, but an obvious one was that the students didn't have much opportunity to speak the language. They mainly listened to the teacher. When they spoke to one another informally, they used English. When they spoke to the teacher they used French. But then, how much class time is devoted to any one student speaking to the teacher? And the only children they ever heard speaking French were their class-mates, non-native speakers like themselves, and that only happened when their classmates were addressing the teacher. You certainly couldn't say that the children used French in a very rich variety of life situations, or that they used French for a very wide variety of communication purposes. It appears that, since they didn't speak French very much, their speaking ability did not develop as well as we might have hoped. Even their ability to understand French appears to have suffered from the fact that they did not speak it very much. That's not to say they didn't learn French quite fluently. But Swain conjectures that they might have done better if they had been speaking French extensively, in addition to all their years of listening to comprehensible input.

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slucido
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
Spain
https://goo.gl/126Yv
Joined 4984 days ago

1296 posts - 1781 votes 
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Speaks: Spanish*, Catalan*
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 Message 50 of 90
09 April 2007 at 11:52am | IP Logged 
Here an interesting quote about great output skills without output practice from antimoon website:

Quote:
In our opinion, input is the most important way to learn English. In his book, "The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications", Stephen Krashen cites a fascinating example (originally described in Adrian Fourcin's 1975 article "Visual feedback and the acquisition of intonation"), which shows that it may be possible to learn great output skills by input alone (without producing any output).

Richard Boydell was a disabled child who couldn't speak or write (most of his body was paralyzed). He was intelligent and he could understand other people. When he was 30 years old, he got a special typewriter. He could type on the typewriter with his feet. In this way, he could communicate with others.

Here is what he wrote:

" I acquired an understanding of language by listening to those around me. Later, thanks to my mother's tireless, patient work I began learning to read and so became familiar with written as well as spoken language. As my interest developed, particularly in the field of science, I read books and listened to educational programs on radio and, later, television which were at a level that was normal, or sometimes rather above, for my age. Also when people visited us ... I enjoyed listening to the conversation even though I could only play a passive role and could not take an active part in any discussion ... As well as reading books and listening to radio and television .... I read the newspaper every day to keep in touch with current events. (from Fourcin's article, cited in Krashen's book) "

As you can see, Richard Boydell's writing was excellent, although he had never written anything before. He could use advanced grammar and vocabulary, because he had been reading books, newspapers, listening to the radio and people's conversations. It seems that input ,and nothing more, gave him good English.


http://www.antimoon.com/how/input-boydell.htm

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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4859 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 51 of 90
09 April 2007 at 12:08pm | IP Logged 
Battle of the quotes!
Quote:
In my own experience, Krashen's input hypothesis has been enormously helpful. Yet it appears that few scholars agree with the hypothesis in its entirety. That is because Krashen doesn't just claim that comprehensible input is the most important factor in second language acquisition. He claims that it is the only factor!


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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4906 days ago

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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 52 of 90
09 April 2007 at 12:59pm | IP Logged 
another quote, but that's one i have a question about:

Quote:
The most important point about effective shadowing is to really, really listen first and then to say what you hear. Learn to speak through listening and not by reading or memorizing the transcript. Try to repeat what you hear as exactly as possible.


Did I get something wrong or didn't Ardaschir recommend speaking along with the person speaking on the tape (not listening and repeating a second later)? I've been practising it the way Ardaschir suggested (or the way I thought he suggested) for nearly 4 months now and it seems to have helped me a lot with Finnish.
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slucido
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
Spain
https://goo.gl/126Yv
Joined 4984 days ago

1296 posts - 1781 votes 
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 Message 53 of 90
09 April 2007 at 1:20pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
another quote, but that's one i have a question about:

Quote:
The most important point about effective shadowing is to really, really listen first and then to say what you hear. Learn to speak through listening and not by reading or memorizing the transcript. Try to repeat what you hear as exactly as possible.


Did I get something wrong or didn't Ardaschir recommend speaking along with the person speaking on the tape (not listening and repeating a second later)? I've been practising it the way Ardaschir suggested (or the way I thought he suggested) for nearly 4 months now and it seems to have helped me a lot with Finnish.



I think you are doing well.
You can read what Ardaschir wrote in the first thread about shadowing.

Ardaschir wrote:


1) I do not simply "listen," I "shadow." "Shadowing" means that you say what you hear instantaneously (rather than in a pause thereafter, as in the FSI methods), preferably while in motion, at least while pacing your room, but ideally while walking in the woods.
2) I "understand" in progressively deeper layers, i.e., systematically deeeper and deeper.
3) I do not consciously try to memorize the texts. Rather, I switch my consciousness to the target language while I am learning and try to keep it there, replaying or rather rehashing the dialogues until I intuitively know their content.

I'm sorry if I cannot make this more concise. I devote an entire lengthy chapter to it in my book.



http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=22&PN=0&TPN=2

Edited by slucido on 09 April 2007 at 1:20pm

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Linguamor
Decaglot
Senior Member
United States
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469 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Dutch

 
 Message 54 of 90
09 April 2007 at 3:08pm | IP Logged 
My opinion, based on experience in both learning and teaching languages, is that comprehensible input is sufficient to acquire the target language, but that to become proficient at speaking, the language learner has to speak. In other words, although the language learner acquires the lexico-grammatical system of the target language from comprehensible input, speed and ease in speaking results from speaking.



Edited by Linguamor on 09 April 2007 at 3:48pm

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Farley
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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681 posts - 738 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*, GermanB1, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 55 of 90
09 April 2007 at 4:15pm | IP Logged 
frenkeld wrote:
It is, however, interesting that some forum members reported learning to understand a lot of French after several passes of doing nothing but watching French in Action videos. Some of them may have delayed doing anything else until after the videos, and it would be interesting to know how good a pronunciation they ended up with in such cases.


Linguamor wrote:
My opinion, based on experience in both learning and teaching languages, is that comprehensible input is sufficient to acquire the target language, but that to become proficient at speaking, the language learner has to speak. In other words, although the language learner acquires the lexico-grammatical system of the target language from comprehensible input, speed and ease in speaking results from speaking.


To answer Frenkeld’s question, I found Linguamor’s comments to be true. Just speaking for myself.

When I started trying to learn French about 2 years ago, I started with French FSI and Pimsleur and had a miserable time at it. I attribute that to have a poor aural memory (that one is on me). Next I tried shadowing with Assimil, again I meet with poor results, but I liked the course so I just listened my way through the course after about lesson 35. Next I turned to French in Action, using both the video and audio courses. At lesson 14 of FIA I hit a brick wall with the audio; so again, I just listened my way through the course about 2-3 times. I then did a say thing with Assimil Using French. At the end of my listening experiment, I gave it a test and tried some random lessons from Pimsleur III and found I could complete with at least 80%. Next I completed the Michel Thomas Advanced Course and a Passport Books “Just Listen and Learn” (it has some interactive features) to test out the basics. The net result was that I could speak French on at least a Pimsleur III level if not higher. Any troubles in speaking came from trying to remember that pesky word or mastering the pronunciation. But that, of course, takes practice, practice, and more practice.

You might say well big deal, a years worth of study, and only a Pimsleur III level worth of proficiency. But it was a big deal to me, because most weeks I could only dedicate 30 minutes - 5 times a week. Even though I speaking proficiency was (is still) weak, French conversation was a possibility. Perhaps more important, I was able to understand the news (RFI audio, French newspapers) and read the novels of Verne and Simenon without the use of a dictionary. Last year I took a 5 month break from French were I did not even review the language. I’ve quite counting words, but by my last estimates, I had a passive vocabulary around 8,000-10,000 words. When I picked it back up this year I found that I had not lost a thing, if anything the break allowed time for the language to sink in.

This was also consistent with the way I learned German. After about 2 straight months of listening while attending an immersion class, one day I “discovered” that suddenly I could speak German. Not fluently at first, but ease came with practice.

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5514 days ago

3133 posts - 4350 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 56 of 90
09 April 2007 at 5:55pm | IP Logged 
Farley wrote:
When I started trying to learn French about 2 years ago, I started with French FSI and Pimsleur and had a miserable time at it. Next I tried shadowing with Assimil, again I meet with poor results, but I liked the course so I just listened my way through the course. Next I turned to French in Action. At lesson 14 of FIA I hit a brick wall with the audio; so again, I just listened my way through the course about 2-3 times. I then did a say thing with Assimil Using French.

I was able to understand the news (RFI audio, French newspapers) and read the novels of Verne and Simenon without the use of a dictionary. I had a passive vocabulary around 8,000-10,000 words.


It's stories like this, and the fact that FSI isn't much fun right now that have me ready to strike out on my own listening adventure.

I feel like I've made good progress over the last few months, and although I have reviewed FSI over that time, I think the big factors are:

  1. Giving some real focus to Assimil Using Spanish, which seemed quite difficult at first. It's still challenging, but I can do a lesson a day and review the previous 5 without too much pain.
  2. Meeting with some real live Spanish speakers a few times a month. This is good not only for practice, but more so for making the language come alive.
  3. Dish Latino.
  4. Meeting with a tutor once a week, which also makes the communicative aspect of study real.
  5. Listening to and reading along with books, etc.

I guess I could add FSI to the list, but really my point is that the additional listening seems to be helping. Or perhaps, my listening skills are finally getting to the point where they're useful. I'm really ready to walk out on the ice and not bring FSI with me. The final straw in my decision was something I read in the Lessons Learned over 50 Years at FSI. The clincher was the third paragraph in lesson 3, which basically says that an advanced student is refocused and re-energized by a change of pace.

To make a sports analogy, quit working on fitness and start working on the game.

I know the thread started out on listening for the beginner. I'm just saying that it may pay dividends later as well.

Edited by luke on 09 April 2007 at 5:58pm



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